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Sauriol To Row Atlantic

Jean-Guy SauriolTo celebrate his 60th birthday, 1988 Hawaii Ironman and 2008 Yukon River Quest finisher Jean-Guy Sauriol plans to row the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

The founder of seclonLogic inc., which develops, implements, maintains, and hosts custom web-based solutions for employee benefits plan sponsors and former member of the editorial advisory board for Benefits and Pensions Monitor, is scheduled to depart November 23 or as soon as the weather permits thereafter. He will be rowing to raise money for charities benefiting Canadian youth. The totally unassisted crossing should last 60 to 90 days, depending on weather conditions. If successful, Sauriol will become the third Canadian to row the Atlantic east to west solo and he will be by far the oldest. 

Although the first crossing of an ocean in a rowboat was achieved more than a century ago, the sport of ocean rowing is relatively new. The advent of communication technology has made the sport safer and more palatable to a greater audience. Crossings are generally split between historic rows and modern day rows. Modern day rows are those that were started after 1982.

An ocean rowing boat is like a little submarine. It is self-righting and has two watertight cabins. It is big enough to carry all the safety and survival equipment to be fully autonomous for up to six months. It carries a watermaker, solar panels and batteries, and state of the art communications equipment. The living quarters are not luxurious, but sufficient for a night’s retreat.

The ocean rowing boat 'Maple'His new boat – named 'Maple' as a salute to the Canadian flag – is 21 feet long and is now completed. It was built by Jamie Fabrizio at Global Boat Works in England. Fabrizio has built some of the best ocean rowing boats available. The build process took six months.

Sauriol was inspired by a book he read 10 years ago – ‘Alone At Sea’ by Hannes Lindemann. This young man crossed the ocean twice in the 1950s: the first time in a dugout canoe and the second time in a kayak. Ever since he read that book, Sauriol has been fascinated by the fact that such a feat was humanly achievable. In 2010, he read the story of Katie Spotz, the youngest person to row the Atlantic. That story was the trigger to push Jean-Guy to plan his own crossing.

As a tribute to his French-Canadian heritage, he is calling his adventure 'Maple Lys'. More information is available at

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