Well… Sunday getting the team to the Rannoch open day was a mission! Dunc had to make the trip from North Devon to the Essex coast, Glyn and Will made the trip from North Yorkshire whilst Fraser had an ‘8 hour epic’ getting there via North Wales, so we did the only sensible thing we could… 4 hour team bonding session in a Jacuzzi at the amazing Creeksea Place Barns Gym.
It was an early start Monday morning straight over to Rannoch Adventure as the first team to attend their open week this year and meet the Rannoch team. What a bunch of absolute legends! We were greeted by Laura Try, recently back from rowing around Great Britain, who was amazing, full of energy and enthusiasm and really helpful in arranging (and re-arranging) our attendance. Then the big man himself, Atlantic rowing world record holding, Angus Collins ambled up and introduced himself (no need Angus, we all know exactly who you are mate) and later introduced us all to the boss, Charlie Pitcher. You couldn’t ask for a team with more knowledge and experience, so we jumped on the opportunity to pick their brains.
After a brew and a chinwag with Angus and Laura discussing all things Ocean Rowing we were taken on a tour of the facility and saw boats in various stages of build and finish, meeting the craftsmen putting them together, fitting the electronics and kit. It really instils confidence to see the professionalism and skill that goes into building a boat we will live in for up to 70 days on the high seas, I can tell you.
Following Angus down to the quayside, we were formally introduced to “Lionheart”, a beautiful R45 and the boat that Laura and Angus had recently rowed around Britain in a 4 man team. It was quite a breezy morning and there was some discussion about whether we should go out or not but the decision was made and under Angus’s instruction we were off. A steady row out of the quay followed by a stint into wind, an about turn for a blast with the wind at our back and finally back into wind for our return to dry land. We even managed a changeover at the oars, at sea. It was such a brilliant insight into life on board and really opened our eyes to how just little space you will actually have for 4 ‘reasonably big lads’ to row, live, eat and sleep in.
Check out more videos and photos on our Gallery page.
Straight back to Rannoch HQ where Angus got us on the Erg to post our team 500m average split times on the Open Week Leaderboard. Now then, things may have got a little competitive here and the lads gave it their all, maybe having a few beers the night before wasn’t such a great idea after all ?!
Lunch was courtesy of our fantastic supporters at ‘Expedition Foods’ in Hull, who sent us some samples of the freeze dried rations we will be living on at sea, which we merrily scoffed, while Angus took us through all the essential safety equipment you have to take on the crossing and advised us on fundraising tactics, training methods and so, so much more…
All round a brilliant day! Really beneficial, insightful, helpful and inspiring. Thanks team Rannoch from the whole of Team Row4Victory. We can’t thank you enough. #RowwithRannoch
Since writing this we have had some exciting news that we can’t wait to share with you...so watch this space and tune in to Dunc's next blog!
Here we will be keeping you up to date with all our musings pre, during and post competing in the Atlantic Challenge race that started 12th December 2018.