Mansers on track for new World Record with final ocean honeymoon voyage

Cape Town - South Africans are currently walking on clouds after Olympian Wayde van Niekerk won the first gold medal for the country in the 2016 Olympics, smashing the 400m world record with a 43.03 run that broke American legend Michael Johnson's world record that had stood since 1999!

But world records are being set elsewhere, other than on the tartan in Rio... 

South Africa's very own extreme adventure couple Riaan and Vasti Manser are well on their way to breaking the world record in rowing to Hawaii from California over the Pacific Ocean. 

According to Karen Jurgens on behalf of the Mansers, the couple were battling the elements in the Pacific, completely unaware of how close they are to smashing the record for the fastest row across the stretch of ocean!

"Riaan Manser and Vasti Geldenhuys are officially vying for the world record of rowing from California to Hawaii!!! Team Manser bringing the title to SA!" they said on their Facebook page just before reaching the halfway mark to Hawaii. 

But what is bound to be a record-breaker for the newlywed Mansers, will also be their 'last hurrah' on sea. 

Riaan says they have 'learnt a lot' on this adventure, and decided that this will be the last ocean row for them. "We have dodged two hurricanes..." Riaan says. "And while the weather played its part after a tumultuous start, the two of us have agreed that we will never row an ocean again." 

Bittersweet scenery

Riaan, reporting via satellite phone from their boat, aptly named 'Honeymoon', says the row has been an eye-opener in more than one way. What was supposed to be a stretch of unspoilt ocean, is, in fact, a 'pacific plastic paradise'. 

"We have all heard the stories of gigantic islands of plastic waste that form in the North Pacific. But what Vasti and I have seen has been even more disturbing... 

"The entire route we have rowed from California thus far is littered with plastic. Every single minute of every single day we see chunks of plastic, large and small, float past us. From bottles, rope, buoys, net and complete sets of garden furniture. The worst though is the thousands of smaller uncategorisable fragments in between," Riaan says. 

He challenges entrepreneurs to "invent a solar powered ocean vacuum machine" to clean up the ocean mess. 

This Great Pacific Garbage Patch made news headlines earlier this year, as the Solar Impulse 2 made its historic 62-hour flight from Hawaii to California without fuel. The solar pilot Bertrand Piccard tweeted a photograph showing a horrific amount of plastic in the Pacific Ocean.

The pilot tweeted Boyan Slat, the 21-year-old founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, saying more should be done to clean up the world's ocean. 

The Mansers are currently literally On Honeymoon. 

Attempting to row from California to Hawaii, their ocean rowing boat named Honeymoon is the same they used on their historic Africa to North America row in 2014.  

What to read next on Traveller24

Love in the Pacific: What it takes to be SA's ultimate adventure couple

SA adventure couple paddle out on the toughest honeymoon ever...

QUIZ: Where should you go on honeymoon?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, at school
53% - 697 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 221 votes
No, I've never experienced this
30% - 402 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo