Spanish paddleboarder crosses the Pacific Ocean

August 27, 2019 | Surfing
Antonio de la Rosa: the first person to paddleboard across the Pacific Ocean | Photo: De La Rosa

Antonio de la Rosa has become the first person to paddleboard across the Pacific Ocean.

The Spanish athlete completed a grueling solo journey in 76 days, five hours, and 22 minutes.

De La Rosa kicked off his paddleboarding adventure in San Francisco, California, on June 9, and concluded the epic challenge in Waikiki, Hawaii, on August 24.

The 50-year-old endurance sportsman paddled his board for 2,950 miles (4750 kilometers). But the last 24 hours were of concern and uncertainty.

"I was surprised by a strong wind that crossed the navigation channel between Molokai and Oahu. It put me in a dangerous situation, at night, near the rocky area of Koko Head," explained Antonio de la Rosa.

"Then came the part that particularly worried me - paddling from Diamond Head to the Waikiki harbor with side wind stepping on solid ground by my own means."

"This forced me to paddle close to the shore, which nearly got me into the pounding surf without even realizing it."

Antonio de la Rosa: he spent 76 days paddling between San Francisco and Waikiki | Photo: De la Rosa

Surrounded by Water

De la Rosa slept two and a half months inside his 22-foot-long custom-made paddleboard. He had food reserves for 90 days.

Throughout the journey, the paddleboarder faced adverse weather conditions, including powerful winds and swells powered by Hurricane Flossie.

De la Rosa paddled the "Ocean Defender" at an average of nine hours per day. He lost 10 pounds during the Pacific Ocean crossing.

The Spanish athlete was all by himself during the solo odyssey.

His watercraft was equipped with a satellite communications device, GPS systems, and a computer that kept him in touch with the world.

Antonio says he ate well, mostly dehydrated and lyophilized products.

He drank water from a portable desalination kit that works with the solar panels and even allowed himself the luxury of eating some fish he was able to catch.

The stand-up paddleboarder from Valladolid, Spain, aims to raise awareness about protecting our oceans from human-made pollution.

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