Lawyer takes on fierce charity challenge

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Melbourne King & Wood Mallesons law graduate Stuart Alexander and fellow Pirates will embark on their own ruthless version of the Around the Bay Challenge next month.

In a bid to help 222 kids in need, members of The Pirates Sporting Club are aiming to raise $130,000 for the Smith Family in Melbourne’s annual Around the Bay Challenge.

But they’ve added a twist.

Instead of taking the 12km ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento with the rest of the bay challenge cyclists, the Pirates will be rowing 230kg surf boats in the first ever completely human powered loop of the bay, totalling 222km.  And they’ll be switching their 21 gear bikes for three gear City of Melbourne bike share bikes.

Yikes.

Alexander, who has never rowed professionally but did row twice for Australia, said the whole thing will take the Pirates about 15 hours without stopping. 

“At the moment I’d say most guys are trying to train at least 5-6 days per week,” he told Australasian Lawyer.
“We thought if we really wanted to make a difference and fundraise on a really large scale, we needed to do something that was a bit different and was a bit out there and grab people’s attention.”

The Pirates are all former serious sports people who now do mammoth challenges for fun.  Alexander said the semi-serious group of 24 cyclists and rowers are physically a good match.

“When we were rowing we did a lot of cycling because the physical requirements were quite similar in that you needed a really good aerobic capacity,” he said.

“You have to be quite flexible, you have to be quite fit and really, you don’t want to be carrying any extra weight.”
He said that if their lucky with the winds, the biggest challenge on the day will be the mental challenge of powering through without a break.

Three weeks out from the event, the team has raised $40,000 towards their ambitious $130,000 target which would help 222 children in need for an entire year. 

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