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Public Asked To Help Make History

Public Asked To Help Make Kiwi Internet And Sporting History

24 September, 2008

The TraNZ Tasman rowing team today announced the launch a unique fundraising website for the bridge to bridge ocean rowing challenge next March that will
help make New Zealand Internet and sporting history.

The website,, has a 'million dollar wall' where members of the public can purchase pixels from the team for NZ$1 per pixel.

Speaking on behalf of the team, campaign director Rob Hamill explains: "A far as we know, this is a first for New Zealand so everyone can have a
chance to help make Kiwi Internet and sporting history."
The catalyst for the site has been the overwhelming interest in the bridge to bridge challenge. "We always meet people - individuals on the street to people in small
to large organisations from around the country who like what we're doing and want to help in some small way," continues Hamill.
Team leader Nigel Cherrie suggested the concept to the team and help set up the site. "Anyone can support the team by buying pixels, the minimum
purchase being one block which is equivalent to 100 pixels, as that's the smallest the human eye can see.

"Friends, families and colleagues can have a whip round at home, the social club or at work and buy some pixels. We'd love to see a picture of all the people that have donated so we can link to a website or and a larger image of everyone, "says Cherrie.

For companies there's another possible incentive. Hamill: "If we can raise the balance of funds we need to safely complete the Tasman row next year through the million dollar wall, the organisation that donates the most will be offered the title sponsorship rights for the team.

"Here's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a small to medium sized Kiwi company to advertise their company on the website this week and next week possibly be offered a title sponsorship that will easily deliver a ten-fold return."

Additional funds raised from the website above the (undisclosed) amount still required by the Tasman rowing team will be used to fund the future Trans-Tasman rowing race, which has been Hamill's vision for some time.

"We have a number of people interested in that event and once this challenge is successfully completed, we'll be turning our attentions to the race," says Hamill.

"It will be an amazing event, to have Australian and New Zealand crews racing side by side across the Tasman. We already know with the sporting rivalry between our countries, no one will be willing to give an inch. It would be an epic month of boat on boat racing."

The TraNZ Tasman rowing team of Nigel Cherrie (team leader) of Three Kings, Auckland, Martin Berka from North Shore City and Andrew McCowan from Hamilton in the Waikato will become the first New Zealand team to row across the Tasman next year using the Sydney and Auckland Harbour bridges as the finish line. The crossing is expected to take more than three and less than six weeks.

About the team:

Rob Hamill - Campaign director (non-rower)
From: Hamilton

Nigel Cherrie - Team leader
From:  Three Kings, Auckland

Andrew McCowan - Rower
From: Hamilton

Martin Berka - Rower
From: Unsworth Heights, North Shore City


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