Olympic rower crosses treacherous waterway

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Daredevil James Cracknell has completed another oar-some challenge with the most punishing row of his life – to cross a waterway which has claimed dozens of lives.

The double Olympic gold-winning oarsman put in a back-breaking eight-hour stint to become the first person in living memory successfully to cross the Foveaux Strait in New Zealand.

Cracknell – who suffered serious life-threatening head injuries during a cycling accident in the US in 2010 – is seen making the crossing in his Discovery Channel programme World’s Toughest Expeditions, to be screened at 9pm tomorrow.

The treacherous waters have claimed more than 20 lives in the last decade.

In March, several people were thought to have drowned when a fishing boat capsized in the strait.

Cracknell filmed his journey in January, crossing from Ruapuke Island to New Zealand’s South Island to investigate what sailors from the SS Dundonald – which was wrecked in the area more than 100 years ago – had to endure.

He tackled 25-knot winds using a basic wooden boat and with no compass.