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That’s the Spirit — sloop gives kayak adventurer a lift

Ocean-kayaker Aleksander Doba is stranded in Bermuda no more.

The Spirit of Bermuda and several sponsors have stepped in to carry the 67 year-old Polish adventurer's kayak, named ‘OLO', some 300 miles south of the Island to where he will resume his trans-Atlantic record bid.

Mr Doba is attempting to be the first person to kayak across the Atlantic from Europe to North America, a feat he said only recently became possible with advancements in food ration packaging and ocean kayak technology.

Mr Doba arrived in Bermuda on February 24 to repair a broken rudder, which came unhinged during five severe storms in January. The storms pushed him north, away from his originally intended course and toward Bermuda.

But in order to restart his record bid, Mr Doba must return to the point where he was blown off-course, around 300 miles south, hopefully nullifying the assistance he received that might invalidate his attempt.

With his ride aboard the Bermuda sloop confirmed, Mr Doba will depart from Ordnance Island, St George's, this Sunday at 2:30pm.

Sponsoring the trip are Butterfield and Vallis CEO Jim Butterfield, the Sandys Rotary Club, Bermuda Tourism Authority and Rubis Gas, which already donates fuel for the Spirit of Bermuda's Middle School Education and Character Development voyages.

“We can't carry the name Spirit of Bermuda on our ship and not embody and exhibit the giving and loving spirit of Bermudians. We are glad to be able to help Olek on his mission,” said Sloop Foundation CEO Denise Riviere.

“The goal is to get Olek as far south to the point where he diverged to Bermuda as possible. We will be hauling the kayak onto the deck for transport, which was repaired by Mark Soares [at Convict Bay Marine] in St George's.”

“The Spirit of Bermuda's full time crew will be taking the trip, approximately 325 miles both ways.”

Ms Riviere encouraged members of the public to book themselves a berth for the journey.

“We have ten to fifteen berths for anyone interested in experiencing this with us and would like to offer them to the public for a donation of $2,000 per berth, she said. “All proceeds raised go towards supporting Spirit of Bermuda's youth development programmes.”

Alternatively, anyone can sponsor a young Bermudian, 14 years old and up, who has already completed the Middle School Voyage programme and would like to benefit from offshore experience.

“We welcome Bermuda to come out to give Olek a Bermuda farewell.”

Photo by Akil Simmons Aleksander Doba and his kayak are to be transported 325 miles south of the Island by the Spirit of Bermuda to allow the intrepid adventurer to continue his trans-Atlantic record attempt.

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Published March 20, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 20, 2014 at 12:44 am)

That’s the Spirit — sloop gives kayak adventurer a lift

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