Polish adventurer Romuald Koperski completed his solo rowing journey across the Atlantic Ocean. After setting off from Las Galletas (Canary Islands, Spain) on 31st October in his one-man rowing boat Pianista (Pianist) he arrived on 16th January at Scarborough harbour in Tobago, an autonomous island within the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
This route followed the historical trail of medieval sailing ships that were travelling from Europe to America in the past.
According to The Ocean Rowing Society he became 121st person ever to complete a solo rowing journey across the Atlantic from East to West. He is also the first Polish adventurer to row any ocean and the second Polish to complete a solo trip across any ocean. First Polish adventurer who completed solo journey across the Atlantic Ocean was kayaker Aleksander Doba who did it twice (2010 and 2013) and was named in 2014 Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic.
Romuald Koperski minutes after arriving at Scarborough, Tobago
It was not the first time that Romuald Koperski tried to cross an ocean. In 2013 he undertook an attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean between the Japanese harbour Choshi and San Francisco on the same rowing boat ‘Pianist’. Unfortunately he had to quit after 700 miles due to adverse weather conditions.
This time, during the Atlantic crossing, the weather conditions were also not ideal. Out of 77 days on the ocean 40 days he had to fight storms, high waves and strong winds.
Just after he passed halfway point of his journey, at about 4am the boat was suddenly hit by a dangerous wave which capsized the boat from the left side. The boat was constructed in such a way that it should return to its natural position after a capsize. Unfortunately the boat did not turn around and remained on the starboard side. Unable to balance the boat, in complete darkness, Romuald sit on the left starboard tied with a rope waiting for the sunrise. Only when it became clear Romuald could assess the damage and take appriopriate action. The impact was so strong that it took him a full day to recover and repair all the damages. Luckily he only had minor injuries and was able to continue his journey. He is a tough guy, an unbreakable man! One big wave cannot stop such a man as Romuald Koperski !
Route Map created by NavSim Poland
The last miles of the journey were also not easy. Food shortage, unfavourable wind conditions and fatigue were making the finishing very difficult.
On the 15th January at about 9pm the following message was received from boat ‘Pianista’:
‘ LAND !!!!! I SEE LAND !!!!! MOUNTAINS !!! HURRAH IT IS JUST IN FRONT OF ME ‘
The next day on the 16th of January 2017 at 19:10 UTC Romuald Koperski on his rowing boat ‘Pianista’ arrived at Scarborough harbour at beautiful Caribbean island Tobago. The dream of crossing the Atlantic alone came true.
Facts about the journey:
Route (Atlantic E-W): LAS GALLETAS (Marina del Sur) – TOBAGO (Scarborough)
Duration: 77 days 4 hours 20 minutes alone on the ocean (1’852 hours)
Distance covered: 3’173 nautical miles = 5’876 km
Average speed: 1.57 knots (2.91 km/h)
Category/Boat : Rowing boat without assistance
Charity Campaign “Give nautical mile”: All collected funds will go to children and young people of Polish origin living in Siberia (Details can be found here: Podaruj Milę Morską
The island of Tobago with its climate, beautiful beaches and wonderful people is a great place to recover after 77 days of constant fight with the cruel Atlantic Ocean. Koperski cerainly deserves a long break but he is an adventurer with new plans on his mind so he quickly left the island and flew back home.
But before leaving the island he met with his old friend Charles Brunner. In 2010 Koperski broke his record and set a new Guiness World Record playng piano for 103 hours. Now they are planning to team up and set a new Guiness World Record as two piano duet.
What will be R.Koperski next adventures ?
After crossing the Atlantic he wants to make his second attempt at crossing the Pacific Ocean from Japan to United States.
He is also planning the second stage of The Great Expediton Of The Century: a flight in open cockpit biplane (replica from 1934) over the North Pole on a route Europe-America.
Romuald Koperski (born 1955 in Sopot)
Polish traveler, writer, guide through Siberia region, pioneer of automobile expeditions across the extensive regions of Siberia, airplane pilot, remarkable journalist reporter, photographer, diver and professional pianist. Guinness record holder for the longest solo piano concert. The author of books “Duel with Siberia”, “Through Siberia stowaways”, “1001 Pictures of Siberia”, “Siberia Winter Odyssey”. He is also known for his charity activities and does a lot to support compatriots living in Siberia region and to protect the National Heritage.
Major travel expeditions and achievements:
– Solo rafting trip on the longest Siberian river Lena from the source in the Baikal Mountains to the Arctic Sea (4.500 km.)
– In 1994 he drove by car 140’000 kilometers from Zürich to New York. The route of this pioneering expedition led through the endless areas of Siberia, North America, Canada, the United States.
– International Siberia Arctic Expedition 2015
– Initiator and the director of the most difficult winter automotive expedition in the history of motorisation – from the Cabo da Roca Cape in Portugal to outer suburbs of Chukotka through Siberia. This great international Polish-Russian expedition in 2008 connected west and east outskirts of Eurasia.
– Initiator and the organiser of the three ‘Trans-Siberia’ automotive rallies including the longest (30’000 km.) and the most difficult rally driving in the world that lasted 39days – Trans-Siberia Giant 2004 the Atlantic-the Pacific-the Atlantic.
– Multiple travel expeditions such as: Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Republic of Khakassia, Altai Mountains, Republic of Buryatia, Chukotka Peninsula, Kolyma, Kamchatka Peninsula, Verkhoyansk Mountain Range, Yablonovy Mountains, Chersky Range, Chekanovsky Mountains, Momski Range, Sayan Mountains, Chaman-Daban, Suntar-Khayata Range, polar regions of Siberia, Mongolia.
– Solo rowing journey across the Atlantic 2016/2017
LINKS AND PRESS RELEASES
www.romualdkoperski.pl – Romuald Koperski website
www.atlantyksolo.romualdkoperski.pl – Official website of the Atlantic/Pacific expedition
www.wikipedia.org – Romuald Koperski profile on wikipedia
www.oceanrowing.com – Ocean Rowing Society archive confirming Atlantic crossing by R.Koperski
www.yatoday.ru – Siberia Arctic Expedition 2015 arrives in Yakutsk
www.yatoday.ru – International Siberia Arctic Expedition 2015
www.canarianweekly.com – Article about the departure of R.Koperski from Las Galletas in 2016
PRESS RELEASES IN POLISH LANGUAGE / WZMIANKI PRASOWE W JEZYKU POLSKIM
www.wyborcza.pl – Interview with R.Koperski after completing the Atlantic journey
www.gdansk.pl – Article about R.Koperski journey across the Atlantic
www.national-geographic.pl – Interview with Romuald Koperski
www.national-geographic.pl – The Great Expediton Of The Century
www.poranny.pl – Short article about expedition to Siberia
www.swiatpodrozy.pl – Interview with R.Koperski with links to articles about expeditions to Siberia
www.podroze.gazeta.pl – Interview with R.Koperski
– Polish Sailor – Recent press release by CNN Gideon Hanoomansingh about the arrival of R.Koperski in Tobago after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
– Trans Pacyfik Solo – Boat interior and equipment
– Trans Pacyfik Solo 2013 – Full Documentary
– AtlantykSolo Romuald Koperski – Departure 31.10.2016 from Canary Islands
– Siberia Arctic Expedition 2015 Stage 1 – Short Summary
– The Hell of Siberia – The Great Expediton Of The Century