Laois Resident to attempt to Row The Indian Ocean

Naked Irishman set to depart for Australia for 120 day gruelling Indian Ocean rowing challenge

In just under three weeks, Kildare man Keith Whelan, aka the Naked Adventurer, heads off across the globe in his attempt to become the youngest male in the world to row the Indian Ocean solo and the first Irish person to row the Indian ocean ever. “Oh and he will be Naked too!”

The challenge will see 30 year old Keith row 12 hours every day, 2 hours on and 2 hours off, for the 120 days he will be at sea.   That’s 1.8 million oar strokes in searing heat, massive ocean swells and vicious storms.

The event management consultant living in Co.Laois, has been preparing for his Indian Ocean Challenge for the past 18 months.  “I had never even rowed a boat this time two years ago” he said, “but this challenge is something I’ve always wanted to do.  As it stands more people have walked on the moon then have rowed across the Indian Ocean.  I’m hoping to get the spotlight of achievement back on Ireland with this world record, and of course raise much needed funds for my chosen charity “Keep a Child Alive.”

Keith will depart Ireland in just three weeks for Western Australia where he will launch his 23ft long boat Ocean rowing boat and begin his challenge.  The boat, where he will spend up to 4 months, is just 6 foot wide at its widest point. It carries 150 litres of ballast water which will helps to flip the boat back up the right way in the event of a capsize. On-board solar panels provide energy to run the very limited electrical equipment on board such as the water maker, GPS, Satellite phone, VHF radio and AIS system.

Keith, aka ‘the naked adventurer’ will be completely alone at sea and unaided by any other vessel.  To achieve his world record, he must row to longitudinal point near Mauritius, without having been touched by anyone other than Keith. In the event of an emergency, there is an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on board in addition to PLB (Personal Locating Beacon) along with a life raft should the worst happen

“Obviously the lighter the load the better” added Keith, “Most of the gear on board will be absolutely essential equipment, dehydrated food and about 500 bars of chocolate. I will be bringing one or two photos and will probably stick some messages from people and some inspirational quotes on the inside of the cabin.  The main message over the aft cabin door, the one I will be facing as I’m rowing will read “pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever”!”

Keith will be blogging, updating his facebook page and tweeting throughout his journey.  You can also see his real-time location on The challenge is kindly supported by Fyffes, Rowhire, Powerbar, Timex and Relinquish Clothing amongst other generous contributors.  Additional sponsors are always welcome as are donations to Keep a Child Alive.

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