14 Dec 2011

NZ rowers pass halfway mark in Tasman challenge

11:30 pm on 14 December 2011

New Zealand rowers attempting to cross the Tasman Sea from Australia have passed the half-way mark.

Nigel Cherrie, James Blake, Martin Berka and Andrew McCowan left Sydney at the end of November.

They have encountered stormy weather and have not been able to row for about five of the past 17 days.

Their 10-metre boat Moana has suffered a broken rudder, a snapped oar, broken steering mechanism and a damaged water maker, but the crew have been able to repair them all.

The team, who hope to become the first New Zealand crew to row from Sydney to Auckland are about 1000km west of Cape Reinga on Wednesday.

With favourable weather conditions, they are expected to complete the 2500km journey in between 15 and 30 days.