22-year-old to Row Across Atlantic


Twenty-two year-old Katie Spotz of Cleveland, Ohio plans to cross the Atlantic Ocean this winter in a row boat, reports the New York Times. That's more than 2,500 miles — no sail or motor allowed. The trip is expected to take between 70 and 100 days, and if she succeeds, she will become the youngest person to cross an ocean in a row boat, and the first American to row solo from mainland to mainland. At first, this sounds a lot like all those crazy kids sailing solo around the world, but Spotz's trip will be a little different. First, she plans to use the trip to raise money for Blue Planet Run, a foundation that works to make clean drinking water available worldwide. Second, since no sails are allowed, Spotz won't even have a tarp to protect herself from the sun, lest she feel tempted to use it to catch some wind. Third, she has very little experience with boats at all, having just learned about the rudimentary parts last summer.

Her complex boat was designed by British yacht designer Phil Morrison. When asked for a comment by The New York Times, Morrison said, “For anybody to row single-handedly across the Atlantic Ocean, you must be out of your mind.”

— Lisa Lombardi