Antarctic Triathlon: 5,300km from Patagonia to the South Pole

On November 20, Antonio de la Rosa will begin what promises to be the most unusual expedition of the Antarctic season.

He will row 1,000km from the tip of South America to the island of Livingston, in the South Shetland Islands near the Antarctic Peninsula. From there, he will sail 3,000km across the Weddell Sea to Berkner. Then he will manhaul 1,300km on skis to the South Pole.

The route. Map:


He calls his Tri Winter Challenge. Although it takes place during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, few will dispute that it’s a wintry experience. If De la Rosa succeeds, he will be the first person to row alone across the Drake Passage from Chile to Antarctica.

Drake Passage’s 1,000km feature the roughest seas on earth. Here, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Seas converge. No nearby land dampens the high winds and conflicting currents. Waves may reach 12m high.

If this isn’t enough, on his return trip, he hints at wanting to replicate Ernest Shackleton’s 1,200 sea journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia.

Antonio de la Rosa prepares his kit for the expedition. Photo:


This is not de la Rosa’s first foray into ocean challenges or polar treks. In 2019, he became the first person to SUP from San Francisco to Hawaii. It took him 76 days. He has also rowed alone across the Atlantic from France to French Guiana.

In the cold regions, he has crossed Lake Baikal on skis, has SUP’d around the Arctic Circle, and done the Lapland Extreme Challenge, a 1,000km solo trek around Finnish Lapland that entrants must complete in less than 30 days.

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK. She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around parts of Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans. Her areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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6 months ago

Hmmm! His current website and other sites he’s referenced on his Facebook page only mention his voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula and thence to South Georgia. And I wonder if he’ll be required to have a chase boat as Colin O’Brady was for his “Impossible Row.”