On May 1st 2004, Richard Wood rowed into port in Barbados after 101 days, 19 hours and 30 minutes alone at sea; becoming only the 11th person in history to complete a solo row across the Atlantic ocean.
The finish line marked the end of his epic solo voyage from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Port St Charles Barbados.
He faced many set backs on the way experiencing bad weather and adverse conditions that halted progress and even sent him on a circular detour that finally ended when he found himself in the same position where he started 10 days before!
One night 1500 miles from the nearest land the rudder was ripped away by a large breaking wave. It took a great deal of ingenuity to decide how to fix the problem and involved sawing up part of the boat to repair it.
Through determination and perseverance he finally fulfilled his ambition to row the Atlantic Ocean.
Renamed Najojo the boat had a distinguished history. Built by Neil Hitt & Peter Hogden for the 1997/98 Port St Charles Race she was successfully rowed from Tenerife to Barbados by the duo in a time of 58 days and 12 hours under the name Hospicare.
(Above) Subsequently Theodore Rezvoy became the first Ukrainian to row an ocean in a successful solo attempt in 2001 with the boat re-named Odessa . He completed his crossing in 67 days 6 hours and 35 minutes.
(Below) She came to Worcester for a re-fit in June 2003 in preparation for the next great challenge. She was re-named NaJoJo and I rowed in continued support of St Richard's Hospice raising in excess of £20000 for this local Worcester Charity. (www.strichards.org.uk)
The project was successfully completed after 101 days 19 hours and 30 minutes at sea when I crossed the finish line at 09:56 local time on May 1st 2004 after a campaign lasting 7 years.
After Richard finished the challenge, his boat Najojo foundered on an island in the Mediterranean whilst being rowed by an Italian Rower who was attempting to row from Genoa to South America. Najojo is therefore no more as you can see from the pictures. The Med really isn't a good place to row!