Alex Bellini waits in waters off Fortaleza

Posted: May 02, 2006 10:12 pm EDT

(TheOceans.net) "Is it possible that after a man rows 10,000 km of ocean alone, to ask him to wait a bit before touching land, asks Michele Corti, one of Alexs home team managers.

Yes, you can.

According to Bellinis website, Brazil seems to be (inadvertently) making something of a sovereignty issue out of the whole thing. "Heres Alex, about to achieve his crowning glory, his dream. And there's Beira Mar, the main beach where Alex is meant to land drawing closer by the hour. His last strokes have been made with blood, sweat and tears."

Unfortunately, 4 knots of sea and an intense wind are keeping Alex at bay during his final sprint.

Just 2 miles away

Im about 2 nautical miles from Brazil, Alex told his team manager via sat phone last night. Hell stop there. Tomorrow hell be joined by his staff for the first of many parties to follow, they said. It will be our first chance to get the pictures and diaries of this historical crossing.

Not only is this the first Atlantic crossing by an Italian but it is also the longest ever done, says his home team.

Bellini departed Genova on September 18, 2005. The Mediterranean which he thought would be the first and shortest stage the row ended up being a real maze of storms and currents that put the single Italian rower to the test.

The long row

The Gulf of Leone punished him with 11 days confined to his small cabin. His boat would capsize 5 times. Then the currents forced him to nearly row a second time around Ibiza. The coast of Malaga made for an even riskier row followed by the feared Strait of Gibraltar. His stop in Tangiers, and temporary detainments by the National Guard nearly turned Alex into a clandestine Italian in Morocco.

When he finally made it down to Africa, near the Canaries, he faced 18 days of sheer hell as a strong wind pulled him further North, away from his goal.

By the time he made it to the Archipelago of San Pedro and San Paolo, his arrival to Fortaleza was only a matter of days away. It was supposed to be like the landing of the shuttle. But in the end, the currents and the winds played against him. Luckily, Alex overcame them all.

A new challenge?

Today, Alex was to row the final 2 miles to the beach at Beira Mar where a crowd of well wishers and friends were awaiting his arrival. The Minister of Tourism and Sports along with Fortalezas mayor and the citys Samba Orchestra including 80 musicians are expected to welcome the Italian rower in true Brazilian style. Rete Globo, the national TV station is also expected to be there to film his landing.

When Alex does finally touch land, after 225 days at sea, for many it will be an extraordinary event, said his home team. But for Alex it will most likely be the beginning of a new dream, another challenge: To row the Pacific Ocean.

#Oceans



"Is it possible that after a man rows 10,000 km of ocean alone, to ask him to wait a bit before touching land, asks Michele Corti, one of Alexs home team managers. Yes, you can. According to Bellinis website, Brazil seems to be (inadvertently) making something of a sovereignty issue out of the whole thing. Image courtesy of Alex's website (click to enlarge).

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