All in a day’s work…

The start of our program to ensure as many as possible, and especially lead rowers have had a chance to practise Man-Overboard (MOB) drill.

  1. All sign the outings sheet and prepare the boat, safely on dry land.

MOB row in Bluejacket1

2. Row out under blue skies.

MOB row in Bluejacket2

3. Help! ‘man overboard‘. Cox takes control; one crew member keeps the casualty in view: the rest ‘calmly’ turn the boat:MOB row in Bluejacket3

4. Talking the while, to re-assure the casualty, we come alongside and recover the poor soul (or buoy in this case!). Using the long painter to provide something to hang on to. Getting a full size, soaking wet human back on board is much harder!

MOB row in Bluejacket4

We also tried backing the boat down to the casualty – not easy in a fresh breeze and flood tide.

This exercise assumes someone falling off another boat etc., as we still had all four rowers and our cox to handle the boat. Much more difficult if we lose one of our own crew.

A good thing to practise. One day it could happen for real.

Thanks to Alan for photos.

Oars take shape…

Designed by Adrian, built by Rob, aided by Jenny, Richard and Barry with cups of tea and words of wisdom (?) provided by Ian, our new style oars are nearing completion. The final three are being varnished as the fourth awaits a paint-job on its blade.


Nessa, in her capacity as Chief Quality Control Executive keeps a beady eye on proceedings:


In all their glory – almost – just a bit more varnish and paint etc.


If you catch him in a quiet moment, Rob will tell you how many hours have gone into making these prototype oars!

If they prove successful, we shall need some help making the competition set from rather better quality timber. So hone your planes and get the sand-paper ready.

Hoi Larntan’s tale…

An idea of the atmosphere and activity surrounding one boat’s adventure in the Great River Race of 2015.

1 Some of the 300 plus boats and their crews gathering at the launch site in London’s Dockland:


2 There’s quite a period of waiting, holding the boat against tide while our start time comes up (slowest boats first, quicker ones later):


3 The race itself. Charging along, catching some, being overtaken by others:


4 Finally, the scramble at Ham slipway, jostling to get alongside while one weary soul (having rowed 21 and a bit miles) trudges up the field to collect the launching trolley:


5 Safely back on the trailer and ready for home. Well done everybody, you made it with only three oars!

Hoi Larntan  ready for home

It’s not just the rowing, there’s a lot of effort in getting the boat there and back! Thanks to Anta and Alan for towing.

Thanks to Rosemary (and Robin on board) for photos. Many more on the CRAB  Groupspaces ‘photos’ page. Make sure you have a look!

Congratulations to the Coigach crew for their fantastic result and finishing in 4th place overall.

St Ayles skiffs mean business!

Great River Race Results 2015

Congratulations to the crew of Bluejacket, who achieved a podium place,  coming 3rd in the  60+ Veterans class, a considerable achievement, especially given the windy & rough conditions – Dragon boats were not allowed to race, and some 20 boats did not finish.

Overall results for the competing St Ayles skiffs:

Coigach Lass (2hrs. 40 mins. 30 secs) winner of the V40 event and finishing 4th overall.
Groot & Grut 2 (2hrs 48 mins. 59 secs.) finished in 14th position.
Bluejacket (2hrs. 58mins. 03 secs.) finished in 52nd place coming third in the V60 category.
Dwars (3hrs. 06mins. 39 secs.) finished in 102nd place.
Hoi Larntan (3hrs. 11 mins. 06 secs.) finished in 122nd place.
Groot & Grut 1 (3hrs. 22mins. 50secs.) finished in 180th place.

302 crews completed the course. The slowest in 5hrs 17mins. 02secs. and the fastest in 2hrs 12mins 52 secs.
Hoi Larntan suffered a broken oar 2.5 miles from the finish -snapped clean off in fair use, no collision involved- and the  outboard section is still somewhere on the Thames….didn’t really feel like turning around & going back for it with the rest of the fleet bearing down on us!
Oh dear (or words to that effect)
One of the other oars for Hoi Larntan has also been found to be cracked, so making the new set of oars will be pursued with more urgency.
More pictures as they’re available…

Hot off the press…

But not as hot as our fine men and women of Norfolk as they battled to the finish line of the Great River Race at Ham (Richmond) after 23 miles rowing from Wapping in the city  facing a brisk headwind.

Here they are passing the Houses of Parliament:  Bluejacket


then Hoi Larntan:


Also the lads from Coigach with their super long, powerful oars…


Results and times etc. to follow. At least the sun shone.