BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014
your place and mine
Your Place & Mine Radio Ulster Website

BBC Homepage
BBC Northern Ireland
greater Belfast
contact ypam
about ypam

print versionprint version

Contact Us

Superior Rowing

Ian Harvey, from Saintfield, has become the first person to row Lake Superior in North America. Enter Michael McNamee with paddles up...........

Ian Harvey in action

On Saturday 30th July 2005, Ian Harvey (58), from Saintfield outside Belfast in Northern Ireland, became the first person in the world to row the full length of Lake Superior in a single scull rowing shell.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The 390 mile journey took 15 days, starting on the morning of Saturday 16th July at Duluth City on the western shore of the Lake and finishing at Whitefish point on the easterm side of Lake Superior on Saturday 30th July.

Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939map of Lake Superior
Map showing Ian's start and finish point.
( courtesy of Lake Superior Magazine, copyright 2004 - no reproduction without prior permission )


The trip consisted of eleven and a half days of actual rowing - including night rows - and a further three and half days sheltering from extreme weather in various harbours.


Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939Ian leaves Dunluth to begin 390 miles of rowing
Ian, centre, leaving Dunluth at the start of the marathon row


Ian is a member of Lagan Scullers' Belfast and Belfast Rowing Club. Michael McNamee caught up with him back on the Lagan to ask...... why ??

Ian reveals how he managed to survive freezing temperatures, high waves and how he almost became a member of a native indian tribe, during his 400 mile trip.....
Audio Clip: Ian Harvey reflects on his journey

Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939sunrise on Lake Superior
Ian begins another day on Lake Superior as the sun rises behind him

Ian's epic row not only resulted in a world record, but also helped the Fields of Life Charity and donated funds to BBC Children in Need. For more information about Ian's row, including daily rowing reports and how he raised funds for the charities, click on the 'Lake Superior Charity Row' link below, which takes you to Ian's web site.


Relates Links

Lake Superior Charity Row

Soo Locks Lake Superior webcams

Fields of Life Charity

Lake Superior Magazine


*The BBC is not responsible for external sites *



Henry - Mar '07
Dear sir.
this is a magnificent effort
im from tasmania australia and i love rowing i cant think of a better way to spend a weekend im actually in the middle of a regatta weekend anyway!

S. McAdam - November '05
Isn't Sault Ste. Marie in Canada, Susan Keane, or is there perhaps another such place in the U.S. ?

Maurice Laverty
Congratulations to Ian. I've visited Duluth, Two Harbours and one or two other places along th North Shore. It can be a very stormy lake, which is why Split Rock Lighthouse (N. of Two Harbours) was built. So quite an achievement.

Gary from Belfast - November '05
Well done, Ian. I'm sure it was a difficult journey but you never gave up. CONGRATULATIONS.

Susan Keane - Sept '05
Ian Harvey is to be applauded for this remarkable feat.
However, the starting (Duluth) and ending point (Sault Ste. Marie) are each in the United States, not Canada. Lake Superior lies on the boarder between the two counties.

Angélique - Sept '05
Well done Ian, a magnificent journey!

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy