Rowers take on huge challenge -- Vancouver Island

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 6 at 10:33 PM

When we think of spending time in a rowboat, most of us would imagine a nice afternoon on Lake Union. Instead, picture taking a 29 foot rowboat on open waters for almost three weeks.

A group of men called OAR Northwest wants to be the first to row around Vancouver Island, around the clock, and they're guessing it could take 20 days.

"The reason I'm doing this is that I'm addicted to learning. I love learning," says crew member Adam Kreek. Kreek was an Olympic Gold Medal winner for Canada in 2008.

"We're wearing a special monitor made by Fatigue Science that will actually monitor our sleep wake cycles," says Kreek. The crew plans to sleep in shifts.

They say their vessel is the most advanced ocean rowboat ever made. It's equipped with a weather station, GPS, three video cameras, and a still camera. It is the same vessel used to win a trans-Atlantic rowing race in 2006. Jordan Hanssen was part of the crew that became the first to row unassisted from the United States to Great Britain.

"This rowboat is safest out at sea," says Hanssen. "It's small, it's uncomfortable, but when it's out at sea it's safe. That's where it's made to be."

The crew will be communicating with different schools and gathering data for research along the way. Their adventure is made possible by several sponsors, the biggest being the Canadian Wildlife Federation who donated $150,000 for the excursion.

The official sendoff party is Saturday April 7th. Visitors can come to Lake Union Park to meet the crew and see the boat from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their trip begins three days later.

 

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