Solo expedition rower Paul Ridley, of Rhode Island, successfully completed a charity fund-raising ocean crossing from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Ridley’s three-month solo effort ended with support from his friends and family, as well as guidance from the Antigua & Barbuda Search & Rescue (ABSAR) organization using technology developed by Rhode Island ocean science and technology company, Applied Science Associates (ASA).
On March 29, Paul Ridley completed a historic trans-Atlantic expedition for the cause of cancer research, as he rowed for 10-12 hours per day with little help coming from anything more than favorable ocean currents and wind direction. “When the wind, waves, and currents did not cooperate, the journey called Row for Hope, became more challenging and uncertain”, said a Ridley family member.
In a 19-foot custom-built boat provided by Aquidneck Custom, Ridley’s ocean expedition began in December. His planned route was to row as directly as possible from Africa to Antigua, crossing the whole of the Atlantic Ocean. While rowing more than 3,000 nautical miles, Ridley, in contact with a land-based support team via satellite phone, was alone on the open ocean for 87 days with no chase boat or means of resupply. According to Ridley, Cornelius and ASA technology was especially helpful at the end of the journey as targeting the final destination became tricky due to strong shifty winds and currents.
Rowing into English Harbour, Antigua, news media and supporters greeted Ridley and celebrated his momentous charitable accomplishment. Ridley’s Row for Hope raised more than $500,000 for cancer research.