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Paul Ridley ’05 completes solo rowing trip across Atlantic

By Tim O'Keeffe on March 30, 2009

Update: Paul Ridley ’05 was featured by Advil for his row across the Atlantic. Here’s the video:

rowgraphic.jpgPaul Ridley ’05 is back on land.

The 25-year-old alumnus completed his solo rowing trip across the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday afternoon after nearly 3,000 miles of rowing.

Ridley’s record-setting trip, which raised funds for cancer research, was highlighted today in a CNN.com story, which for a time was among the top ten most viewed news stories of the day on the popular website.

“I’m exhausted. Overwhelmed with all the excitement from my arrival,” Ridley told CNN in a phone interview.

“Physically feeling good but will be feeling a lot better when the soreness starts to heal and once that happens I will be back to fundraising because cancer research is still in need of funding, so we still have a lot of work to do.”

Ridley has been rowing up to twelve hours a day on the 2,950-mile journey to raise money for cancer research. His organization Row for Hope was inspired by the death of his mother from skin cancer in 2001.

Donations are welcome at the organization’s online giving page.

Ridley’s fraternity at Colgate, Theta Chi, raised more than $2,300 for Row for Hope at a fundraiser held at the chapter house in early March. Robert Glendening ’71 has established a matching contribution challenge for members of the Colgate University community who want to make a donation.

Ridley becomes the youngest American to ever cross the Atlantic on a solo trip, which he completed in 88 days.

He set out from the Canary Islands off the north African coast in his 19-foot boat on Jan. 1; he landed on the Caribbean island of Antigua at 2:30 p.m. on March 29.

Only 85 people have attempted the nearly 3,000 miles east-to-west crossing, according to the Ocean Rowing Society International, but most failed.

Ridley is the youngest — and only third American — to complete the voyage by rowing.

At about the halfway point of his journey, he said the trip was “a bit like being in a washing machine.” He was interviewed via satellite phone for an episode of Colgate Conversations, the podcast series that highlights members of the campus community. The original story about his trip is here.

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1 Comment



  • Holli Hadlock said:

    Paul,
    My name is Holli Hadlock and I work in the Mail Center at Colgate. Your journey means a lot to me because my daughter was seven years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That will be three years ago on April 13th. She is doing very well now.
    The cancer that she had is becoming more frequent in children and they are doing research on why. Your journey must have been long and hard, but nowhere near as long or as hard as the journey that you go through with cancer. Cancer is something that the family goes through as a whole. I just want to thank you and your sister for such noble work.
    Thanks
    Holli Hadlock