September 12, 2019
Laura Try

Monumental day in ocean rowing

50 years ago, on 19 July 1969, John Fairfax became the first person to row solo across any ocean.

He began his Atlantic journey in the Canary Islands and finished in Florida 180 days later!

On arriving in Florida he received a message of congratulations from the Apollo 11 team, who walked on the moon the day after.The message read:

"Yours, however, was the accomplishment of one resourceful individual, while ours depended upon the help of thousands of dedicated workers in the United States and all over the world. As fellow explorers, we salute you on this great occasion."


His boat was called Britania is now located in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. He later went on to row across the Pacific ocean with Sylvia Cook, a journey which took a massive 361 days!

This summer we celebrated John's achievement, marking his 50th year anniversary.

He set the standard for ocean rowing and all who followed.