'Hi, I am going to spend 60 days rowing across the Atlantic to raise money for mainland Chinese students to study at a United World College. I started rowing five months ago, I don't have a rowing partner and my boat has not been built yet. I have had no media coverage.' Christian Havrehed in the Yantu logbook, January 2001. The story is different now. Yesterday, Christian Havrehed took his shiny new boat, Yantu, out for a spin in Victoria Harbour. His new rowing partner, Sun Haibin, was with him. And a full media contingent followed close by. Sun, 26, a student at Beijing Sports University, plans to become the first Asian to row across an ocean, while Havrehed, 30, a management consultant who lives in Hong Kong, hopes to be the first Dane to row the Atlantic. They are competing in the 4,500km Ward Evans Cross-Atlantic Rowing Race, starting in October in Tenerife and finishing in Barbados in December. Sun has cycled and run competitively but had never rowed before he started training for the race. He was attracted by literature describing it as 'the world's toughest rowing race'. 'I have the opportunity to become the first Chinese to row across an ocean and, secondly, I would like to show to my countrymen that it is possible to undertake such an event,' he wrote on the Yantu Web site. The pair will row and sleep in turn to save energy. When it rains, they will shower together and when it doesn't, they'll both smell. The race rules forbid any outside assistance. Asked about their lack of rowing experience, Havrehed said yesterday: 'What's going to see you across is going to be mental strength and ability to co-operate.' They will communicate in Mandarin. Havrehed's fascination with boats started at the age of three, when his father built a wooden ship in the garden for him and his sister to play in. He got his first dinghy at about seven. He is also hoping to find race sponsors to send mainland students to the United World College of the Atlantic in Britain, which he attended on a scholarship and which awakened his interest in China. Two years ago, Havrehed was on a BT Global Challenge boat going from Hong Kong to Singapore when the skipper - seeing his frustration with a severe lack of wind - suggested he try the rowing race. Also vying to be the first Hong Kong resident to row across the Atlantic will be South China Morning Post journalist Dominic Biggs, who will be competing with Jon Gornall, of London.