His 12,000km journey from Singapore to New Zealand
This Singapore-based adventurer continues to push the limits.
This time, New Zealander Grant Rawlinson, 42, will be embarking on a 12,000km rowing and cycling journey from Singapore to New Zealand.
The Singapore permanent resident, who is known as Axe to his friends, calls it his "rowing from home to home" adventure, but it also includes a significant time on a bicycle.
A former Singapore national seven-a-side rugby player, Mr Rawlinson was forced to give up the sport after numerous injuries - he broke his leg, dislocated his ankle and even tore ligaments in his pelvis.
It took him about two years to fully recover his fitness.
He said: "For a while I felt depressed, until I found my passion reawakened by mountains. I started climbing mountains in early 2000, and I went to the Karakoram mountain range in northern Pakistan."
In 2012, he went on to conquer Mount Everest, after failing to reach the summit a year earlier. His many expeditions have raised a total of $70,000 for charity.
Now, he's on to a new challenge - "human-powered adventure" - which he came up with in 2013. This leg includes cycling thousands of kilometres without a support team and rowing.
Said Mr Rawlinson: "Being a New Zealander, it seemed like a natural thing for me to make travelling home one of my trips."
He sets off next January and hopes to reach New Zealand in November.
TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA
That means leaving behind his 10-month-old twins, Rachel and Kate, and his Singaporean wife, Mrs Stephanie Ong Rawlinson, 39.
He said: "I hope to make this a family affair by getting them to meet me at the islands I will be stopping along the way."
How does his wife feel about it?
"It has been an emotional roller-coaster ride," Mrs Rawlinson, a planner buyer, told The New Paper.
"I am quite supportive, but sometimes I feel upset about why he needs to be away so long."
Mr Grant Rawlinson, 42, with his wife and two children. PHOTO: GRANT RAWLINSON
Mr Rawlinson has resigned from his job as a regional sales manager to focus on this trip.
He has named his rowing boat Simpson's Donkey, a tribute to a soldier who used donkeys to get wounded soldiers out of battle zones in World War I.
He said: "Just like the little donkey, the boat is our lifeline. She doesn't move very fast, but we rely fully on her for her strength and sturdiness to carry us safely from home to home."
He is still raising funds for the trip, which he is budgeting at $250,000, including costs to make a documentary.
Mr Rawlinson said: "My budget was $250,000 and I have put in $30,000 myself. The boat costs $120,000, and I have already raised $100,000. "I still need to raise $120,000 to pay for documentary costs, filming, satellite communication systems and other necessary equipment."
He added: "I hope my passion for human-powered journeys will inspire other people to go on similar trips."
Smith to join him in first leg
For the first part of his trip, Mr Grant Rawlinson will be accompanied by another adventurer, UK-born Singapore-based project manager Charlie Smith, 26.
It was a coincidental connection.
Mr Rawlinson said: "I met Mr Smith when he called up a boat builder, Rannoch Adventure, to enquire about the ocean rowing boats. That was when the boat builder told him that I had purchased the boat, and decided to link us up."
Mr Smith said: "When we met, we realised we had similar goals and we trained together.
"And I was offered the opportunity to join the first leg of the trip, it is a great opportunity.''
Mr Smith will join Mr Rawlinson in rowing the 4,500km route from Singapore to Darwin, Australia.
He said: "I am excited for this trip. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."