Ricoh New Zealand proudly welcomed home Team Gallagher’s rowers who today become the first New Zealand team to cross the Tasman by oar power, and salutes their efforts to save the planet’s threatened tropical reefs.
Ricoh New Zealand Managing Director Mike Pollok was on the Waitemata to cheer the boys’ final efforts to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge finish line: “This is an historic feat of endurance, and we are proud to have supported a team of men who are as passionate about preserving the environment for future generations as Ricoh is. They are true eco-warriors.”
Three members of the Team Gallagher Trans-Tasman Row crew – Nigel Cherrie (35, of Auckland, team leader), James Blake (25, Dunedin) and Andrew McCowan (26, Hamilton) reached Auckland after 55 days at sea on the 10.5m boat. The fourth member, Martin Berka (36, Auckland), was dropped off in the Bay of Islands earlier this week to spend time with his fiancée before she left on a pre-arranged trip overseas.
During the journey, the crew used a Ricoh waterproof and shockproof digital camera to capture images of their daily life on the Tasman.
“Most of us will never experience the sheer exhaustion or the incredible euphoria that comes from taking part in this kind of adventure, so to be able to see images as the boys made their way home was amazing,” says Mike Pollok.
Aside from the physical goal, the crew set out to raise funds to build an artificial coral reef and help a remote community in Borneo.
“Ricoh is a market leader in environmental sustainability and has made huge efforts to reduce its environmental impact, so the crew’s goal of raising awareness about the plight of the world’s fragile coral reef systems fitted well with our vision.” says Mike Pollok.
The campaign director, legendary Atlantic Ocean rowing event winner and former Olympian Rob Hamill, stayed ashore this time but joined Ricoh’s welcome home boat today.
Rob Hamill says: “Having the financial backing of supporters such as Ricoh is obviously crucial for getting a massive logistical project such as this to the start line, and having neat touches such as the ability to take photos and connect with family and friends is an extra bonus.”
The public can view highlights of the journey at www.teamgallagher.co.nz.