NY man rowboat arrives in Africa for permanent exhibition

28 December 2017 | New York
Lisa Samuels
Mr. Don Victor Mooney of Queens, New York, who on his fourth try, rowed from coast of Africa to New York's Brooklyn Bridge for AIDS awareness and to memorialize his African ancestors that died during the transatlantic slave trade, rowboat arrived in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea aboard MCP ADAMAS container ship at 11:25 EST on December 28.

Mooney's boat, the Spirit of Malabo, will be on permanent exhibition at Modern Museum of Equatorial Guinea. The Spirit of Malabo left Brooklyn in October. Mooney became the first African-American to row across any ocean.

Spirit of Malabo was sponsored by the Government of Equatorial Guinea with the personal support of H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo – Head of State.

Photo: Brooklyn, New York – H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Ambassador for Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations, sent the Spirit of Malabo off after a ceremony on World AIDS Day at the Gateway Marina on December 3, 2013. The rowboat was enroute to Las Palmas, Canary Islands for start of Goree Challenge IV.

GC Media
Lisa Samuels

New York City says farewell to transatlantic rowboat

06 October 2017 | Brooklyn, New York
Lisa Samuels
Decommissioning & Send-off ceremony set for October 12 at Gateway Marina in Brooklyn, New York (11 am) for the Spirit of Malabo.

The Spirit of Malabo was used for a successful five-thousand mile solo transatlantic row from Las Palmas, Canary Islands and made landfall at New York's Brooklyn Bridge on November 28, 2015. The journey would take twenty- one months.

The humanitarian mission was for AIDS awareness and to memorialize the countless numbers that died during the transatlantic slave trade. The vessel was sponsored by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea along with numerous partners both locally, nationally and worldwide.

The Spirit of Malabo arrived at Kingsborough Community College in June 2013 by cargo ship from Sao Paulo, Brazil where it also was built. The vessel would later launched sea trials, which started from SUNY Maritime College.

The Spirit of Malabo will now be transported back to Africa where it will be on permanent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art Equatorial Guinea in the city of Malabo.

This ceremony will also coincide with the 49th Anniversary of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Spirit of Malabo at EG Mission in New York City

14 September 2016 | Manhattan, New York
Lisa Samuels
The Spirit of Malabo ventured out of the Gateway Marina in Brooklyn to the House of the Lord Church that's led by Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, long time supporter of the Goree Challenge on Tuesday.

Afterwards, Spirit of Malabo made its inaugural visit to The Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations. After Victor Mooney's closed meeting with H.E. Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba and senior diplomats, the group went outside to see the Spirit of Malabo up close.

Spirit of Malabo is on standby to be donated to the United Nations as a gift from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Head of State, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, as a symbol for the fight against AIDS.

"If we are going to reach an AIDS-free generation, it's going to take partnership, integrity and perseverance", said Victor Mooney.

On his fourth try with three failed attempts, which nearly cost his life on multiple occasions, Mr. Mooney successfully rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and eventually arrived at New York's Brooklyn Bridge.

"You are never alone", Mooney added.

On the net: www.goreechallenge.com

The President decorates Victor Mooney

04 February 2016 | Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office
On 3rd February at the People's Palace in Malabo, the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo received the adventurer who rowed solo across the Atlantic ocean, in the Spirit of Malabo. The sailor was decorated as a Knight of the Order of Independence for denouncing through this achievement to deportation of African slaves, together with the need to promote the fight against AIDS.

In the presence of Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea Missions to the United Nations, the American sportsman was interviewed by the President of the Republic, who commended his bravery for having crossed the Atlantic solo in a small boat, in order to remember and denounce the regime of slavery that affected so many Africans. Mooney also wanted to underline through this feat the need to continue to promote the fight against HIV/AIDS, an illness that one of his brothers was a victim of.

H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo did not hesitate in granting him Equatoguinean nationality, and decorated him as a Knight of the Order of Independence, for having rowed from Las Palmas (Canary Isles, Spain) to the Brooklyn Bridge, in New York.

The President received him as a son of our country as, in the words of the navigator himself, he crossed the ocean an Equatoguinean citizen. Furthermore, the Head of State described Mooney's actions as "historic", reminding us that through his feat he retraced the steps of our enslaved African ancestors.

Mooney, in an interview with the press, declared: “For me it is a historic day, for my family and for my ancestors who died crossing the Atlantic ocean".

US rower gets house and nationality from Equatorial Guinea President

03 February 2016 | Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Lisa Samuels, GC Media
Victor Mooney, of Queens, New York received the Medalla de Caballero from Equatorial Guinea President, His Excellency, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Malabo today.

Mr. Mooney was awarded this honor after successfully rowing from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York's Brooklyn Bridge on his fourth attempt to encourage HIV testing. His boat was sponsored by Equatorial Guinea and will be donated to the United Nations later this year.

The President also gave Mr. Mooney a house and Equatorial Guinea nationality.

Mr. Mooney was joined by his family for the ceremony and will return to New York next week. The 50 year old rower also became the first African-American to row across any ocean.

Photo: Victor Mooney with his family and Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to UN after the ceremony.

On the net: goreechallenge.com/ facebook.com/goreechallenge

President of Equatorial Guinea invites U.S. rower to Malabo

07 December 2015 | New York City, New York
GC Media, Lisa Samuels
New York - At the Equatorial Guinea Mission to the United Nations, H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative, hand delivered a letter from the Head of State, H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo inviting Victor Mooney to the capital city of Malabo next week.

Mr. Mooney is being publicly recognized for his heroism and dedication to the cause of fighting against HIV/AIDS.

The Head of State personally lent his support to Mr. Mooney, so he could make a fourth and subsequently a successful quest to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Mr. Mooney arrived last week in Brooklyn after leaving the Canary Islands, which is located off the coast of Africa on February 19. 2014.

Goree Challenge reached a million plus audience

07 December 2015 | New York City, New York
GC Media, Lisa Samuels
New York - With the historic arrival of the Spirit of Malabo to Brooklyn, the Goree Challenge project drew a million plus audience. This human interest story was propelled by the coverage from US based Associated Press (AP) and Spain based Agencia EFE.

Over a ten year period in Mr. Victor Mooney's pursuit to heighten the awareness for HIV, the project sustained media coverage also from Agency France Press (AFP), Reuters, Europe Photo Agency (EPA), Getty Images, China News Service (Xinhua), international and U.S. based media outlets.

Mr. Mooney hopes his message of HIV awareness and to never give up will continue to resonate around the world.

Mission Accomplished For Transatlantic Rower

01 December 2015 | Brooklyn Bridge, NYC
GC Media, Lisa Samuels
Brooklyn, New York - For World AIDS Day, Victor Mooney didn't touch an oar. Thanks to the New York Methodist Hospital dedicated staff, they are giving Mr. Mooney 24/7 attentive care.

He is just recuperating from exhaustion, cold weather and the elements in the ocean.

The culmination of Mr. Mooney's 5,000 mile transatlantic row ended successfully at the Brooklyn Bridge on November 30, which took twenty-one months. A ten year quest that took four boats and three failed attempts.

On arrival at the Brooklyn Bridge, Mr. Mooney said, honor this row by getting tested for HIV.

Vessel Name: The Castaway