Reuben Harvey plans to row to London in support of New Zealand's Olympic athletes, and he's asking for the community's help to get there.
But the Marlborough Sports Academy tutor doesn't figure on getting his feet wet. He's set up rowing machines (ergs) around Blenheim, inviting all and sundry to help row part of the 18,836km to London.
His idea is to cover the distance in just 34 days, starting yesterday and finishing on July 28, the first day of racing at the Games rowing venue in Eton Dorney.
The 12 members of the Marlborough Sports Academy will row every day, but to achieve their goal, they need to average 554km a day, so will need some help.
Mr Harvey has set up a register at Pursuits Gym at Marlborough Lines Stadium where gym members and staff can log their distances rowed on the ergs, which will be totalled at the end of every day. He has also called on Marlborough businesses and organisations to become involved, perhaps through group challenge rows.
An erg has been set up in the stadium foyer where members of the community can add as many kilometres as they want to the running total. Mr Harvey has also asked rowing's Central Region Performance Centre, based on the Wairau River, to schedule some training sessions and promotional competitions.
On the final day it is planned to finish off the remaining kilometres in time to watch the first race on the big screen at the stadium.
Every person and organisation that contributes to the journey will have the opportunity to write a message of support on a banner which will be sent to the New Zealand Rowing team.
"I'm doing this because Marlborough is a close community," said Mr Harvey. "To have five members of our community representing us, and New Zealand, in rowing at the Olympics deserves our support, no matter what the sport ... because, let's be honest, I'm definitely not a rower."
He can be contacted on 035775190 or 0221600446 for more information.
- The Marlborough Express