The Bold Man of the Sea
Tuesday, 25 February 2003
2/F Sports House, So Kong Po, Causeway Bay
Reception 7.00 pm; Lecture 7.45 pm In 2001, Jim Shekdhar made history by becoming the first man to row across the Pacific Ocean nonstop and unsupported. Setting out from Peru in June 2000, in an epic feat he rowed for 274 days to reach Australia in March 2001. Stretching physical and mental endurance to the limit, for the entire journey Mr. Shekdhar was unaided and alone. He battled everything from storms to sharks to reach his destination 8,117 miles away. His journey was made in a specially designed rowing boat, Le Shark, with equipment including a water desalinator and a wind generator. After setting sail from Ilo, Peru, at 17.30 GMT on 30 June 2000, he rowed west from the South American coast. Delayed and driven offcourse by adverse winds and currents, he was only half way across the ocean at his scheduled yearend arrival time in Australia. He spent Christmas, New Year and his birthday at sea, and rations designed for 6 months had to last for 9 months, while his stove ran out of cooking gas. Midocean, his boat was mistaken for prey by sharks, which he fought with a knife tied on the end of an oar. After several close encounters with the coral reefs of the southwest Pacific and various oil tankers, he approached the Australian coast. On 29 June 2001 he arrived at North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, at 6.42 GMT, after rowing 10,652 miles. In the last minute of his journey as he approached the shore, massive breakers capsized his boat and the photographs of him appearing from the surf made front pages of newspapers worldwide on 30 June 2001. Jim Shekdhar is a 56 year old management consultant and computer sales director from London. Having worked in a variety of jobs and businesses, Mr. Shekdhar decided to take a break from his career. Having previously attempted to row across the Atlantic, and determined to achieve a feat which had eluded many, he cancelled a scheduled hip replacement and set off in 2000 to South America to prepare for his journey. In this lecture, Jim he tells of the thrills and spills of the voyage, including the struggles with sharks, storms and his own daily moodswings, as well as the careful planning and use of equipment required for the journey. The lecture is illustrated by slides and a short video. Each Member may bring 2 guests. Members and their guests are welcome to purchase tickets at the door 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.