Isaac Giesen

Advocate for Positive Mental Health |Speaker|
Adventurer at The Blue Rower

In February 2019, Isaac Giesen became the first New Zealander to row the Atlantic solo. At age 26, he was also the youngest person ever to complete the feat, as well as being the only person Southern Hemisphere to row the Atlantic twice in a year, having also completed it as part of a team. Isaac – or “The Blue Rower", as he labelled his entry – said his motivation was raise money and awareness for depression, having lost his aunty and two mates to suicide.

“I wanted to raise awareness about the issue we have in New Zealand, and try to change people's attitudes towards mental health – to start having a conversation more, and not being afraid of having that conversation.”

The epic journey took Isaac 71 days, rowing the 4815 kilometres from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Today, he is now speaking to schools and business about positive mental health, shining light on the easy steps that have made a difference for him.