Across the ocean, against depression

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Some 13 months ago, I wrote a Blog about a young Kiwi named Isaac Giesen who was about to embark on a transatlantic solo row. He was raising funds for three charities* in New Zealand and Australia dedicated to combating depression – a major contributor to the high suicide rates in both countries.

Isaac Giesen is the son of Theo Giesen, one of three brothers responsible for one of the biggest and best names in New Zealand winemaking, Giesen.

Isaac plans to become the first Kiwi to row solo across the Atlantic.

The row in question is known as the world’s toughest – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, sponsored by the Diageo-owned Isle of Skye single malt whisky, beloved around the world for its maritime character. Alas, Isaac had to put his great adventure on hold for a year as the safety-conscious organisers ruled at the last-minute that he had not spent enough pre-race qualifying time on the open sea to be able to row solo.

It was a crushing disappointment, assuaged considerably by the fact that a team of rowers from the Faroe Islands needed an 11th hour replacement for one of their crew. On 12 May 2018 the team landed in Cuba, 74 days and 7,700 kms after leaving Portugal. It was a wild ride: five storms, equipment failure, two crew members dropping out, and one nasty stomach bug.

And yet Isaac came back for more. And this time he’s alone. He is now out on the Atlantic in his 7m boat, Bonnie Lass, having set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands 30 days ago.

The Moodie Davitt Report is proud to be his Gold Sponsor. Our logo has been seen in many places before but never, I can assure you, in the middle of the Atlantic.

Isaac’s position (denoted as The Blue Rower) when this Blog was written.

Last Saturday night, while I was dining in the warm, centrally heated comfort of my London home, sipping a very good glass of Giesen Syrah with dinner, I received a phone call. It was one Isaac Giesen. Where was he calling from? You guessed it. The Atlantic. Listen to the remarkable Podcast below to hear how he’s getting on.

*If you’d like to support Isaac’s brave effort to help combat the terrible impact of depression you can donate via

[Click on the icon to hear Isaac Giesen talk to Martin Moodie from the Atlantic.]

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  • What an intriguing conversation between Martin and Isaac from the mid Atlantic on his epic journey and a great cause to sponsor. Keep us all posted,