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Friday, 13 December, 2002, 12:28 GMT
Students all at sea for charity
Rowing on the Tyne
The rowers are swapping the Tyne for the North Sea
A team of student rowers are preparing to take on the might of a North Sea ferry in their very own university boat race.

Twenty rowers from Newcastle University Boat Club will attempt to race the DFDS Seaways cruise ferry from North Shields to Ijmuiden, Amsterdam, on Friday.

The 16-hour challenge - nicknamed 'Operation Amsterdam' - will see the students battle it out on rowing machines set up on deck.

The aim of the challenge is to raise sponsorship for the Boat Club to enable them to engage the services of a full-time coach.

Bronze medal

The 519km (323 mile) marathon row will begin when the ship, the 'ms Prince of Scandinavia', leaves the International Ferry Terminal at Royal Quays on Friday evening.

It will continue through the night until it reaches its destination, at approximately 1000 GMT on Saturday.

Boat Club Sponsorship Officer, Gill Harris, who will also be acting as cox for one of the teams, said: "Newcastle University Boat Club aspires to compete with the best in the land, and has a long and successful tradition of holding a place among the cream of British university rowing.

I think that the rowers will be ensured of a great deal of support and encouragement from the other passengers

Captain Niels Vestergaard

"Currently, our senior men's elite VIII holds the bronze medal in the British University Championships.

"We know that we have the potential to build upon this success and take on the best at national and international level," she added.

The rowers will be split into two teams of 10 and, to finish ahead of the cruise ferry, they will each have to row 26km at a speed of 32.5 kilometres an hour.

The teams will be rowing on land-based rowing machines set up on Deck 8 of the ship.

Charity target

Graham Rayner is Director of the Centre for Physical Recreation and Sport at Newcastle University.

He said: "The rowers have set themselves a target of raising 3,000 from this challenge."

Captain of the DFDS Seaways 'ms Prince of Scandinavia', Niels Vestergaard, said: "The challenge promises to be quite a spectacle.

"I think that the rowers will be ensured of a great deal of support and encouragement from the other passengers sailing to Amsterdam this weekend."

The Boat Club will also be making a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care from the proceeds of Operation Amsterdam.


Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

28 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
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