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Sunday, 23 June, 2002, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Jet-skier's Atlantic first
Count Marichalar at sea ( photograph courtesy of Atlantic 2002 website)
The trip took a total of four months
A Spanish count has become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a jet-ski.

Alvaro de Marichalar ended his long journey at a Miami marina on Saturday, four months after setting out from Rome.

He made the crossing on a 2.7 metre (nine foot) jet-ski capable of carrying two people.

"I have to thank God, who has allowed us to arrive here," said Count Marichalar.

He began his trip on 23 February, heading down Rome's Tiber River to the Mediterranean.

The route took him to many countries - including Morocco, Gibraltar and the Canary Islands - before heading out into the Atlantic.

Count Marichalar ( photograph courtesy of Atlantic 2002 website)
The count stood up to avoid spinal damage
He then made stops in Cuba and the Dominican Republic before his triumphal entry into a Miami harbour.

Count Marichalar rode his jet-ski for an average of 12 hours a day.

He spent most the voyage standing up, to prevent spinal injury.

A support ship with six crew members carried fuel and food.

Alvaro de Marichalar said he trained for a year and had to gain 18 kilograms (40 pounds) before the trip, to make up for the weight he would lose along the way.

"The most difficult part was the cold," he said. "Between Rome and Naples, it was really terrible."

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12 Sep 01 | UK
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