Adventure capital

At 23, Tom Robinson is attempting to set the record for the youngest person to row across the Pacific Ocean.

01 September 2022


Young Brisbane sailor Tom Robinson is an inspiration to anyone looking to pursue their wildest adventure. It takes a special kind of person to wake up one day and decide to row across the Pacific Ocean – particularly at the age of 14.

However, today, almost a decade later, young Brisbanite Tom Robinson is keeping true to his word. Having departed from Peru earlier this year, Tom will spend up to 250 days at sea in an attempt to become the youngest person ever to row solo across the Pacific Ocean.

If this mission wasn’t impressive enough, he designed and built the 24-foot ocean rowing boat he’s travelling in, Maiwar.

“I’ve always loved making things with my hands and had a passion for the water and rowing has led me to the interesting position I’m in now I guess,” joked Tom.

Tom took a keen interest in all things boating from a very young age, which was amplified when his family moved to a property on the banks of the Brisbane River.

With a rowing boat at his disposal, rowing became an obsession, leading him to row his dinghy after school each day.


From there, he embarked on a series of solo rowing journeys, 130 kilometres from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and an attempted row from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast, all before the age of 16.

In Year 12, Robinson plucked up the courage to row 250 kilometres from Tin Can Bay through to Bundaberg, which made headlines in the Fraser Coast Chronicle at the time.

He knew he wanted to turn this passion into a career and undertook a Certificate II in Marine Craft Construction to pursue the life of a boatbuilder.

Once completed, it was back to concentrating on that lofty goal he set back when he was just 14 years old – rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean.

The team at Rivergate Marina and Shipyard have contributed $1,000 to assist Tom with the costs associated with embarking upon his 8,000-nautical-mile trip.

Rivergate Director, Tom Hill said the young sailor’s quest was an inspiration to all. “The mission Tom is embarking on is proof that if put your mind to it, you can do it,” Hill said.

“Tom’s knowledge, determination and expertise are also testament to the value of the world-class marine training we have here in Queensland.

“His Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction allowed him to build Maiwar to a standard that will safely support him in his 8000-nautical-mile journey. On behalf of the entire Rivergate team, we wish Tom fair winds and following seas.”

Tom is documenting his journey across the Pacific on his website, where you can also read a detailed recap of his boatbuilding process.



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