Stand-up paddler paddles from San Francisco to Oahu

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Spanish endurance athlete Antonio de la Rosa stand-up paddled his way into Honolulu on Saturday morning, Aug. 24.

He started out on June 9 from San Francisco, California.

He’s become the first person to stand-up paddleboard across the Pacific Ocean. It took him 76 days, 5 hours, and 22 minutes to cross nearly 3-thousand miles of ocean. Antonio de la Rosa says not once has he ever thought about giving up.

He did it all on his custom-designed 24-foot-long stand-up board that he named Ocean Defender.

He was hosted on Saturday by the Waikiki Yacht Club.

“The Board of Directors and members of the Waikiki Yacht Club welcome Antonio de la Rosa to our
club’s safe harbor, and we congratulate him on his notable accomplishment, navigating under his own
power across the Pacific Ocean,” said Mike Kelly, Waikiki Yacht Club commodore. “Hawaii has a long
and well-known history of navigators who have traversed the ocean to reach our shores, and we are very
pleased to extend our aloha to Antonio.”

De la Rosa is not new to extreme endurance water sports, having circumnavigated the Iberian Peninsula’s coastline while stand-up paddling; completed a stand-up paddling voyage within the Arctic Circle between Ilulissat and Upernavic, Greenland, in 2016; and raced across the Atlantic Ocean in a solo rowing vessel, crossing from Senegal to French Guyana, in 2014.

“I think I need to have Atlantic and Pacific. 7 to 8 years ago stand-up paddling is my favorite sport and I said okay I’m going to do the Pacific,” de la Rosa said.

De la Rosa tells us the hardest part of the journey was getting through coastal waters.

“The current and winds are hard and it’s so difficult to get out of the coast. I had 10 days with problems very close the coast,” he said.

After 76 days, de la Rosa claims he’s the first person to stand-up paddle across the Pacific Ocean. And he’s also become an inspiration.

“I think Antonio is a very special guy. He has a strong mind, health, and he’s a good sportsman. Expeditions are regular for him,” said Filmmaker Alfonso d’Ors, who captured the moments of de la Rosa paddling into the Waikiki Yacht Club.

We asked what’s next?

“I have nothing exactly in my head, but probably next year, I’m going to do a mountain bike expedition with my girlfriend or winter expedition,” said de la Rosa.

We learned it took him two years to plan this trip and he was unaccompanied during the transpacific journey. He says he’ll probably lay off doing any rowing or stand-up paddling for the next 2 to 3 years.

He was helped with support from 4050+Adventure, Sea Trek, and the Waikiki Yacht Club.

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