First training session Today I learnt that sitting on your bum for 10 hours, eating flapjacks at 30 minutes intervals is not in fact frowned upon, it’s actively encouraged! So that’s just what I will be doing on the 12th of May. There’s only one slight catch; I have to be rowing around the Isle of Wight whilst eating those flapjacks. Good job I like flapjacks!


So I need to get my training in, I need to practise eating and drinking with one hand and at regular intervals. The other hand will be busy too, its got a bit of rowing to be getting on with. Hopefully the eating hand will join in with the rowing occasionally, as we discovered today its hard work this rowing mclarky! There’s a lot to be thinking about, keeping blades square, keeping blades at the right height in the water, keeping in time and trying not to look like a 6 legged spider that’s having a fit!

The logic is simple, when we row together, with our strokes long and powerful and with the boat balanced we glide through the water. Amazingly it happened today and it felt great, but if you blinked you would have missed it! It seems logic and reality do not always come together, particularly when like us you have a novice crew that have decided they want to row 60* miles around an Island (*and yes it is weird how that number keeps going up!).

And whilst its not a race against other crazy people we have a far tougher competitor, mother nature herself. If we take more then 6 hours to cover the 28 miles from Bembridge to The Needles and the tide turns we are scuppered. If we take too long to get around the Island and darkness hits we are scuppered. It seems there are a great many things out to scupper us, but we have passed the first hurdle, our coach Mike thinks we can do it!

BUT we need to train HARD! Today we rowed about 3 miles in 2.5 hours, in 10 weeks we will need to row about 60 miles in about 10 hours. If we wanted a tough challenge it seems I did well at picking one! So for the next 10 weeks I will be mostly found on the rowing machine, with a trusty flapjack by my side, rowing and eating and eating and rowing! Apparently I also need to do squats, pilates, situps, the plank, strength training and endurance training, sounds like hard work, maybe its time for another flapjack to keep my strength up!

So that’s our first training done, no one froze, no one fell in and our coach didn’t give up on us which is always a bonus! Top prize for distance travelled was won hands down by Tasha who flew in from New York for today’s training. The prize for the worst luck is far harder to call. Heather hobbled to the boat and took up the coxswain’s seat for the whole outing. She was itching to get her hands on the oars (I was worried she was going to snatch my oar off me when I was sat opposite her in the stroke position!) but a torn muscle from a Friday the 13th skiing incident put paid to that. And Claire spent the morning in a chilly broken down car on the M25 hard shoulder rather then in a chilly boat off Hayling Island. Tough times, I hope we don’t have such worthy competitors for worst luck next time.

Our crew (LtoR): Sam (me), Hayley, Magda, Kate, Tasha, Heather & Ruth. [& slightly off the picture Claire!]

Our crew (LtoR): Sam (me!), Hayley, Magda, Kate, Tasha, Heather & Ruth. [& slightly out of shot Claire!]