Your body starts decaying as you get fitter…

Christian Havrehed, intrepid ocean-rowing adventurer and EwC Adventure Ambassador, launches tomorrow into the North Sea bound for a 300 nautical mile row to Copenhagen. EwC Directors, Theresa Booth & H-J Colston, interviewed him recently about his previous Atlantic ocean-rowing experience. Asked how one prepares for a journey like that, Christian said, “you have to be super fit: 70% mentally and 30% physically. On these arduous journeys your body starts decaying as you get fitter…there isn’t enough time for your body to recover so there is a fine balance to succeed!”

The other key component for a successful row is the personality of the other rowers in the boat. Christian added, “being in the boat is like being in a pressure cooker; if you don’t get on with each other, you have a huge problem. The row is a mental game above all else. You have to trust the other person completely – and his good intentions.”

The ‘reverse Viking row,’ due to launch off on Saturday 08 August, will include four men. Christian and the captain of this row, Chris Martin, have both rowed at least one ocean. The other two men are marines. Let’s hope that their personalities are compatible, and that trust is quick to build. This 4-6 day journey, depending on the prevailing winds, will require them to row in a gruelling 2 hour on/2 hour off schedule. 

When I caught up with Christian yesterday, he said, “I can’t wait to get out into the North Sea!” It seems like, for someone like him, there is somewhere to go to get away from COVID.

[Photo taken on launch day, 2001, leaving Tenerife with rowing partner, Sun Haibin]

As they say in Chinese, 一路平安, safe journey! Let’s hope they all “合得来” and get on well! [To stay updated on this rowing journey and other EwC news, follow us on Twitter or sign up for our latest News]

Published by H-J Colston

H-J is Joint CEO of Chopsticks Club and a regular speaker on China. Through training and events, she has been building cultural literacy about China from the boardroom to the classroom since 1993. She designed and delivered a “Doing Business in China” course at Pearson Business School. She was invited to meet President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the UK in 2015 in recognition of her work in building China-UK relations. She has a degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Durham. Find out more at and

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