Peet Botma Conquers the Atlantic: A Journey of Determination, Sacrifice, and Community

By Blake Dyason

In the realm of extraordinary adventures, my friend Peet Botma has just completed the world’s toughest row. Imagine rowing solo across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, covering a staggering 5000 kilometres from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Nelsons Dockyard in Antigua. Peet’s journey is not just a physical triumph but a testament to his determination, meticulous preparation, and a deep commitment to a cause close to his heart.

Peet’s preparation for this challenge spanned over two intense years, during which he honed his rowing skills and navigated the intricacies of the ocean. Peet faced unique challenge during training – he lived in Pretoria and would have to travel on weekends to the coast, he couldn’t train in the same boat he would row across the Atlantic. While mastering the art of ocean rowing in Simons Town, his custom-built boat was taking shape in Europe. The logistical and financial complexities of transporting the vessel back and forth meant he trained on a normal ocean rowing boat that he borrowed.

The culmination of his efforts saw him complete the gruelling journey in 45 days, 22 hours, and 57 minutes, making him the fourth solo rower to cross the finish line and the 20th boat overall. This achievement is a testament to Peet’s spirit and the relentless pursuit of a dream he had harboured for a decade.

In a video shared with close friends and family just a few hours before he completed the challenge, Peet expressed his gratitude for the support of friends and family. He underscored the power of community, acknowledging the sacrifices made by his mother and girlfriend, who stood by him all the way, providing the foundation for his success.

Peet’s Atlantic row served a greater purpose. Throughout his journey, he used his platform to raise awareness and funds for the Small Things Foundation, an organisation that holds a special place in his heart. The Local Surf Lounge Academy in Muizenburg, supported by the foundation, plays a pivotal role in providing essentials like shelter and daily meals while offering a refuge for boys in the Western Cape, keeping them off the streets and immersed in the therapeutic embrace of the ocean.

Peet Botma’s achievement is an inspiration for dreamers and doers alike. His journey is a reminder of the importance of community, and the impact of dedicating one’s triumphs to a greater cause.

Blake brings a lot of energy, passion and heart into everything he does. He is extremely passionate about our country, it’s people and the environment. He is based in Cape Town and is happiest when he is running around exploring the beauty of the mountains.