South African Zirk Botha makes history by completing 7,200km row from Cape Town to Rio

South African Zirk Botha makes history by completing 7,200km row from Cape Town to Rio

The adventurer was welcomed with open arms as he arrived in Cape Town this week after 71 days at sea.

Zirk Botha

What a remarkable story!

South African Zirk Botha, 59, made history this week when he arrived back in Cape Town to a warm welcome from family and friends after completing an historic 7,200 km solo row to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil from his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa.

The former naval officer completed his solo transatlantic ocean crossing on his boat ‘Ratel’ over 71 days and arrived back in the country on a flight from the Brazilian capital.

Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, Botha says that he is overwhelmed by the support he has received and that he’s thrilled to be back home after so long. He adds that while he plans on spending time with his daughters right now, he will be planning more adventures.

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“I am so happy to be back home. To see my family and friends again after such a long time – wow, it’s an amazing feeling. When I set out to row to Rio, I was just going to complete the route, I did not expect to break any records. While the weather played well, planning and preparation teamwork made it all come together,” he said upon his arrival.

“So yes, it has been a roller-coaster ride, an amazing experience. Also, the support in Brazil was amazing, from the media to the locals, everybody was so passionate and supportive, it was really great.”

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Meanwhile, Botha’s daughter, Mieke, adds that she is incredibly proud of her father’s accomplishments. “This is such a special moment for me and my sisters, actually everyone here. To see him in person and be reassured that he is back, safe and sound in person, is just wow. We are so proud of him and what he managed to achieve,” she says. “I don't think any of us ever doubted that he could do it. I also don’t think he realises just how much he has done for a lot of people here at home. The hope he gave, and the positive diversion, as his family we are so proud of him.”

Image courtesy: Zirk Botha

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