On the 27th of September 2006 Zeeman’s Ocean Challenge kicked off. As a warming-up Ralph Tuijn rowed the Atlantic Ocean together with his brother Mike in 86 days. A few months after this journey of ...
On the 27th of September 2006 Zeeman’s Ocean Challenge kicked off. As a warming-up Ralph Tuijn rowed the Atlantic Ocean together with his brother Mike in 86 days. A few months after this journey of more than 5000 kms., part two of the challenge began. This time it concerned a solo-rower’s crossing of the Pacific Ocean, there where it is widest. A non-stop crossing of the largest area of water on earth. On the 14th of March 2007 he started from South-America in his rowing boat weighing1300 kgs., with a cargo of food for 9 months, to attempt to be the first person ever to reach Australia without a support party.
It turned out to be a gruelling challenge full of setbacks, but at the same time fascinating and adventurous. Ralph fought storms, met with heavy thunder, whereby his boat got struck by lightning, capsized several times and braved 8 meter high waves. He was chased and attacked by sharks and rowed into a sleeping whale. Nature’s phenoma El Nino and La Nina made him go into anything but the right direction, His food got spoiled, the watermaker broke down and fuel ran out. Rainwater and fish became necessities, complemented by uncooked food parcels. And if that wasn’t enough he shipwrecked onto one of the most isolated islands in the world, after 163 days of loneliness on the ocean. Eighteen hours of non-stop rowing couldn’t prevent him from slowly being driven towards the island, where he was finally caught by an enormous breaking wave, which made the boat turn over five times into a coral reef. There wasn’t much left of the boat and Ralph bruised his ribs, a shoulder, a hip and some teeth broke off, but he didn’t give up. Together with some locals of the island with a total head of population of a couple of hundred, he rebuilt the boat and continued on his way, but it didn’t get easier. He got blood-poisoning, which he could treat thanks to his experience as a nurse and escaped death in the nick of time when the only freighter he met on the ocean could narrowly avoid his boat.
The shipwreck had cost him so much delay that he found himself in middel of the hurricane season. After 201 days at sea and 15000 kms of rowing, he took the decision to turn to the Fiji-Islands. A wise decision; a few days later the hurricane Daman of the 4th category , with winds of up to 275 kms per hour crossed his route. If he had carried on he would never have been able to avoid this cyclone and would not have survived.
In May 2008, after the hurricane season, the trip will be continued in the direction of Australia. The remaining 3500 kms. will take about two months.
Professional adventurer Ralph Tuijn (20-11-1971) has cycled 80.000 kms. around the world in more than 50 countries. He has crossed the Eurasian continent three times, cycled the world’s most elevated roads, was, as expedition leader, responsible for the Polio-ride which raised almost 2.000.000 Euros to fight Polio. He led several Arctic expeditions, where he braved temperatures of less than 50ºC. and was the first Dutchman to cross the icecap of Greenland without dogs and pasasails.. He rowed the Northsea twice.
His presentations are illustrated by impressive photo- and film material. Important aspects that will come up are: perseverance, preparation, organisation, character, experience, passion, discipline, creativity, tactics, crisismanagement, individuality versus cooperation and how to pursue one’s goal. Many of these concepts bear a direct relation to trade and industry.
There is also the possibility to incorporate sport-sponsorship, marketing and communication into the presentation.