Bellini attempting solo row to Brazil - round two

Posted: Sep 19, 2005 02:42 pm EDT

Alex Bellini departed Genova, Italy on September 18th, 2005 for his second attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean (E-W). 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.

Prepared for 180 days alone

Bellini says hes learned from his previous attempt and feels confident about his latest adventure. His destination of Fortaleza, Brazil, lies some 5,157 miles from his departure point in Italy. He expects the row to last 150 days, with provisions for 180 days onboard.

Rowing and making water

Bellini has a manual watermaker on board his ocean row boat, instead of the typical electric units used by most ocean rowers. He has connected the manual pump watermaker to his rowing seat, so as he rows, hell be making water, and hopefully mileage towards his destination.

Mother Nature the ultimate ruler

Starting deep in the Mediterranean, Bellini will be under the rule of Mother Nature, and the weather she decides to provide. Getting out of the Med may be tough, but if he can avoid being run onto ground, hell enjoy open waters once past the Strait of Gibraltar.

With meteorologists predicting this years Hurricane season to be one of the largest ever in recorded times, it could still be a battle for Bellini to reach Brazil. Or maybe not, some rowers have enjoyed the tail-end of tropical storms and hurricanes, helping push them towards their goals.

If/when Bellini completes his row, hell become the first Italian to complete any ocean row solo. Hell also be the first to leave from Italy, for a crossing of the Atlantic ending in South America.

In 2004, Bellini attempted a solo/unsupported ocean row from Italy to Brazil aboard Rosa d'Atacama. Trying to navigate the narrow channel between the islands of Ibizia and Formentera, Bellini was forced onto the rocks of Formentera, where his boat was smashed to pieces, literally. He had been out rowing for 23 days, and escaped with his life and a few personal possessions.

Bellinis new boat is similar in design to his last, though constructed mainly of composite materials, instead of his previous boat made of wood. The boat Bellini is rowing was also used by Andreas Rommel on his attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean, but had to abandon due to severe storms, he had been out for 60 days.


Alex Bellini set off for his second attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean E-W. (click to enlarge)
Bellini's first attempt ended when his boat was forced onto rocks, wind and waves smashed his boat to pieces within a couple of hours. He escaped unharmed. File image courtesy of Alex Bellini (click to enlarge).