Friday, 20 December 2013

Elfsteden (11 Towns) Rowing Marathon: Give us a HUG!

Which would you rather do on the last weekend before Christmas? Go shopping, or go rowing with a bunch of people you hardly know, in a foreign country, over the longest night of the year?

Obviously, it was a no-brainer, and so it was that I spent a freezing weekend having a tremendous time, rowing past the occasional windmill.

And as so often, but still unexpectedly happens with events like this, it was a cultural eye-opener too.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tour du Leman 2013: Like how you DREAM sculling to be

The problem with my fifth experience of the 160km Tour du LĂ©man a l'Aviron, round Lake Geneva, was that everything was so perfect, there's a serious risk that all future participations can only be a disappointment: the weather was idyllic; our safety boat driver kept us entertained in ways no safety boat had ever tried before; and we even found a solution to one of our major food issues.

Mind you, we did struggle a bit with a wonky rudder, and a trapped nerve in my neck meant that I found out my left arm didn't work properly during the race when the rate went above 24, but it would be boring if it were simple...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rowing the Nile (well, some of it)

© Nile Rowing Expedition,
Martin Paasman.
At 6,853km long, the River Nile is the World's longest river. Which obviously makes it a tantalising location for expedition rowing. 

However, in the same way that the answer to the question "How do you eat an elephant?" is "One bit at a time", a wise approach to rowing the Nile is to start with the 720km chunk from Luxor to Cairo. 

And that's exactly what my friend Martin, a Dutch long-distance rowing fanatic of the first order, spent 10 unforgettable days doing (do the maths – that's a lot of rowing day after desert-hot day).