It’s Sydney to Auckland oar bust
Some might say it’s crazy to try to row the 2100 kilometres between the Sydney and Auckland harbour bridges.
But that’s exactly what Three Kings resident Nigel Cherrie plans to do in March next year, along with teammates Andrew McCowan and Martin Berka.
And he’ll have an experienced guide to help the team along the way, with former trans-Atlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill as campaign director.
“I read Rob’s book and thought, ‘Oh yeah that would be fun’. I enjoy sport for the adventure rather than the competition.”
After a series of phone calls between the pair, Hamill agreed to come on board and Cherrie says it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
“He knows how to put the whole thing together and make it work.”
The trio will be the first New Zealand team to make the trip, although Kiwi Colin Quincy managed the feat solo in 1976, and an Australian crew were the first team to complete the voyage in 2007.
Cherrie, 32, says the team is putting plenty of time into preparing mentally and physically for the three to five weeks they will be away.
“You’ve got to make sure everyone gets on really well. You don’t want a punch-up in the middle of the ocean.”
Weights sessions and rowing 80km to 100km a week at the gym are also essential.
“It’s not just a case of getting in the boat – it’s all part of a process.”
The team first considered taking on the trans-Atlantic rowing race that Hamill won in 1997 with Phil Stubbs.
But a price-tag of around $500,000 soon caused Cherrie to rethink their strategy, with the $200,000 trans-Tasman challenge a more realistic option.
Hamill says there’s still a lot of work to be done in terms of getting finance together, but he is happy to lend his expertise.
“There are people who have aspirations that don’t take any action and there are those who do something about it.
“Nigel’s worked hard so why not help if people are prepared to help themselves.”
And he says the last few kilometres of the race will allow the public to get in their boats to welcome the team home.
For more information on the campaign visit www. bridgetobridge.co.nz.
Ready to row: Three Kings resident Nigel Cherrie is in training for an attempt at rowing between the Sydney and Auckland harbour bridges in March next year.