NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Man begins solo rowing journey from Virginia Beach to France in attempt to break world record

download - 2022-05-15T161013.066.jpg
thumbnail_Image (37).jpg
Posted at 4:11 PM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 16:14:35-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - News 3 was in Virginia Beach this morning to see one man begin his rowing journey to France in an attempt to break the world record.

Peter Harley began his 4,000-mile rowing journey to France Sunday morning. He plans on being in France in four months, but he says any amount of time it takes will break the world record.

"Crossings from further north, New York and Boston that have crossed from the states to the UK From this location there hasn't been any successful attempts, there have been two attempts, both failed. So whatever time I make it will be the record," Harley tells News 3.

We previously spoke with Harley in April as he prepared for his journey.

Harley moved to North Carolina from South Africa several years ago to be closer to his daughter and her family. When we spoke with him he had already stocked the boat with "expedition food" like protein shake mixes, energy bars and oats sealed in vacuum-packed plastic. In fact, he said he's been eating that diet for nine months to get used to it.

The boat also has the capability to convert salt water to drinking water.

The journey is also 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.

As far as the amount of time for the trip, his daughter previously said they believe the worst-case scenario would be 120 days. He plans to row 16 hours a day.

"Definitely not rowing back, that's for sure, it's not gonna happen. So I'll be meeting my family and flying back," Harley said.

To track his route it can be viewed here.