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SA adventurer aspires to become first person of colour in Africa to cross the Atlantic solo

SA adventurer aspires to become first person of colour in Africa to cross the Atlantic solo

Raised on stories of adventure and exploration, Ryan Jacobs (35) from Gardens, Cape Town, has set himself an ambitious new year’s resolution: to become the first person of colour to row any ocean solo, in an attempt to break the World Record for the furthest row of 5030 Nautical Miles.

The daring voyage across the Atlantic will begin in Cape Town and end in Barbados, taking approximately 100 days to complete.

“My vivid imagination as a child, and now, have allowed me to go wherever, and be whomever, I dreamt of. From working as a photojournalist in conflict zones in Libya, Syria and Palestine, to making an Atlantic Crossing on a sailboat, to climbing El Capitan in California – adventures have guided me through my life.” – says Ryan.

This expedition has two main objectives, Says Ryan:

“One: I want to see what I’ve got. How far can I go? The call to press on and adventure harder grows stronger and louder each day. It started as a whisper in childhood, and now, it is deafening.”

“Two: We need, and have to, address the lack of representation and diversity. I do not see myself represented in the outdoors or the adventure space. Where there is a lack of representation, I choose to be it. To me, representation works in two ways: to give people like me an example of what they (we) can do and be. And I believe it is also important for everyone to see what people like me can do.”

Many drops can fill the ocean

In anticipation for his row, which will begin in December 2022, Ryan has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, hoping to raise R500 000 with community support, to make his historic dream a reality.

Funds raised will help Ryan purchase an epoxy ocean rowing boat built by ocean rower and master yacht builder, Wayne Robertson, estimated to cost R500,000 ($32,300). If possible, Ryan would like to have the boat designed locally, to represent the spirit of South Africa on the waves. 

Additional funds will help Ryan purchase the navigation systems and gadgets he will need to guide his way, and survive on the water. (Estimated to cost over R200 000 {$13 000})

Since the launch of his campaign over R17 000 ($1090) has been raised towards his fundraising target with initial contributions from donors both locally and abroad.

“Come on the adventure with me – follow me, support me, share in my adventure. But also, choose to assist me in making the opportunity to change the narrative and to be the representation that is non-existent.” says Ryan

While donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated, donors who contribute R3800 ($250) and above will have their name printed on the side of Ryan’s boat, which he has affectionately named “Dala”.

“I know I’m going to die one day, I don’t know how much time I have. So I’m going to see how far I can go, make the most of myself. There are systems in place that I can’t abide by, I’m not going to talk about it or explain why, I’m just going to do it. It’s my dream, and if I can inspire others, that would be great! I’m out to get it. To push, to be more. Dala what you must” – says Ryan

Support Ryan’s campaign by making a donation here:
https://www.backabuddy.co.za/ryan-jacobs
Alternatively, make a donations via Snapscan:
https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/RyanRowsTheAtlantic

Connect with Ryan

Follow Ryan on Instagram to track his progress.

Create a crowdfunding campaign

South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far raised over R290 Million.

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Zane Groenewald

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