Gateshead Man Takes On Unique North Sea Challenge

3 August 2015, 11:45

A Gateshead man hopes to raise £20,000 in memory of his sister by rowing 820km across the North Sea.

Michael Tierney's family lost Clare to breast cancer in 2012.

The 47 year old from Low Fell, along with team-mate James Moloney, will be rowing between the Scottish Borders and Denmark, a crossing they believe has only previously been completed by the Vikings.

Michael says:
"My wonderful sister, Clare, died in 2012 from breast cancer."

"She was only 48 and I wanted to do something significant in her name that would raise money and help other people."

"I bought a two-man ocean rowing boat 18 months later and decided this was something I needed to do in order to raise funds for charity in her memory."

Michael and James then put plans in place to row the 820 kilometres from Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders to west coast of Denmark between Thyboron and Hanstholm.

The journey will take between 10-16 days, depending on the weather, during which time they will be at the mercy of the North Sea.

Michael adds:
"This challenge requires a huge amount of preparation and our families and the charities have, quite rightly, demanded assurances about our safety."

"That said, with all the specialist equipment in the world, something can still go wrong so it's essential we have this grounding in emergency marine procedures."

"We're hoping people will get behind this row for our chosen charities.

"My sister, Clare, was a huge football fan and one of the first ladies ever to qualify as an FA referee."

"She asked for donations at her funeral to go to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and we're very proud to support their work and the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care and Macmillan who helped Clare when she was ill."

"And, as ex soldiers, both James and I also wanted to raise funds for SSAFA, who offer support to service personnel, veterans and their families."