Katie Spotz Even Tougher than Sandra Bullock in ‘Blind Side’
On Sunday, Katie Spotz, 22, became the youngest person to row an ocean solo. In just over 70 days, Spotz rowed across the Atlantic, traveling from Dakar, Senegal on Africa’s west coast to Georgetown, Guyana in South America.
Spotz is also the first American to row a boat from mainland to mainland without assistance. She completed the 2,817-mile journey in a 19-foot yellow rowboat packed with enough food–tasty freeze-dried meals, granola, and dried fruit–for 110 days. Her journey took less time than anticipated thanks to help from trade winds and no major weather incidents. She was also lucky to have no technical problems, save for when a GPS tracker device she used to update her blog went up in flames.
Even though the journey was a success, it wasn’t without its trials. Spotz developed intense calluses and rashes from rowing up to 10 hours a day, and sleeping was quite a challenge. Her boat’s watertight sleeping cabin had two hatches she could have opened to get some air in, but she kept them closed in case of large waves. The boat bobbed around all night, and she used clothes and gear to wedge herself into place while sleeping.
It took Spotz two years to plan the journey and raise the $100,000 needed to pay for it. In the end, her journey raised over $70,000 for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, a nonprofit that funds safe drinking water projects around the world.
Now that her monumental journey is complete, the only remaining question is who will play Spotz in the movie version of her life. If Spotz weren’t just 22 years old, we can totally see Hilary Swank jumping on this one. Or maybe a buffed-up Dakota Fanning.