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MEEKER I Former Barone Middle School teacher Rory Wilson became the fastest solo sailor to row and kite across the Pacific Ocean from San Diego, Calif., to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Wilson, whose mother Sally still resides in Meeker, was graduated from Meeker High School in 1975 and later taught at Barone Middle School. He made the journey in a 21-foot boat he built known as a KROS, an acronym for Kayak, Row, Ocean, Solar.
Wilson said via a Facebook message that five others had made the voyage before him, the previous fastest taking 63 days.
According to Wilson’s Facebook page KROS, update by his brother Shane during the journey, Rory designed, built and captained the unique single-person vessel powered only by kites and rowing with no engine or motor aboard. Wilson began building the vessel in 2006 and started his voyage in San Diego Sept. 18, 2012, arriving in Hawaii 44 days later on Nov. 1, 2012.
Wilson has extensive sailing experience. He has sailed in Hawaii, Europe, Asia and North America. After leaving BMS he spent time aboard a SCRIPPS research vessel during the summer of 2006.
KROS is 21-feet long, with a beam (width) of 5-feet. The boat is made of fiberglass and Kevlar over a foam core, propelled by a combination of rowing and 17 sails of various types. KROS is outfitted with the latest in safety gear, including two Irridium satellite phones, two EPIRB emergency beacons, a SPOT satellite locator, a VHF radio and a Garmin 441 Chartplotter with AIS capable of both transmit and receive.
Wilson posted on his Facebook page that his diet consisted primarily of about two pounds per day of raw nuts, seeds and dried fruit, amounting to about 6,000 calories, equivalent to the calories he was burning each day.
Sally Wilson, Shane and Allison traveled to meet Rory in Hawaii and Sally said they stayed in Hawaii for more than two weeks.
Sally said Rory plans to return to the mainland and share his experience with a group of scientists and professors and will come to Meeker early next year.