THE YANTU PROJCT
The First Asian Ocean Rowing Crossing
by Christian Havrehed
Wednesday, 22 May 2002
Film Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai (opposite Grand Hyatt Hotel)
6.30 pm Cash Bar, 7.30pm Lecture In December 2001, Danish Hong Kong resident Christian Havrehed and mainland Chinese Sun Haibin completed an unsupported 5,000 row across the Atlantic, from Tenerife to Barbados. Fewer people have rowed across an ocean than have climbed Everest, and on this expedition Sun Haibin became the first Asian, as well as the first Chinese, to achieve this feat. The two rowers achieved the crossing in 56 days, relying on stored provisions, a solarpowered fresh water maker, and muscle power. Havrehed and Haibin were alone for the whole journey, except for a few close encounters with whales and flying fish. They rowed in 2hour shifts around the clock without stopping for the 56 days. The Atlantic was first rowed in 1896 by two Norwegians. It took them 55 days to complete the journey, a record that stood until 1997. The next successful Atlantic crossing was 70 years later, in 1966, when Sir Chay Blyth and John Ridgway of Britain completed the passage by a different route in 91 days. The current record for a crossing, of 41 days, was set in 1997 in a race organised by Sir Chay Blyth. Havrehed and Haibin's expedition was arranged from Hong Kong, where they trained, and was supported by a number of leading local companies. Their generous sponsorship allowed the expedition to raise $600,000 for charity. In this lecture, illustrated by slides taken on the ocean, Mr. Havrehed describes the planning and arranging of the expedition, the geographical factors affecting the expedition, including currents and climatic effects, and the challenges faced during the 56 days on the Atlantic. Each Member may bring 2 guests. Members and their guests are welcome to attend on a firstcome firstserved basis. The cost of this lecture is HK$50 for Members, HK$100 for Members' guests and HK$150 for others. Members are reminded to renew their memberships to take advantage of Members' rates.