Saturday, 13 June 2015

English rows or English rose? The Magna Carta 800th Anniversary River Pageant

When it comes to expedition rows, I'm generally drawn towards the more challenging end of the spectrum. But despite involving more time spent picnicking than actually rowing, and the main preparations being  focused on what to wear, this two-day paddle along the Thames from Cookham to Runnymead was a truly splendid extravaganza of rowing in all its forms.

"What sort of boat is that?", was a FAQ along the way (both asked of us and by us); equipment was compared (I experienced boat-hook envy); and we made some lovely new friends too.

Incidentally, where was Magna Carta signed?

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Ringvaart Regatta 2015: Time for a little lie-down

What with sofas for marshals; floating bananas; llamas; a 25km row to the start; mid-race chips; a stork on a stick; loads of students who could hardly row; but then loads more students who excelled at bilingual organisation, the 100km Ringvaart Regatta is probably the wackiest rowing event I've ever taken part in.

Though I have to say it was an unusual choice for a first sculling race for the only other British entry in the event, "Jim the Sculler".