from concept 2.

A 16-strong team of rowers from Newcastle University Boat Club will row over 300 miles across the North Sea - on a rowing machine.

The DFDS Seaways North Sea Challenge, which starts today, sees the team racing race a DFDS Seaways cruise ferry from the international passenger terminal at North Shields to Amsterdam.

The team will link two rowing machines together on the deck of the MS Princess of Norway, and attempting to row 308 miles in less than the ferry's average crossing time of 15 and a half hours.

Boat Club spokesman, Andrew Curry, said: "This will be a monumental challenge; a test of the physical and mental endurance of each athlete's ability to push themselves to the limit.

He added that the 16 athletes had been selected on the back of fitness, sprint and endurance trials, and would row continuously throughout the night.

They will row in a relay two at a time, and four support staff members will travel with the team, who hope to raise £10,000 towards the £30,000 average annual running costs of the Boat Club.

They did it in 14 hours 26 minutes - & beat the ferry , rowing about 3 minutes per go.