St Albans student embarks on rowing challenge across North Sea

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

Ruaridh MacPhee and the Newcastle University Boat Club

Ruaridh MacPhee and the Newcastle University Boat Club

RACING a ferry for 15 hours will be the toughest challenge yet for a sporty student from St Albans. Ruaridh MacPhee, aged 20, of Stanley Avenue, is a cox for the Newcastle University Boat Club (NUBC) and alongside 16 of his fellow rowers, he will be taki

RACING a ferry for 15 hours will be the toughest challenge yet for a sporty student from St Albans.

Ruaridh MacPhee, aged 20, of Stanley Avenue, is a cox for the Newcastle University Boat Club (NUBC) and alongside 16 of his fellow rowers, he will be taking part in the DFDS Seaways North Sea Challenge tomorrow, November 6.

In an attempt to raise £10,000 for their boat club, the team will race a cruise ferry from North Shields to Amsterdam by rowing the 308 mile crossing on on-board rowing machines in less than the ferry's average crossing time of 15 and a half hours.

As the cox, Ruaridh must keep a constant pace going for his team, who will be rowing throughout the night in a relay, two at a time, for around three minutes per session. They will stop only to rehydrate and get calories back on board.

Ruaridh, who usually coxes the senior women's eight team, said that he was relatively new to the sport: "It's quite a daunting challenge for me, because I only started coxing last year. I've always been interested in sport and leapt at the chance to try out all the different activities that university offers, and rowing was the one I really took to."

He added: "I'm kind of looking forward to the race but to be honest I'd just like to get it over and done with! It's a monumental challenge and we're all going to have to work really hard to achieve our goal. But I hope I won't be thrown into the sea as a celebratory gesture if we do win."

Ferry captain Jens Knudsen said that he was looking forward to racing the rowers and added: "This is the first time I've had an activity like this one on board my ferry! Whether or not they are able to complete the distance in a faster time than the ship will depend upon their level of fitness and stamina.

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