Man who planned solo rowing journey from Virginia Beach to France calls off challenge

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Posted at 11:21 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 23:21:13-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A man who planned to row from Virginia Beach to France in an attempt to break a world record has called off the challenge.

Peter Harley began his 4,000-mile rowing journey to France Sunday, May 15. According to his daughter, Bonnie, Harley had to call off the challenge Monday at 7:15 p.m. due to adverse conditions.

"On Monday he was in 20kt winds, with wind gusts of 25kts and more, with very choppy mixed seas of 8 to 15ft," Bonnie said in a statement. "Additionally, the forecast for the remainder of the week was worse, 28kt winds and 35kt wind gusts coming from the E, NE, all this creating a situation whereby a critical decision needed to be made."

Harley's journey lasted eight days before he and his boat were picked up by a nearby ship, the "Chemical Contender."

Once he disembarks, he will take time to regroup and decide his next steps, Bonnie said.

Harley planned the journey as part of a fundraiser. Harley and his daughter chose three charities to donate to: 5 Gyres, which helps educate about plastic pollution; the Best Friends no-kill animal rescue; and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.