VANCOUVER, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Fernie, B.C., resident Dr. Paul Attalla
departs for Northern Africa on Wednesday, October 31, 2007, to prepare for
what is sure to be the most arduous and epic adventure of his life: a solo
rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean.
Attalla, 36, is the only Canadian to be participating in The 2007
Atlantic Rowing Race, and one of only five soloists. The remaining 20 boats
will compete in the pairs, fours and sixes categories. The race, which leaves
from San Sebastian, La Gomera (Canary Islands) on December 2, 2007, is
5,500 kilometres and is expected to take about 100 days.
The Atlantic Rowing Race, which has been referred to as "the Iditarod on
steroids", will have Attalla at sea with no motor and no sail. As an endurance
athlete who has excelled in competitive sports, he'll rely on his experience
and countless hours of training to safely arrive (along with his 24 foot boat)
on dry land in Antigua sometime in early March, 2008. In the 2005 race,
competitors dealt with three tropical storms, the tail end of a hurricane, a
shark attack, multiple capsizes and six dramatic rescues. Fewer people have
successfully completed the race than have climbed Mount Everest.
Attalla is racing to fulfill a long-standing personal dream, but to also
raise awareness for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The trip will cost
approximately $200,000 and any funds above and beyond his trip expenses will
be donated to the museum. Scotiabank is proud to have joined Attalla's crew of
supporters, contributing $30,000 to help fund his adventure and will be
wishing him the very best when he leaves Vancouver this Wednesday. Scotiabank
is also a proud supporter of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
"Along with having great respect for his athletic accomplishments, we are
extremely supportive of Paul's decision to use this adventure as a platform to
benefit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights," said George Marlatte, Senior
Vice-President, Scotiabank. "We join Canadians from coast to coast who will be
cheering for him through every hard-fought kilometre of his journey."
"Paul is a real local hero," added Claudette Daigle, who manages
Scotiabank's branch in Attalla's hometown of Fernie. "Everyone on staff is
very excited for Paul. On casual Fridays, we're all going to be wearing 'Solo
the Atlantic' tee-shirts and we'll have an in-branch display to raise
awareness of his participation in this real-world amazing race."
"I am very pleased to have Scotiabank's support in this adventure, and to
share with them a commitment to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights," said
Paul Attalla. "The fit just seems natural."
Some of Attalla's previous accomplishments include:
- 4th in solo category and 13th overall in the 2005 Yukon River Quest
(at 740 kilometres, it's the longest kayak race in the world);
- 1st Canadian in the 2003 24 Hour World Solo Mountain Biking
- 7th in 2003 Trans Rockies Mountain Bike Race (600 kilometre ride
across the Rockies, dubbed "the hardest mountain bike race in North
America" by Mountain Bike Magazine).
You can keep track of Paul's journey and make a donation by visiting his
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live
and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally
and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic
activities, in 2006 the Bank provided more than $42 million in sponsorships
and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas
of healthcare, education and social services. Scotiabank is on the World Wide
Web at www.scotiabank.com.
For further information:
For further information: Paul Attalla, (250) 423-0223; Kim Struthers,
Scotiabank Public Affairs, (778) 327-5451