- Auditor General refers to prosecute Jihad regarding MVR 300 million loan issue
- Govt Oversight Committee to decide on cabinet approval issue on 23 Dec
- President Yameen Ratifies Anti-Human Trafficking Bill
- Minister at the President’s Office Scheduled to Attend OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Session
- Baros Maldives celebrates its 40th anniversary
- It is a worry if authorities don’t take action against law breakers- Shameem
- Gasim proved his love for the nation in the Presidential election- Ameen
- Many challenges even after catching illegal expats- Immigration
- All basic items will be sold cheap if all due payments are settled- Adam Azim
- National Flag to be flown at half-mast following death of former President of South Africa
- Vice President praises Nelson Mandela as a model of leadership for equality and rights
- Several issues regarding the school system would be resolved in time for new academic year – Vice President
- “Nelson Mandela was a source of Unrivalled Inspiration for Recent Generations” – President Yameen
Olympic Solo Rower Crosses Maldives’ Zero Degree Channel in World First
Olympic medalist Guin Batten successfully rowed solo across the Maldives’ equatorial Zero Degree Channel Tuesday, completing the 60km crossing in 7 hours and 16 minutes.
Braving strong tides, swells and the unremitting tropical heat, Batten became the first person in the world to row solo across the famous channel. She used a FISA coastal single sculling boat, 6m long, 78cm wide, which weighs just 35kg, to ensure maximum speed during her journey.
Batten attempted the Zero Degree feat in order to raise the profile of rowing in the Maldives as well as highlight the threats posed to the island paradise from climate change and rising sea levels.
“It was a fantastic experience,” Batten said Wednesday morning. “I had a wonderful reception in Fuahmulah, where around 500 local people were waiting on the beach to welcome me with garlands of flowers and traditional music.”
Batten said the most difficult part of the crossing was navigation, particularly at night. “We set off at around 2am on Tuesday and the only light came from the full moon.”
Batten said the weather held up for most of the journey and the water was “calm and silky clear. But just before the equator, at around dawn, the wind picked up and there was a lot of swell and chop.”
Batten added that fate played a part in her successful crossing: “We were surrounded by terrific thunderstorms – it was an amazing light and sound show. Fortunately, none of the thunderstorms came too close.”
Batten said she was accompanied by school of dolphins during one part of her journey. “They swam near the boat but were a little wary. They didn’t recognize the rowboat.”
Rowing is a Maldivian tradition dating back thousands of years but the art is dying out due to the introduction of motor boats. Batten said she hoped her Zero Degree Channel crossing would “inspire young people to take up rowing as a sport to ensure these ancient skills are not lost.”
President Mohamed Nasheed said on Wednesday: “I am delighted that Guin has become the first person to row solo across the Zero Degree Channel. I hope her efforts will be a catalyst for the revival of rowing in the Maldives.”
The Zero Degree Channel (‘Addoo Kandu’ in Dhivehi) cuts the equator between the Huvadhoo Atoll and the Fuahmulah Island in the south of the Maldives.
Guin Batten, a British national, is a world renowned rower who won an Olympic silver medal at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and in 2003 broke the world record for crossing the English Channel.