Ninety days rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean is what one Kiwi is preparing to take on to raise money for depression services.

Isaac Giesen, 24, would be the first Kiwi to make the 4800km journey by himself, if he completes the mission from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Known as the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, it is the world's toughest row.

To complete the journey Giesen would row four hours on and two hours off consecutively, for up to 90 days.


He plans to sleep in the boat's main cabin and has started putting together dehydrated food, to make up the 9000 average calories he'll need each day.

He aims to raise $1 million to be split equally between Victim Support, The Black Dog Institute and Bravehearts, which support those with depression.

He said his motivation comes from losing his aunt and two friends to suicide, which has opened his eyes to existing stigma around mental illness.

"When you try to talk to some people about it you can see they start to get tingles down their neck," he said.

"It's a really awkward subject for people to talk about, but why?"

Giesen's father Theo said he and his wife were worried about their son setting off on the mission, but were also confident Giesen will make it across the ocean.

"He's training hard and has English rowing adventurer Leven Brown as his mentor," Theo said.

The expert training has come in handy, as Giesen was a rowing rookie when he took on the challenge.


He was living in Croatia working as a skipper, but has since shifted to London to prepare for the marathon trip.

The race kicks off on December 12 and Giesen is hoping the $13,000 he's already raised will increase almost tenfold once he takes to the water.