It took him 70 days, 90 hours and 37 minutes all alone at sea but Isaac Giesen has accomplished what he set out to do: the Christchurch man has become the first Kiwi to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Giesen left the Canary Islands, in Spain, in December and arrived in Antigua yesterday, after traversing the Atlantic on a journey of 3000 nautical miles.

What's more, Giesen has also become the first Kiwi to have crossed the Atlantic twice within one year, having rowed as part of a crew from Portimao to Santiago de Cuba earlier in the year.

The 26-year-old did it all to raise money for mental health awareness after losing his aunt and two close friends to suicide.

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Part 2 LIVE dockside with SOLO rower ISAAC, The Blue Rower making landfall in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018! #twac2018 #3000miles #oceanrowing #talisker #wildspirits #madebythesea #turnthetideonplastic #atlanticocean #endurancesport #newzealand #kiwi #solorow #mentalhealth Virgin Atlantic Gill Vestas Digicel Eco For Life Talisker

Posted by Atlantic Campaigns on Thursday, 21 February 2019

Under the name The Blue Rower, Giesen raised NZ$50,000 in support of three New Zealand and Australian charities.

He hopes to raise a total of NZ$1 million in support of Bravehearts, Black Dog Institute and Victim Support New Zealand.

"Against the odds and against the weather, I'm raising money for the fight against depression," Giesen said.

The exciting moment Giesen arrived in Antigua was broadcast live on the official page of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018.

The look on Theo and Janet Giesen's faces said it all when they greeted Isaac on his arrival in Antigua. Photo / Ted Martin Atlantic Challenge
The look on Theo and Janet Giesen's faces said it all when they greeted Isaac on his arrival in Antigua. Photo / Ted Martin Atlantic Challenge

He said at the time he was "good, but overwhelmed" about what he had achieved.

He also admitted that he didn't really want the challenge to end.

"A wee bit sad from finishing — I kind of didn't want it to end. But quite emotional as well at the same time, just what I accomplished and what I did it for," he said.

Isaac's father, Theo Giesen, observed, "It's an incredible feeling when someone you love achieves success through pure hard work and determination".

After Giesen had spent almost three months eating dehydrated food and freshly caught fish, one of his first treats on land was some fried chicken and a cold beer.

Earlier in his row, the young Kiwi said some of his highlights were the summer equinox and the wildlife - having met a few whales and dolphins on his journey.

Giesen learnt to row only last year, but has been a surf lifeguard since he was 14.

He decided to tackle the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge because of the intense mental challenges the row entails.

"I thought it would be a good way to raise awareness of mental health, because being out here is very mental - more than physical," he said.

• To donate or find out more, visit The Blue Rower page.