The young man and the sea: How a Kiwi created transatlantic history

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Amazing news and images have reached The Moodie Blog from Antigua, where Isaac Giesen this morning local time became the first Kiwi to have rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

As I noted in an earlier Blog, The Moodie Davitt Report was Isaac’s Gold Sponsor and it was with immense pride that I viewed today’s photos and video of this courageous young man completing his epic transatlantic journey.

Flying (and rowing) the Kiwi flag with pride. [Photo credit: Ted Martin/Atlantic Challenge.]
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, dubbed The Blue Rower, completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge after 70 days 19 hours and 37 minutes. He started his journey in La Gomera, Canary Islands and finished this morning in Antigua.

Yes you did Isaac, you certainly did. [Photo credit: Ted Martin/Atlantic Challenge]

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a unique, life-changing experience. Each participant burns around 8,000 calories a day and loses approximately 20% of their body weight over the duration of the race.

Isaac Giesen is the son of a long-time friend of mine, Theo Giesen, one of three brothers responsible for one of the biggest and best names in New Zealand winemaking, Giesen.

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

[Photo credit: Ted Martin/Atlantic Challenge]
Proud and emotional moments as Janet and Theo Giesen greet their son. [Photo credit: Ted Martin/Atlantic Challenge]

Isaac pictured in earlier weeks mid-Atlantic.