University of Otago student James Blake is about to
follow in the wake of his ocean-faring father, the late Sir
Peter Blake, when he attempts an endurance team rowing bid to
cross the Tasman Sea, in October.
Like his master-yachtsman father, who was at the forefront of
several campaigns to raise awareness about the world's
oceans, Mr Blake plans to use his exploits to highlight his
A masters of science communication student, he is setting up
a project to build the world's largest live artificial reef
off the northern coast of Borneo.
The four-man transtasman campaign, to row 2600km from the
Sydney Harbour bridge to the Auckland Harbour bridge, will be
managed by New Zealand rowing legend Rob Hamill.
The other rowers are Aucklanders Nigel Cherrie (35) and
Martin Berka (36), and Andrew McCowan (26), of Hamilton.
The quartet is the first team to attempt the crossing from
Australia to New Zealand. An Australian four-man team rowed
from Hokianga to Sydney in 31 days in 2008.
Mr Blake said the team expected to take between 31 and 40
days - rowing two hours on, two hours off, 24 hours a day.
His preparation has so far consisted of becoming acquainted
with rowing-machines and Otago Harbour.
"I've been trying to get out on the water as much as possible
with the university rowing club and have taken up Bikram