A rower with the naked ambition to break a world record will tackle the high seas tomorrow.
Keith Whelan – aka the naked adventurer – wants to become the youngest male to cross the Indian Ocean solo.
But the 30-year-old will be completely naked when making the 6,000 kilometre crossing from Western Australia to Mauritius to stop sea salt getting encrusted in his clothes and causing chafes.
He will protect himself from the elements with sun block and by sitting on a sheepskin rug.
Mr Whelan said he was all fired up for his challenge, which includes 1.8 million gruelling oar strokes over 120 days in searing heat, ocean swells and raging storms.
“It really will be a baptism of fire for the first 50 miles,” said the event management consultant, from Kildare.
“I will have to contend with a current which runs in the opposite direction to where I need to be, as well as on-shore breezes constantly pushing me back towards the coastline.
“That, coupled with big swells caused by the continental shelf as well as trying to avoid the islands just off the coastline, will make for a very slow and dangerous start.
“In spite of all that, I am fired up and ready to row.”
Mr Whelan is raising funds for the Keep a Child Alive charity, which supports children and families affected by HIV/Aids in Africa and India, though his website www.thenakedadventurer.com.
Just three men and one woman, Sarah Outen from Britain, have successfully completed the crossing solo.