Hungarian man first to cross Atlantic Ocean in canoe

   Mar 27, 6:34 pm

New York, Mar 27 (ANI): A man from Hungary has become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe after he traveled from Europe to the Caribbean.

Gabor Rakonczay paddled across the Atlantic in 76 days - spending nearly 50 of those isolated and incommunicado after his canoe capsized.

Rakonczay, who began his adventure in Lagos, Portugal, on December 21, and stopped for several days in the Canary Islands for rest and supplies, reached the island of Antigua on Sunday.

When his 24.61 feet (7.5 metre) canoe capsized at sea, the Hungarian adventurer said he managed to save it but his communications equipment was damaged and as a result he had not been in contact with his family since February 6.

Rakonczay made the journey without a satellite tracking system which would have allowed him to signal that he was all right. So his wife, who stayed behind in Hungary, could only hope for the best.

"The supplier raised the price at the last minute and I decided to leave without one because it was not possible to postpone the trip," the New York Daily News quoted the 30-year-old as saying from Nelson's Dockyard in southern Antigua.

"This trip was the first time I didn't have a tracking system and the first time I really would have needed one," he said.

During the nearly seven weeks he was out of reach, Viktoria, his wife, gave no indications that she was anything but totally sure that her husband was alive and that only equipment failure was to blame for their lack of communication.

She kept posting entries on their web page nearly every day, speculating about Rakonczay's position and how the weather conditions were affecting his voyage on the canoe nicknamed "Vitez," which means "valiant" in Hungarian.

The uniqueness of the Hungarian's crossing was confirmed by the London-based Ocean Rowing Society International, which adjudicates such feats for the Guinness World Records.

Atlantic crossings have been made in rowboats and kayaks, but not a canoe, in which a paddle with a single blade is used. (ANI)

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