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Alone on the Pacific

Press release issued: 26 April 2002

Media release
Alone on the Pacific

The first person to row the Pacific unassisted, after 274 days at sea, will be at Bristol University next week to give a free public lecture on his remarkable journey.

The lecture, called 'Alone on the Pacific', will be given by trans-Pacific and Atlantic rower, Jim Shekhdar, at 5.15 pm on Monday, April 29 in the Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol.

Jim Shekhdar set off from Peru on June 29, 2000. Eight thousand miles later, on March 30, 2001, his epic voyage ended on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, although he had been in danger of missing Australia altogether when strong winds blew him to the north.

Mr Shekhdar will talk about his voyage and incidents that took place during his travels. His difficulties began when he found he'd forgotten his tin opener. Later, he also ran out of cooking gas. He had ten encounters with sharks and a near miss with a tanker that almost sank him in its wake. High winds and rough seas also battered his ten-metre boat. By the end of the journey, his supplies of food had almost run out and he had lost almost six stones in weight.

The challenge was not Jim Shekhdar's first taste of ocean voyaging - he rowed the Atlantic with fellow adventurer David Jackson in 1997. In addition to being the only Pacific Ocean crossing in a rowing boat without assistance, Mr Shekhdar's is also the quickest, finishing 20 days faster than an assisted row by Englishman Peter Bird in 1983.

Bob Reeves, Director of Sport, Exercise and Health, said: 'Jim Shekhdar's voyage was truly remarkable. We are delighted to have him at the University speaking about his amazing adventure.'

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 26-Apr-2002 12:17:12 BST

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