Forever rowing Bubbles


A few glasses of champagne at a pal’s wedding has led Queenstown solicitor Annabel Ritchie to tackle a 100km walking race for charity.

The former New Zealand women’s eight rower is leading a four-strong team at the Oxfam Trailwalker NZ event in Taupo from April 4-5.

Ritchie, a lawyer at Anderson Lloyd, has roped in friends – double Olympic gold medal rower Caroline Evers-Swindell, Blenheim doctor Emily Ross and Rotorua-based nurse Nina Wardell – for the poverty fundraiser, expected to take about 20 hours to complete.

“A lot of people have asked why we agreed to this,” says Ritchie. “The answer is simple – too many bubbles.

“The idea began at a friend’s wedding in January, where after some champagne we decided to plan an adventure together so we could have a right old natter.

“After more bubbles we’d agreed to enter the Oxfam race.

“This will give us plenty of time to natter away uninterrupted and raise money for a good cause,” Ritchie adds.

Appropriately, Ritchie and her mates have called themselves Team Bubbles for the event.

They have to commit to raising at least $2000 for the Oxfam Trailwalker team challenge – part of an international series also held in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia, and which has raised more than $70 million globally since 1981.

“We are already three-quarters of the way there but further sponsorship will be greatly appreciated,” she says.
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