(TheOceans.net) It could not have been a better welcome. After 225 days of ocean and solitude, Alex Bellini touched the sands of Brazil at 16:30 (local time) on Tuesday, May 2.
Among the local fishing boats and resounding horns of Navy ships, the Italian rower stepped off what has been his floating home for the last seven and a half months and onto Beira Beach, Fortaleza. There to welcome him was the Governor of Cearà, Lucio Alcantara and his wife, the Minister of Tourism and the Captain of Fortalezas Marina.
After exchanging flags and handshakes, fireworks and celebrations quickly began. The citys Samba Orchestra including 80 musicians welcomed the Italian rower in true Brazilian style.
Longest row across the Atlantic
Rete Globo, the national TV station and other local news media crowded around Alex to get a glimpse of the newly landed Italian Robinson Crusoe his golden mane, thick beard and weathered face a testimony to his lone 10,000 kilometer crossing.
Smiles and congratulations abounded - particularly among the local street children for whom Alex, together with the Italian Womens Volleyball team has raised over 60,000 euros. His sponsors and technical team were also there to welcome him.
Not only is this the first Atlantic crossing by an Italian but it is also the longest ever done, said Alexs home team.
According to the Ocean Rowing Society, Alex Bellinis row is the longest row across the Atlantic on record. He departed Genova on September 18, 2005.
Whats next for Alex?
As extraordinary as an accomplishment this is for Alex, his home team says the Italian rowers days on the ocean are not over just yet. So whats next for him?
This is just may be the beginning of a new dream, another challenge for Alex, they said. Perhaps hell consider rowing the Pacific soon.
Alex Bellini departed Genova, Italy on September 18th, 2005 for his second attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean (E-W), hoping to reach Fortaleza, in Brazil. The 27-year old Italian had attempted a similar route in 2004, ending when technical problems and bad weather forced his boat onto the rocks of Formentera Island, off the coast of Spain.
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