Extreme Faith

Goree Challenge Story

 NEW YORK (April 13, 2020) — With the current pandemic of coronavirus causing havoc across the oceans, Don Victor Mooney, a devout Catholic, is using his time to draft a story, with the hope it will encourage others to never give up.  

On a 4th try, after failing on three previous attempts to row across the Atlantic Ocean in memory of his brother who died of AIDS & to encourage HIV testing, Mooney set off from the Canary Islands on Feb. 19, 2014, and landed at the Brooklyn Bridge on November 28, 2015. He faced enormous challenges in the twelve years it took for him to live a dream. 

He faced enormous challenges in the twelve-year it took for him to live a dream. This feat was a first on many fronts. Over the years, Mooney drifted in life raft for fourteen days, survived pirate attack, an oceanic white tip shark damage his boat, loss an astonishing 80 pounds after finally rowing across the Atlantic.

In his pursuit of his dream, Mooney would have an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on World AIDS and a African Head of State would ultimately sponsor the boat that would allow him too complete his quest to row from Africa to Brooklyn.


Goree Challenge I

London, England (January 21, 2005) - Victor Mooney in his attempt to find boat for an Atlantic Ocean crossing, initially found the Ocean Rowing Society as trusted source to help secure a vessel. 

As contracts were signed at De Courcey’s Manor in Cardiff, Wales and a $2,000 referral fee paid, Mooney had a boat on loan. He would later fly back to England with all his gear and supplies. Then, out of the blue, the owner demanded $30,000, which Mooney couldn't afford. He returned a third time to England to retrieve his gear and supplies. 


Goree Challenge I

Brooklyn, New York (August 29, 2005) - Having difficulty in finding a sponsor to buy a second hand boat and time running, Mooney decided to build his own. His last woodworking project was in Junior High School, but that didn't stop him. After six months of boatbuilding, his homemade boat was sent to Senegal. A three years of planning, his row across the Atlantic Ocean would last less than thirty minutes. The Senegalese Coast Guard rescued him as his boat was sinking. Some didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


Goree Challenge II

Atlantic Ocean (April 18, 2009) - After 14 days at sea, Victor Mooney would be rescued by a Spanish fishing vessel. On his second try, Mooney had a professional boat built, but his water systems failed. His support team recommended him to abort the row. After activating his EPIRBS, France, Senegal and United States coordinated his rescue. Safely aboard the fishing vessel, which was towing his boat, the line came loose. Mooney watched helplessly, as his boat separated from the vessel.


Goree Challenge III

Sao Vincente, Cape Verde (February 28, 2011) - Victor Mooney began his third try at crossing the Atlantic Ocean. His boat called, Never Give Up, was damaged during transit and had repairs done to the best of his ability. That didn't help. As he began his journey, the boat took on water. Mooney would then launched his life raft and drifted for fourteen days in open ocean until MV Norfolk rescued him. The dry bulk container delivered him to Brazil and he flew back to New York.


Goree Challenge IV

Masapalomas, Gran Canaria (February 19, 2014) - Third time is a charm, is their a fourth? Well, Victor Mooney certainly set his sights on finally completing his quest to row across the Atlantic Ocean. With a custum Brazilian made ocean rowboat, Mooney landed in St. Maarten, DWI, 129 days later, 80 pounds lighter and survived a shark attack. After boat repairs he continued only to be hijacked in Haitian waters. After a multinational rescue, Mooney was fine, but his vessel was not seaworthy. His boat was sent to Miami aboard a cargo ship for repairs, afterwards he continued up eastern seaboard. Mooney arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge on November 28, 2015, a twenty-one month journey.