September 22, 2016 (New York City) Victor Mooney, 50, of Flushing, New
York marked the end of his Goree Challenge, which made him the first African-American to row across the Atlantic Ocean by releasing his boat, Spirit of Malabo (valued
at US 4.5 Million) to Equatorial Guinea today. Equatorial Guinea was the sponsor of Mr. Mooney's Brazilian made ocean rowboat,
with the personal support from H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, The President. On a fourth try, Mr. Mooney successfully rowed from
Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York's Brooklyn Bridge. His mission was in honor of his brother that died of AIDS and to
encourage voluntary HIV testing. After the UNGA, H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Ambassador for the Permanent Mission of Equatorial
Guinea to the United Nations will begin the process of gifting the rowboat to the UN.
After 12 years, 3 failed attempts, 4 boats, the takeaway from Mr. Mooney's quest during the Goree Challenge is
partnership, integrity and perseverance. In a small way, The Spirit of Malabo honored the African bodies that were dumped
into the Atlantic Ocean during the transatlantic slave trade. This quest began on September 25, 2003 at Craftsbury Sculling Center in Craftsbury, Vermont during Victor Mooney's first day of training.
Brooklyn, New York – Victor Mooney announced that on September 18,
the Spirit of Malabo will be presented to the United Nations as a global symbol for the fight against AIDS. Over the course
of ten years and three failed transatlantic rowing attempts, heads of state, global health institutions, civil society, corporations,
clergy, governments, individuals and maritime communities have helped sustain this project.
On Mooney’s landfall in Sint Maarten, emergency repairs were carried out on Spirit of Malabo
by Custom Fit Marine, with the support of Island Water World, after the vessel was damaged by a white tip shark. Later, further
repairs were carried out on Spirit of Malabo by RMK Merrill Stevens in Miami, after Mooney was reportedly attacked by pirates
in Haitian waters. More emergency repairs were carried out by Everett Marine in Columbia, North Carolina, before Mooney fulfilled
his dream and completed his arduous voyage.
Toyota USA joined the Goree Challenge as the Spirit of Malabo toured New
York City for the last time. Uhaul also was another crucial partner in this undertaking. The Spirit of Malabo made stops in
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Victor Mooney officially released the Spirit of Malabo to the Republic of
Equatorial Guinea on September 22, 2016. Mr. Mooney was given an audience by H.E. Tito Mba Ada, Equatorial Guinea Ambassador
to Portugal, who was attending UNGA meetings in New York City.
Support to give some vitality to the Spirit of Malabo for
UNgift4HIV was made possible by Metropolitan Lumber and Hardware, Lowes, Sailbag Lady, Mas Epoxies, Interlux Yacht Paint,
West Marine, Sea Hawk Paint, Synlawn New York, Masterworks Plaques, ASA Electronics, EZ Loader Boat Trailer, Uhaul, Toyota,
Chivas Enterprises, Fliescher Tubes, New Creative Signs
5,000 mile row to fight against HIV/AIDS
Gran Canaria (off the coast of Africa) to New York's Brooklyn Bridge
After three failed attempts to row
across the Atlantic Ocean in a ten year period, Victor Mooney completed his row on Monday, November 30, 2015. The
journey took twenty-one months to complete. Mr. Mooney faced many challenges along the way, but he perservered
against all odds.
Mr. Victor Mooney becomes the first
African-American to row solo across any ocean and the first person to row from the coast of Africa to New York City. The United
States Coast Guard - Sector San Juan (Puerto Rico), Air Station Borinquen (Puerto Rico) and Training Center (Cape May)
awarded Mr. Mooney a medallion after rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.
World AIDS Day 2004 - Vatican (Psalms 91)
Half-way across Atlantic Ocean
Arrival in St. Martin, FWI (80 lbs. less)
Boat repairs from oceanic white tip shark attack
Stopover in Puerto Rico
After robbery off the coast of Haiti
Spirit of Malabo arrives at RMK Merrill-Stevens for repair
Spirit of Malabo hit a submerged cypress stump in North Carolina, which required
US Coast Guard to rescued Victor Mooney. Boat was dry docked and repaired at Everett Marine in Columbia.
Almost home! Victor Mooney and Spirit of Malabo approach New
York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge under clear skies.
NYFD - Marine Division, Harbor School and New Jersey State Marine Police,
escorted Victor Mooney to NYC Brooklyn Bridge.
Supporters welcome Victor at the Brooklyn Bridge.
On arrival, a waiting ambulance took Victor Mooney to New York Methodist
Hosptial for dyhydration and pneumonia symptoms.
Goree Challenge I (2006) Homemade boat sinks shortly after start near Senegal
Goree Challenge II (2009) Water system fails, mission aborted
Goree Challenge III (2011) Boat takes on water, 14 days on life raft
Goree Challenge IV (2014) Successfully rowed across Atlantic Ocean
Never Give Up * Pa Bay Le Gan * Nunca
Te Rindas * Nunca Desista * N'abandonnez Jamais * 永不放棄
A devout Catholic African American hopes to row 3,400 trans-Atlantic miles to raise AIDS — and Holocaust —
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Have your classroom take a seat on the Spirit of Malabo,a journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Expand the
discussion on Math, Science and History.
Goree Challenge IV - The Spirit of Malabo is a project for the South African Arts International (SAAI). SAAI is a New
York State registered not-for-profit organization. The Mission of SAAI is to promote multimedia events in venues all over
the world; to exhibit the works of artist, artisans, musicians, scholars and professionals; to facilitate worldwide cultural
understanding; disseminate and exchange international art and culture; to provide scholarships, sponsor cultural events and
artistic seminars; to increase awareness of global pandemic of HIV/AIDS; and to finance these activities through soliciting
contributions and funding from both private and public resources.