Sea Survival Skills – with Survival Wisdom

On Monday and Tuesday of last week the team and Doris were down in Plymouth with the amazing Survival Wisdom (www.survivalwisdom.com) for 2 days of sea survival training.
We arrived at the Survival Wisdom centre at the beautiful Mount Edgecumbe country park, accompanied by the brilliant Dean from Timecode Pro (www.timecodepro.co.uk), who generously came with us to film our training.
The day began with a welcome cup of tea and introductions to our instructors: Richard, Jase and Alf. The team at Survival Wisdom specialise in “giving you the resilience to deal with challenging environments across the globe and enduring, crucial skills for any situation”. They have a scarily impressive portfolio of military experience gained working and training in some of the most challenging environments in the world, including sea, jungle, desert and extreme cold environments, so we were in very safe hands!
Monday was a day in the classroom broken down into 4 main sessions:
(1) Overview of sea survival and a discussion of hazard awareness and risk reduction specifically in the context of our Pacific Ocean row
(2) The psychology of survival
(3) A discussion of the safety equipment that we will have with us for our row
(4) A ‘dry’ run through of life raft drills, man (or lady!) overboard drills and use of flares
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The sessions were incredibly valuable. The Survival Wisdom team had done their homework and had a close look at our planned route and equipment list, so all of their advice was tailored toour challenge.
It is crucial to our team that we approach our row as safely as possible and reduce all potential risks as much as we can. As part of this, we will be making sure that we have all of the best safety equipment and know how to use it. Before we go, we will also identify all potential hazards and prepare detailed ‘what ifs’, setting out the actions that we will take if particular sets of circumstances arise. It was reassuring to run through some of these scenarios with Survival Wisdom and to hear their positive thoughts on our approach and to get some brilliant additional suggestions from the team.
The ‘dry’ run through was a good learning experience, as well as great fun. We started with a quick session outside where Jase went over how to activate white collision flares. We then headed back to the classroom to practice the actions required for getting ourselves into a liferaft. Doris is a completely self-righting boat, so we should never need to get into our Crewsaver Life raft, however we need to be well prepared for the worse case scenario.
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On Tuesday, we had a chance to put the previous day’s learning into practice. We headed out on Doris early in the morning from the Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, who generously hosted us for the day (www.mayflowermarina.co.uk), and rowed out into Cawsand Bay. Conditions were windy and bumpy enough that 3 of us were a little sea sick. That didn’t hold us back though, and we met Richard and Jase from Survival Wisdom out in the bay with Alastair and one of his colleagues from All Marine Engineering Services (www.allmarineengineering.co.uk) with their boat.
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We started off by practising our liferaft drill. We were wearing our amazing Crewsaver ErgoFit smocks, salopettes and 190N life
jackets and we jumped off Doris into the water with our grab bag of crucial safety equipment. We grouped together into a ‘crocodile’ and swam together to the liferaft.
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Once inside, we ran through the list of immediate actions to be taken on entering the liferaft (bailing excess water, inflating the final bits of the raft, closing the doors, deploying the para anchor etc). The conditions were choppy, which made the drill more realistic. We even spotted a twister on the horizon(!) and Emma and Laura were battling with sea sickness throughout, but they didn’t let that distract them from the task in hand.
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After the liferaft drill, we practiced our man over board drill from Doris. Getting back into Doris from the water was more challenging than getting into the liferaft, but we all managed it unassisted. We also practised lifting an “unconscious” Laura into the boat. After the successful drills, we headed back into the Mayflower Marina and to Jolly Jacks Bar Bistro for a well earned fish and chip lunch and a debrief. There we met Sally Baum, Heather and the team at Jolly Jacks who came on board as sponsors of our row after just a quick meeting and we were completely blown away by their kindness, enthusiasm and generosity.
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There isn’t room in this blog to set out all of the numerous learning outcomes of our sea survival training, but if there are 3 things that we will all take away from our time with Survival Wisdom, they are probably these:
(1) Everything we take on Doris must have a purpose (and, if it can, more than one purpose, as there isn’t much room on
board!)
(2) Be aware of possible risks, or ‘lemons’. Identify them and don’t let them accumulate – we don’t want too many lemons on the boat!
(3) When faced with a challenging situation, there is no substitute for having a cup of tea and taking the time to make a good team decision about how to deal with it.
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A huge thanks again to Dean from Timecode Pro, the teams at Survival Wisdom and All Marine Engineering Services, the Mayflower Marina and Jolly Jacks for all of your support and for making it a great couple of days in Plymouth.
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Training and brainstorming

Emma, Laura and I met up for a training and brainstorming session this weekend.
We headed down to The Train Station gym in Wandsworth, which is an amazing place!
Our ‘Train Wreck’ class was was run by the wonderful Jim Stubbs and boy did he work us. To give you a little insight into how we felt at the end of the 45 minute session, this is how the class is described on their website: Train Wreck

“We said all our classes were suitable for everyone. This one isn’t… This is our homage to the hardcore exerciser. You will need to be comfortable using all the different kit and happy to leave dignity at the door. This is a session that will push you to your limits in all aspects of the fitness spectrum. No fixed agenda – the structure will change all the time so be prepared for anything.”

I can safely say that I was struggling to breathe at the end of this!! To get a snapshot of what was involved, here is a quick ‘lighthearted’ video from the session. As you can see we were looking super sexy at the end of it!! Training Session…

We stayed in the gym after the session to go through our personal strength and conditioning programs and refine form and technique. The main areas that that we need to strengthen to start is our core/trunk area. Repetitions of static positions is necessary initially to begin building this strength.

Emma core

After a quick lunch, we began our brainstorming session.
Obviously there is a huge amount to coordinate for an expedition of this magnitude.
Main areas discussed included Media/PR, Sponsorship, our Schools Project (soon to be launched) and values.

Physically and mentally it was a really productive day…but still a long way to go.
Keep following to become part of our journey as we’d love you all to travel with us…
Natalia x

For those intrigued to check out The Train Station gym, have a look at what they offer here: TTS

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The team reunites

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Rowing the solent, photo shoots, The Bornmourth Air Show, and the team reunites. We’ve just had a wonderfully productive weekend down in Christchurch.

After our night on Doris (slept like a baby) and expedition food breakfast, Saturday saw Laura, Izzy and I rowing in the most challenging conditions so far. During the 6 hours we were out, we got our first real feeling for how the boat handles, dealing with seasickness, blisters and using the bucket!

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On Sunday morning, Emma returned from her expedition trip in Brazil and it was very exciting to have the team together. We took the opportunity to take some group shots and then had a team debrief and outlined further training weekends and plan of action for the next month.

Keep following…

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A weekend on Doris

This weekend saw us road tripping down to Christchurch to spend a little time on Doris. After a quick stopover in Bath to meet up with Keith (our sports psychologist), we went through some results from a recent psychometric test and grabbed dinner at a great local pub.

A fundamental part of the row is obviously the mental preparation that the team will have to undergo. A portion of this will involve an in-depth analysis of personality traits and how each individual’s character and behavioural patterns will affect not only their reactions to certain situations, but also team dynamics. This is going to be a fascinating process that will affect the row itself as well as getting the boat to the start line. We will cover this in more depth in a later post.

We arrived into Christchurch late and decided to head straight to bed in preparation for the day of rowing ahead. Izzy and Natalia slept head to toe in close quarters in Doris’ aft cabin, and Laura in the fore-cabin.

In the Aft cabin

In the Aft cabin

To simulate a night on the ocean in a storm scenario (minus the movement), we decided to keep all hatches closed and see how much condensation build up there was and humidity and temperature increase.

We were up bright and early, eating our expedition food (freeze dried) and preparing for our row around Christchurch Bay. It was great to get out for a few hours in the windy conditions with the tail end of hurricane Bertha about to blow through, and giving us the chance to work on some of our boat manoeuvres.

Izzy and Natalia on the oars

Izzy and Natalia on the oars

We would have loved to have gotten further out to sea and played around more in rougher conditions but to do that safely on our next outing, we require a support boat to get us well away from the shoreline.

Even though we were back in port earlier than expected, we made use of the remaining time productively by familiarising ourselves more with Doris, sharpening our rope skills and sampling more expedition food. We’re beginning to rate the meals so we can decide which we want to take with us!

We spent another night all cosy inside Doris while the wind howled and rain lashed the outside. Sunday morning saw another sampling of expedition food breakfast before we said farewell to Doris and headed back to London.
A great weekend had by all!

A blustery morning on Doris

A blustery morning on Doris

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Expedition skills

As an Expedition Leader in Schools projects, I am lucky enough to work with some pretty great groups of teenagers. Once they sign up with us, it is my job to guide them through the process of fundraising, planning their trip and helping them to develop as a team. The idea is that once they are out on expedition they lead and manage their team, look out for each other and work together to make a successful trip. Many of the skills they develop is exactly what we replicate as a team in the Coxless Crew.

First there is the getting to know each other stage. Often the students in my teams are in different year groups and friendship groups and have never spoken before. Similarly our Coxless Crew formed from girls who had never met previously but who all share the passion for our charities and a determination to row the Pacific Ocean. With the schools we run team building sessions, regular team meetings and take them on a UK training weekend. For the Coxless Crew we too have weekly meetings, sea survival, medical and electrical courses to name a few, but our team building is based on weekends of army based training in the Brecons with Fieri (http://fieri.biz/) & bonding with our boat as well as the team, with 24/48/72 + constant hours of rowing in the sea. In both cases though the teams have to help each other through the experience and to successfully complete the challenges thrown at them.

Fundraising! This is the biggest challenge facing us in the Coxless Crew with a massive budget required for our expedition. A lot of the students manage to fundraise for their entire trip, however there’s certainly a difference between raising £2,000 to £200,000! When dealing with a larger budget, for the Coxless Crew, our sponsors are a huge part of the expedition. They are what make the expedition happen, they help us to fund that the best of the best people and equipment is in place, to ensure we are as best prepared as possible. By activating this expedition, our sponsors are the people that will enable over £250,000 to be raised for our charities. But with £100,000 still to raise to get us to the startline, we’re still on the look out for more sponsors to come on board, so please contact us if you’re interested!

Planning is up next and for our school expedition teams this involves choosing the areas they want to visit, the types of project work they want to complete and the activities they want to do. Again team work comes into play as they make sure that everyone’s opinions are heard and that they create an itinerary that works to fit everything in. For our Pacific row the planning is on a whole other level that I had never imagined! There is a seemingly endless numbers of things that have to be organised, co-ordinated and planned each week, let alone the logistics of boat, team, food and equipment shipping, across three different continents.

Finally the actual expedition. The difference between the students we send away and the ones who come back is huge. They come back with new friends for life, a new confidence and independence and more often than not plans for their next adventure! I can’t wait for us as a team, to be out on the ocean in our beautiful boat Doris. We will be well prepared for the journey both in terms of physical training, training in the boat and psychologically trained, thanks to our awesome support team but I have no doubt that the experiences that we will share out in the ocean with only each other to rely on, will cement our teamwork and our friendships to a level that nobody else will ever be able to understand! And who knows what plans for the next adventure we might come back with…

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Patricia

Through my work as a Physio,  there are characteristics that I see in a select few that show the true meaning of mental resilience; the depth, determination and belief in their goal which seems to be drawn on when being faced with adversity. What continues to amaze me, is the fight that people have to overcome it.

Over the next few months, I plan to share with you the stories that are particularly close to me and those people that have truly made an impact on who I am today.

PATRICIA, RASHID & YASIN:

I met Rashid a few years ago when I worked in a private sports clinic & his bubbly, positive nature and love of sports and his family, meant that outside of the therapy room we had become friends. He had just got married and him his wife, Patricia, were expecting their first child. Thinking back to how they were then, I wish I could turn back the clock for them.

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After spending a recent evening with Rashid and his son Yasin, it was the first time where he shared with me photos of his wedding day to Patricia, photos of the birth of their son Yasin and the most poignant of all, a video taken with Patricia just 2 days before she died. The overwhelming emotion that I felt isn’t even a scratch on what Rashid is going through and it highlighted to me that their story is one to be shared. This is one of the most heart wrenching stories that I’ve ever experienced and it’s the fact that it’s reality, it’s not a film or a fictional story, but this is a close friend of mines’ real life story.

2 years ago, nearly to the day, Rashid and Patricia couldn’t have been happier, they had reached where most of us dream of, to find true love in a sole mate, in someone that gets you, in someone that you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with. It was 2012 and they had just got married which was a beautiful family affair and was everything they had wished for. On the return from their honeymoon, they found out the exciting news that they were pregnant, and for them if ever ‘perfect’ existed, then now was the time.

However for Trish and Rashid, pure happiness was short lived. Just 3 months later, Patricia got the devastating news that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer and in order to treat it, she would need radical surgery along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy which wouldn’t be suitable for their unborn child. They had a tough decision to make, to save Patricia’s life or their unborn baby. A decision that you can never wish on anyone. However they were given a reprieve of a ’2 week’ window which became to be quite pertinent in a number of situations, but those 2 weeks meant that their little baby boy  Yasin could be delivered by C-section at 28 weeks old, weighing in at a weighty 2 pounds!

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The delivery was the Friday and the following Monday Patricia commenced the arduous journey of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Their days/ weeks/months blurred into one, with Rashids’ days spent morning and night in the ITU with Yasin, then by his wife’s bedside, whilst still being dedicated to stay focussed as a school teacher at work in the day. Whilst he was doing that, Patricia who had just had a C-section, was going through all the chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed by radical chest surgery. Yet Trish would take herself into ITU, to spend the day with Yasin, wanting to feed/ wash/ change him,  regardless of how weak she may have felt.

However this was the pinnacle reflection point that Rashid kept highlighting to me, both himself, the family and even Patricia herself were amazed at where she got her strength from. Patricia would openly say that she was a ‘girly girl’, loved her heels, her hair being immaculate and presenting herself & would previously have complained about any ache or pain or a small scratch on her knee. But yet during this, something just switched on, everyone around her saw this inner strength that just ignited, to the point where she’d even turned to Rashid to say ‘this isn’t me, I don’t know where this is coming from….’. When faced with the adversity of loosing the love of her life, the newborn gorgeous baby boy that she’d just carried, natural instinct and inner strength told her to fight. The astounding thing with Tricia, is that she did it all with a smile on her face & humour throughout, refusing to ever complain.

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I have only ever loved watching films that have a happy ending, where regardless of what adversity people have faced you wish only the best to come out of it, for them to overcome it and live a happily ever after life, because to me that’s what people like Rashid and Patricia deserve.

However this was one of those cases that fate/ faith whichever you want to believe, had taken that opportunity away from them. After 3 months of treatment, battling against the odds, Patricia was diagnosed with secondaries in her spine. She was given 3 months prognosis to live which was cut short to surviving only a few weeks.

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The other night Rashid showed me a video that he took of Patricia by her bed side 2 days before she passed away. It was a video where she could barely open her eyes, she went through giving each member of the family a message, reminiscing of funny anecdotes fluctuating between moments of hallucinations to clear lucid strong messages, expressing her desires of Yasin to be cared for and brought up within their tight family with only memories of joy and happiness.

Whilst I sat trying to control the tears that were rolling down my face, not only did I feel the sadness for Patricia trying to fight for her life, for the life that she’d so desperately wished for and had in her hands for such a short period of time, but I’m sitting here watching it with Rashid. Her husband who is now left to care for their child after loosing the love of his life. To care for a beautiful child Yasin who is a spitting image of his mum, a reminder on a daily basis of her presence.  A man that has all these memories, these pictures and videos that he’s watching knowing how happy they once were and that he will never see or feel that happiness again.

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If there was something we could do to bring Patricia back for Rashid, Yasin and their family, I would do it in a flash, but instead the only way we can help, is by keeping her memory and story alive.

By making this row a success, it gives a platform to share this story and many others that Breast Cancer Care provide the support for. This row is not about us, it is about those women & families that have had to face and fight adversity but don’t get a chance for their voice to be heard.

‘Live and laugh every day, spend time with your family and love your family, live with nothing left un-said or undone, knowing that if today was your last there would be no regrets.’ Patricia Elouahabi

Patricia

 

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A day out in Henley

This week we were lucky enough to be invited by fst to attend the Henley VIP day, an exclusive travel industry day at Henley Royal Regatta and bring Doris along to show her off to a new audience.
Laura pulled off a master class in logistical organisation in the 2 days prior to the event, bouncing between Loughborough, London, Portsmouth and Christchurch to ensure that we were able to get the boat up to Henley on Wednesday morning. Huge thanks have to go to our equipment sponsors Lewmar for lending us a trailer and to the guys at Rossiters who got up early on Wednesday to show us how to get an ocean rowing boat off the water, onto a trailer and secured properly for a trip up the motorway. With Laura at the wheel we set off through Christchurch, getting a lot of attention from people on their way to work and off on our first towing adventure.

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Once Doris was installed outside the very swanky marquee we were invited in to talk to all the attendees of the day about our Pacific row. Huge thanks to fst who not only let us talk peoples ears off all day while feeding and watering us, but also kindly donated the takings from their regatta accumulator competition to our challenge. The interest we had from everyone we spoke to was an inspiration in itself and it was really great to share our story so far with more people. There was even time to watch a rowing race or two and get a bit jealous of everyone racing.

In the enclosure

In the enclosure

Showing off Doris

Showing off Doris

Some rowing!

Some rowing!

At the end of a successful day of networking we hitched up the trailer and headed back to Christchurch. Another long day finished – we’re certainly getting plenty of sleep deprivation practice at the moment but I for one am loving the craziness of being part of the Coxless Crew.

Enjoying being by the river

Enjoying being by the river

Looking smart in our Crew Clothing kit

Looking smart in our Crew Clothing kit

Finally another huge thank you to:
fst http://www.fstthegroup.com/ for inviting us for a great day in Henley.
Lewmar http://www.lewmar.com/ for the loan of the trailer.
Rossiters http://www.rossiteryachts.co.uk/ for all their help manoeuvring the boat onto the trailer.
We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

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Team Selection in the Brecons

Another weekend, another Coxless Crew adventure! This time we headed to the Brecon Beacons with 6 of our lovely applicants to test our teamwork, resilience and sense of humour. I’m pleased to say that all three remained intact and we had a fab weekend.

Road trip

Briefing

Briefing

 

We headed down to the Brecons on Friday afternoon where we were briefed by the brilliant Matt and Ali from Fieri who were organising the weekend. A quick navigation lesson and some packing followed before grabbing a couple of hours sleep. The day started at 3am when we got up, breakfasted and headed off on the first leg of our adventure. Our super support team of Matt and Ali, Keith our super performance psychologist and our favourite Coxless Crew supporter Ella waved us off and we headed out into the dark with our map, compass and enthusiasm. Each checkpoint revealed a task which required us to function as a team and work together to solve a problem.

task 1

Task 1

 

 

4am and we're off!

4am and we’re off!

 

Navigating

Navigating

As we progressed through the day we bonded as a team and learned a lot about how to work together and this translated into much improved performance and success in the tasks.  Everyone had the chance to lead the group while walking and during a task learning from each other’s mistakes and highlighting each other’s strengths within the team.  It also allowed us plenty of walking time to let us get to know each other better.  Stories were told, laughs were had and songs were sung while we climbed hills, crept through magical Narnia like woods and waded through bogs.  Feet took a bit of a beating with blisters and slight trenchfoot needing patching up between legs.  However everyone remained smiling and supporting each other in a top team effort.

Approaching a checkpoint

Approaching a checkpoint

 

18 hours and over 50km in and we're all still smiling!

18 hours and over 50km in and we’re all still smiling!

After 23 hours we reached our final checkpoint following some interesting night navigation and summoned up the last of our energy for the final task. This involved running up and down a hill with barrels, planks and wooden pallets (thanks Ella!). An awesome sense of achievement and post exercise high was quickly followed extreme tiredness. Reviews were written (probably fairly incoherently) and then we grabbed a couple of hours sleep.

Task requiring logical thinking after 21 hours of hiking

Task requiring logical thinking after 21 hours of hiking

Sunday morning saw some hilarious attempts to get down the stairs to breakfast. We then reviewed our performance with Matt, Ali and Keith going over everything that we had learned and things we need to work on. A great end to a really great weekend. I have no idea how we are going to choose the team as everyone really embraced the experience and contributed to the success of the exercise.

Still smiling on Sunday

Still smiling on Sunday

 

Posing!

Posing!

Massive thanks need to go to Fieri, Matt and Ali for organising the weekend and sharing their knowledge with us, Keith Goddard for his input, assessment and general awesomeness and Ella for her support, camera work and banter. Finally to the six lovely ladies who joined us thanks for making it such a success, you are all awesome and part of the Coxless Crew team.

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Round the Island Race Cowes 2014

What a weekend!! Doris went for her first proper outing on the sea, we tried out all our Raymarine electronics and Crewsaver safety equipment for the first time, some of the girls who have applied to join our team came along for a row and we spent some happy hours running an ergo competition in the Raymarine tent.

Doris hits the sea!

Doris hits the sea!

The weekend started bright and early on Friday morning when Laura, Lizanne and I set off from Christchurch for our first venture out of the run. It was awesome, the sun was shining, the water was flat and our fusion radio was blasting out the tunes. With Matt advising us via the VHF radio we made it safely to Cowes (just about after slightly overshooting the entrance) after a 9 hour row and Doris settled into her home for the weekend at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club who kindly hosted us.

At sea for the first time!!

At sea for the first time!!

 

 

Learning to use the autopilot

Learning to use the autopilot

 

Our super comfy Crewsaver lifejackets

Our super comfy Crewsaver lifejackets

On Saturday we were joined by Ali, Naomi and Natalia and we spent the day with Raymarine getting people on the ergs to try their hand at a 500m rowing competition. We were also joined by fellow Raymarine ambassadors and ocean rowers James Ketchall and Ash Wilson who will be rowing the Indian Ocean next year. We shared stories of sponsorship hunting and got some advice from James who has rowed the Atlantic. The poor sailing boats made almost painfully slow progress around the island in conditions far better suited to rowing but very well suited to a day in the sunshine at the yacht haven. When the sailors finally started arriving back we were even treated to a visit from Ben Ainsley and team!

 

The competition hots up in the Raymarine tent

The competition hots up in the Raymarine tent

Everyone got involved

Everyone got involved

We meet Ben Ainslie and team

We meet Ben Ainslie and team

Sunday morning we were up early again, breakfasted on Expedition Foods oats and muesli meals and were off rowing at 6.30am. Shortly after leaving Cowes we were joined by Hamish on our support boat for the day. Hamish kindly followed us back to Christchurch providing steering advice, a video camera, a ride in the RIB to get some good shots of Doris and even some oar power when he came aboard for a row. We were also joined by Simon Shaw who came out on his RIB to meet us and have a row. Lots of singing, dancing and laughing in the beautiful weather occurred and we made it to Christchurch in such good time that we had to hitch a lift from Hamish to get back through the run against the tide.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Happy days on Doris

Happy days on Doris

Simon joins us for a row

Simon joins us for a row

All in all a pretty fantastic weekend and we loved every minute of it. After all the hard work it takes doing the admin and planning for an ocean row it was great to get the chance to enjoy being out on Doris for a proper adventure. And as for what’s next, we have our final team selection weekend in the Brecons and then Henley Royal Regatta to look forward to in the next week. Stay posted for more updates!

Thanks to Raymarine for inviting us for a great weekend

Thanks to Raymarine for inviting us for a great weekend

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Team Selection Day 1

 

On Saturday we finally got to meet with the girls who have applied to join our Coxless Crew team. It was exciting and inspiring to find 14 girls who get what our row is about and who took the time to fill in the application. It’s also good to know that there are people out there who think that rowing the Pacific is a good idea!

Laura briefs everyone on the day ahead

Laura briefs everyone on the day ahead

We held the day’s activities at Bisham Abbey with Laura masterminding a full day of activities and managing to include girls in three different continents. The 11 girls who came along to Bisham were taken on a whistle-stop tour of activities with myself, Laura, Keith (sports psych), Alex (strength and conditioning) and Dale (cameraman).

Keith does his thing!

Keith does his thing!

Exercise to identify the ways to get the best out of each other – very important for 6 months on a boat the size of Doris!

Exercise to identify the ways to get the best out of each other – very important for 6 months on a boat the size of Doris!

We were also treated to a first person account of what it is like to row an ocean from Fergus of the Atlantic Polo team who is just back from his own ocean adventure.

Fergus tells us what ocean life is really like

Fergus tells us what ocean life is really like

Three girls also joined us over skype from abroad and were taken on their own journey around the different activities via iPad – the wonders of technology!

The wonders of modern technology!

The wonders of modern technology!

The day ended with a summary of the row from our fab applicants themselves. All of the  fantastic and it’s funny to think that we’ve now probably met the rest of the team who will be joining us on Doris for 6 months out at sea.

The next stage of team selection will involve a weekend of army training in the Brecons to test out our resilience under pressure, a bit of sleep deprivation and help us to figure out how to get the best team dynamic. Massive thanks have to go to our awesome support team Keith, Alex, Dale and Fergus who all gave up their Saturday to help us out and share their wealth of experience. Left to ourselves I think we might end up with a Coxless Crew team too big to fit on the boat!

The end of a good day

The end of a good day

Watch this space to see the final Coxless Crew team take shape!

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