Million-metre record attempt
PICTURED (right) drumming up support for a record-breaking attempt is Tony Ferrige, regional commander of the Marine Police. Tony is using one of the ergometers which will be used by a team of four policemen and a teacher this weekend in their bid to row a million metres - about as far as Shanghai or Vietnam.
It's a long way to row without actually getting anywhere apart from into the record books, but as it's for charity it's obviously worth the pain. Tony won't be taking part himself - his delightful wife Trish, boss of Victoria Properties, joked that the 53-year-old sleuth is too old for such high-octane pastimes, despite having been a keen rower for the Yacht Club and Hong Kong in the 60s and 70s. Instead, the couple will be sunning themselves while on holiday in Perth and Sydney.
However, from March 31 to April 3, senior inspector Mark Sharp, a physical training instructor at the Police Training School, chief inspector Chris Hanselman of the narcotics bureau, superintendent Charles Marshall of the police tactical unit, superintendent Charles Wimbush of the emergency unit in Kowloon West and his son, physical education teacher Luke Wimbush will be challenging their physical and mental stamina to set the world record for rowing a million metres. Mark and Chris broke the two-man world record on the ergometer in November 1993.
The beneficiaries of this exercise are the Hong Kong Cancer Fund and the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, who hope to raise $1 million from the event. Donations can be sent to SPHC Ltd, GPO Box 13772.
Lavender Patten, patron of both charities, accompanied by husband Chris, will wave the starting flag at an opening ceremony in the Hard Rock Cafe, Central, at 11.30am on Friday.
The men plan to take it in turns to row, swapping every half hour during the day and every two hours overnight. It's expected they will lose several kilos during the event and will sustain themselves by eating pizzas and baby food.