Grant Rawlinson’s 12,000km Test of Endurance
New Zealander Grant Rawlinson, 42, has just finished the 4500km first leg of his epic journey from Singapore to New Zealand. Having rowed to Darwin, he will next have to cycle down to Coffs Harbour, before ending with another rowing trip to Taranaki across the Tasman Sea.
Pointing out the journey on a map with his index finger might be easy now, but Rawlinson’s 78-day rowing expedition was anything but straightforward.
The unpredictability of the wild waters was one of the lessons Rawlinson learnt while on the first leg of his 12,000km rowing-cycling overland-rowing journey from Singapore to New Zealand.
Rawlinson together with English partner Charlie Smith, 26, left Singapore on 3 January in a 6.8m ocean rowing boat. For 24 hours a day, they took turns rowing in one- to two-hour shifts through the Indonesian archipelago to Darwin.
Having completed the first leg, Rawlinson will do the 4500km second leg on his own next month, cycling from Darwin to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, a trip he estimates will take about 46 days.
The rowing boat will be shipped to Coffs Harbour and Rawlinson will embark on the final leg with another partner, fellow New Zealander Rob Hamill, some time between September and October.
They will cover a distance of 3000km across the Tasman Sea to New Plymouth in Taranaki.
For Rawlinson, who quit his job as a regional sales manager in Singapore for this trip, an adventure with no uncertainties would not be an adventure at all.
“Before I left on this trip, I didn’t even know if it was going to be possible to get to Darwin,” he said.
“If it was really easy, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Original article by Charmaine Ng, The Straits Times, April 4, 2017.
Photo by Alistair Harding.