70-year-old sets sail in historic solo trip across the Atlantic

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NEW YORK — Most 70-year-olds choose to take it easy once they hit their golden years, but Stein Hoff isn’t your average 70-year-old.

The Norwegian rower set sail Sunday in what’s being dubbed “The Unbelievable Voyage” — a solo transatlantic journey which will kick off in New York and travel nearly 3,000 nautical miles to England. He pushed off from a Manhattan pier and hopes to reach England in three month, according to the Associated Press.

The voyage itself, which is being sponsored by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, is historical for a number of reasons.

“The big thing is that the first row ever across the ocean was by two Norwegian-Americans George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen in 1896,” Hoff said. “This is 126 years since they did it and no Norwegians have done it since so I’d love to be the first and if I could do it solo – that’d be even better.”

Hoff is prepared and has stocked up on all the essentials, like his wife Diana’s prized fruit cake.

She, like many, have a few concerns over the solo trek that’s happening with no chase boats or any kind of assistance.

“Obviously I have a slight anxiety because there’s a slight risk in it,” Diana Hoff told PIX11 News. “It’s a rough route to cross the Atlantic from here to England but he’s a very experienced seaman.”

Hoff said he’s more than ready.

“The biggest challenge is probably the mental challenge but I know I got the mentality because I’ve done it before and physically I’m more prepared than I can be.”

Hoff set sail Sunday. To keep tabs on his voyage across the Atlantic, visit the the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not website.