Riaan Manser & Vasti Geldenhuis completed an incredible row from California to Hawaii breaking two world records in the process.


Adventurer Riaan Manser is famous for doing the hard yards on his extreme journeys, so it is perhaps fitting that he is celebrating his honeymoon with a Pacific odyssey that would have done the Polynesians proud.

South African Manser, 43, and his new wife, Vasti Geldenhuys, 38, have finally completed their journey rowing from California to Hawaii, breaking two world records in the process.

SEE ALSO: Riaan Manser & soon-to-be wife Vasti, plan a honeymoon like no other!

They set out from Monterey, California, on July 15 and have faced many obstacles along the way.

On day two of their voyage, their boat, Honeymoon, capsized and Riaan suffered a gash to the head.

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “We thought we knew what we were doing and when we capsized in the middle of the night I cut my head open, suffered a gash and had to be stitched,” he said, speaking to the Brent Lindeque on “The Good Stuff” show from the Pacific by satellite telephone.

“Compared to our other journeys, if you ask me which is more scary, it is this one. It is crazy, the waves are even lifting the boat, it’s rough and scary,” he said.

The couple have arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, setting a record as the first South Africans to complete this & breaking the current world record.

The current record was set by Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring in 2014, when they completed the journey in 45 days, 3 hours and 43 minutes.

The Mansers have completed this task in just 39 days complimenting their existing record of being the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean east to west from the African mainland to North America.

In 2013, Vasti asked Riaan to take her to New York, he agreed- but they would row there. They set their trans-Atlantic record in June 2014 after rowing for 172 days on the Spirit of Madiba.

They took on the mighty Atlantic Ocean. 2 world firsts (The first woman from the African continent to row across any ocean, and together they became the first ever in history to row from Africa to mainland North America) 10 765km of torturous ocean, and 6 months later they arrived at the statue of liberty.

The first adventure for them was so testing on their relationship, and of course they had their little disagreements.

“The longest we didn’t speak to each other was two and a half days, thats two and a half days of sitting with each other and saying nothing” laughs Riaan, “she thought silent treatment was punishment.”

The thought of a traditional, champagne breakfast & massage honeymoon did not spark Riaan or Vasti’s interest and the journey to Hawaii was much more suited for the incredible South African couple.

“The journey was unbelievable, in the morning when we prayed and thank God for the privilege, we also prayed for Him to help us through and appreciate the privilege we have,” he said.

Apart from his rowing exploits, Manser was the first person to circumnavigate the coast of Africa by bicycle, a distance of 37 000km, through 34 countries over two years and two months.

In July 2009 he became the first person to kayak 5 000km around Madagascar alone.

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Sources: Riaan Manser

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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