British rowers to tackle Zambian challenge

On the 10th of August 2014 a combined Zambian/UK team will row the length of Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made lake, and along the Lower Zambezi. The 250km-long lake contains crocodiles and hippos, and weather conditions on the lake are often similar to the sea. The team will row non-stop through the day and night under the light of a full “Supermoon”, dodging crocs, hippos and forests of dead trees before finishing at Siavonga. They will then row from Kariba to Luangwa Boma through the Lower Zambezi game reserve, covering 500km in total in seven days.  

The Moon Row will be a tough challenge, with crew members rowing on and off every 90 minutes for up to 36 hours, with only a short time to rest, drink, stretch and grab some food before starting again. The boats will carry GPS transmitters so you can follow their progress in real time at www.karibamoonrow.com, and photos/videos and updates will be being posted on the blog throughout the trip: http://karibamoonrow.wordpress.com.

The 12-person team includes Iza Nalondwa and Wonga Silondwa from the Zambian Amateur Rowing and Canoing Association (ZARCA). Also in the team are international athletes from Great Britain’s rowing squad, including Anastasia Chitty who rows at Oxford University, and Alex Woods who raced in the infamous 2012 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The team includes members of the successful 2011 Row Zambezi Expedition which took rowing boats 1000km along the Upper Zambezi from Chavuma to Livingstone, and the Moon Row is also proud to have Andrew Triggs-Hodge MBE, former Oxford Blue, and double Olympic Champion as its Patron.

The Moon Row is a charity event hoping to encourage awareness of the need for fresh water and conservation and will be raising money for two Zambian charities. Village Water has put fresh water into 650 Zambian villages so far and wants to do much more, and Conservation Lower Zambezi is raising awareness and funds to deal with anti-poaching activities on the Lower Zambezi. Links are for how to donate are available through the Kariba Moon Row website – http://www.karibamoonrow.com/sponsorship.php. The Moon Row is being done in 2014 to coincide with Zambia’s Jubilee celebrations, and is an official event in the Jubilee Calendar. 

Prior to the Row itself, the team are running a Learn to Row Course in Solwezi, Zambia, as well as taking up-and-coming young rowers on the Moon Row itself. This is only the beginning of a series of plans to bring the infrastructure and people together to help to spread the sport of rowing in Southern Africa and to provide the opportunity and encouragement to young people in Zambia to give it a try.

The Moon Row will be the world’s longest non-stop rowing event. It is sponsored by exclusive Swiss watch maker Parmigiani Fleurier, and supported by several high quality operators in Zambia including Lake Kariba Inns;  Kariba Bush Club; Tamarind Camp; Kanyemba Lodge; Kasaka River Lodge; Anabezi and Redcliff Lodge. In addition ZAWA and ZTB are providing advice and guidance for an adventure that will help promote the “Let’s Explore Zambia” initiative.

The Moon Row will be undertaken in three specially-made rowing boats, which are painted in Zambian colours. The boats will arrive in Siavonga on the 11th August after rowing across Lake Kariba. 

“This is a very exciting challenge with a fantastic young joint Zambian and UK rowing team,” said Moon Row Expedition Leader Tim Cook. “Our motto is Time For Water.  We are doing this On Water… For Water.  Without water there are no sports like rowing and without clean water there is no hope for the children in these villages”

Moon Row Patron, Andrew Triggs-Hodge MBE, added: “I have built my life around water. Not by design, but by seizing the opportunities that I found, or that found me, which ignited my passion. My life has developed with these passions, free from motivational chains, to a point where excellence is my driving force. This now colours my world. How can things be better, from my rowing, to my work supporting clean water initiatives. This is where the moon row comes in. The aims, challenges, and ethos of this organisation ooze excellence.

“The team carry on their shoulders the weight of an adventure, to inspire and captivate others to follow. But the greater weight is their own expectation of the difference they can make. Making one’s own life better is a challenge, but helping make other lives better is the highest accomplishment. Each and every member is sacrificing something to make the project happen, following their passions.

“These people deserve the support and sponsorship they’re asking for. They’re just trying to be better, to make the lives of others better. I’m honoured to be Patron of the organisation.”

Follow the Kariba Moon Row team on Twitter, @Karibamoonrow, and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karibamoonrow1.

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