Monday, 18 August 2014

Have you got the long-distance rowing bug?

Take this quick 10-question test to find out whether you're a normal rower who merely likes reading about expedition rowing, a potential addict, or a full-on raving long-distance rowing loony.

Be warned, though, once you know the signs, you'll find yourself starting to exhibit them. And once you've got the bug, there's no known cure, you simply have to indulge...

Question 1. You hear about a 35km rowing event. Your immediate reaction is:
1. Golly, that's a long way
2. Great - where do I sign up?
3. Nah, too short.

People will do the oddest things for the camera.
Question 2. How many seat pads do you own?
1. 0
2. 1
3. 2 or more.

Question 3. Bank holidays provide a great opportunity to:
1. Have a lie-in.
2. Go for a quick scull and then visit your parents/take your kids to the zoo.
3. Do a 2-day rowing expedition and still have time to mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, get some groceries in, and iron some shirts for work next week.

Question 4. How many of these items do you own: a GPS, rowing gloves, 12-hour Neurofen, a dry bag, a waterproof that you can scull in?
1. 0
2. 1-2
3. 3 or more.

Question 5. On completing the 160km "Tour du Léman" you would think:
1. Thank goodness I've finished. I never need to do that again.
2. Loved it. Looking forwards to next year already!
3. Loved it. Now, time to talk  to some of the other competitors and find out about long-distance rowing events in their countries.

Question 6. What is your reaction to the following statement: "A bad day on the water's better than a good day in the office"?
1. False.
2. This is only true if you have a really awful job.
3. Yes, yes, yes!

Question 7. How many days of your annual leave have you spent in the past year on expedition rowing (including travelling to/from events)?
1. 0
2. 1-4
3. 5+

Question 8. What is your approach to signing up for long-distance rows?
1. Not if you paid me.
2. I might if someone asks me to join their crew.
3. I keep a "bucket list" of long-distance rowing events I want to do, and plan which ones I'm going to take part in at least a year ahead, and then fit other holidays round those.

What's not to like?
Question 9. How many km training on the water/ergo have you done on average each week this year?
1. 40km or less
2. More than 40km but I don't know how much.
3. More than 40km and I can tell you the exact number, to one decimal place.

Question 10. What is the largest number of expedition rows you've taken part in in one calendar year?
1. 0
2. 1-2
3. 3 or more* 

What your answers mean
If you scored mostly 1s, you're a perfectly normal rower/member of society, but there's a whole world of fun out there you're missing out on!

If you scored mostly 2s, you probably think you're happy with your rowing/life balance (work being relegated to third place, obviously), but you've already tasted the thrill of long-distance rowing, and you're likely to get sucked in further.

If you scored 3s for everything apart from question 9, you're an obsessive long-distance rower and I look forward to meeting you at an event soon (if I haven't already). 

If you scored 3s for everything including question 9, you are a serious long-distance rower and you're probably also German.

Go on, 'fess up – what did you score?

* You may, up to this point, be thinking you're quite the expedition rower. However, set your obsession against that of one member of the Dutch long-distance rowing community, who completed 25 rows of more than 50km in 2013! Yes, 25, as in one every other weekend more or less. Not surprisingly, he doesn't have a garden.


  1. hmmm. failed on question #9 this year. But I do hope I have earned a bonus by whishing the German bloke who was ready to row Tour de Lac in a single "viel spaß"...

    1. You surprise me! But what was your answer to question 10 - how many rows did you do the year you won the prize for the most long-distance miles rowed?

  2. It looks like I'm a #2 thru and thru. But before I commit to the next level reassure me that the yellow bucket in Pic1 above is for benign use only - nothing regurgitative I trust?

    1. As this was a 24 hour row on Coniston Water in the Lake District, in a borrowed ocean rowing boat, I can certainly reassure you that the yellow bucket was not for regurgitative purposes. However, there's a reason that ocean rowers use the phrase "bucket and chuck it", which is generally best not discussed in polite society, I'm afraid...

  3. 30 points and no mistake. Anne Maurissen

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