Second shot at solo row – AIDS activist plans incredible trans-Atlantic voyage

One man’s dream to row solo across the Atlantic Avenue from Africa to Brooklyn appears on track for the second time.

Victor Mooney, a Queens resident who works at the ASA Institute on Willougbhy Street in Downtown Brooklyn, is again gearing up to raise money so he can row solo 8,000 miles from  Senegal to the Brooklyn Bridge to call attention for HIV/AIDS and global warming.

Mooney attempted the journey a few years ago amid major fanfare, only to have his boat sink barely out of the Senegal harbor from where he started.

This time, Mooney is encouraging people to donate a penny a mile for the trip.

Mooney is hoping to secure at least $10,0000 for compulsory expenses before next week’s departure to Senegal.  The balance of outstanding expenses totaling $40,000 is projected to be underwritten while crossing the Atlantic Ocean by corporate sponsors.

Mooney said he already has over 70 corporate sponsors lined up including Snapple, Toshiba, Best Buy, Harlem Chevrolet, Walgreens and EMS Sky Connect.

Mooney, 43, lost one brother to AIDS and has another living with HIV.

Mooney’s mission, dubbed “thre million by 2009,” seeks to have one million people tested for AIDS worldwide, one million people in sub-Saharan Africa to have access to anti-retroviral medicine and one million trees planted worldwide.

“Trees are the lungs of our planet as they are the natural air purifiers,” said Mooney.

During his journey, Mooney will keep a live blog, podcast, his tracking map will be updated daily and he’ll exchange email with classrooms worldwide.

Mooney’s boat is named the “Spirit of Zayed” and it arrived in Dakar, Senegal in January. The boat was designed by Naval Architect, Doug Frolich and built by Composite Yacht of Trappe, Maryland.

If successful, Mooney will be the first African-American to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat.

For more information on Goree Challenge II – Rowing for Change, visit www.goreechallenge.com.