Tuesday, 13 May 2008
The London2Paris trophies were presented, by Deborah, to our core sponsors John Wiley & Sons ltd, who provided much needed support for our preparations: The photo shows Deborah (centre) with Steve Smith on Debs' right and David Palmer (Wiley Nautical) on her left.
While at the The British Cement Association Mike Gilbert organised a sweepstake. The challenge was to guess the time of our arrival in Paris. Anne Dearing and Geraint Adams (right) were closest to our arrival time at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and are pictured here receiving their champagne from Mike.
Monday, 12 May 2008
It was after much prodding, poking and the threat of having a stick of dynamite placed underneath his seat, the infamous Armchair Steve managed to visit us at Langstone yesterday evening for a post race celebration. Steve is seen here, in the vertical position, with the trophies and the winners pint mug and medal.
So, now you know, he does exist and was the key link in the communications chain between the rowing team and all the families of the Langstone Cutters London2Paris team. Through his patience, ability to weild a mouse and my ability to handle a mobile phone we were able to relay our situation during the race.
So THANKS STEVE from all of us. You are truly part of the team and a most valued friend.
The L2P team arrived back in Langstone on Saturday evening to find the High Street to find it had been decked out with bunting, balloons and banners - a very pleasent welcome home. Champagne and beer flowed and the trophies were duly paraded for all to see.
A very big thank you to the residents and members of the Langstone Cutters Rowing club for the superb welcome home we received on Saturday evening and after club rowing on Sunday. We are all very proud to have been able to win both trophies. It looks as if we may have to buy a new trophy cabinet!
Sunday, 11 May 2008
All my fault I'm afraid. I had left the "Review comments before publication flags set to ON" which menat only I was capable of lettig comments be published... DOH!
Many apologies to all our supporters and followers.
Your comments have now been published.
KEEP Watching for further updates to come.
There will be a photo gallery and hopefully some stories/tales of the deep from the crew in the coming weeks.
THANK YOU for all your support and an especically BIG thank you to Armchair Steve, without whom this blog could not have operated while the Langtsone Cutters were battling the London2Paris race!
Saturday, 10 May 2008
... in the evening the teams went to a presentation where the teams recieved both trophies... beers (a few) and wine was consumed!
Todays adventure... check out...move the bags to the "left luggage" at the station and then onward to yet another party (sheesh these guys know how to have fun)
They are due Eiffel Tower for midday - for the celebratory party with the organisers.. and one of the major sponsors of the race.. and for that its
... and then its onward back to Blighty on the 6:30 Eurostar - with the Cutters due back in their various homes from around 9 tonight..
Joke of the day - the opposition name the Cutters boat "The Terminator"!!
AND PLEASE KEEP WATCHING - although Armchair Steve will be "retiring" from the blog today and handing over the reins to SteveS - there will be MORE pictures, and MORE anecdotes and reactions from the crew... (just as soon as SteveS has downloaded 2Gb of pictures...and loaded the washing machine)
Stay tuned ..
Thanks for watching..
Friday, 9 May 2008
CNA TROPHY (For the lowest accumulated time from London to Paris)
- Langstone Cutters: 95hrs 16mins 51secs
- Le FigaROW: 104 hrs 15mins 58secs
PEDRO BOATS UK/SEACRAFT TROPHY (Points trophy – Combined results Tidal sections and Pursuit Races)
- Langstone Cutters: 28 points
- Le FigaROW: 14 points
Congratulations to both teams - but I have to be INCREDIBLY biased here and say
"few beers and a meal" last night -
Quote from SteveS
"Its SO nice to be on dry land again"
- Much of the team due to return to the Uk tomorrow
And have waved off the valiant Support boat team - who now have to motor BACK to the UK.
And for those of you still following - Local press has been in touch with them and me... so expect MORE publicity!
One of SteveR looking somewhat happy...
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Jock Wisheart - London2Paris organiser described the Cutters as:
"Worthy Winners" with a "dedictated and professional approach"
praise indeed supporters!
Jock is the Race Project manager with these credentials
- Organised first ever Polar Race –now a biannual event
- Holds world speed record for circumnavigating globe in powered vessel
- Has rowed Atlantic
- Former Head of PR for Rugby World Cup
- Team Leader for 1999 record breaking London to Paris rowing crew
Ok for those of you who want to heap praise....
I'll post anything I get on my gmail address up until 11:30 tonight to the team on this blog..
so go ahead.. tell them what you feel!
to the organisers... - without whom this would never have happened... - good one!
and to YOU the readers - who are sponsoring these guys, who are reading this.. (round of applause!)
A personal message - "thankyou" to all of you who have followed this - and emailed me to say how much you have enjoyed it... not half as much as I have writing it... Its my small contribution (plus my sponsorship) to the Cutters efforts
But most of all
SO... Dateline 4:30am on the last day..Nigel Prepares the boat - ready for THE LAST RACE
05:30 the team get in and strip the boat down to its bare essentials..no peanut butter sarnies..today - we're going for SPEED here!
This is a 7.2 mile DASH... - the decision ALL 7 ROWERS STAY PUT - no changes..no moves..
Water calm - weather cool...perfect conditions - light breeze...
Cutters had a 7.08 min handicap...
And there were off..!
Lots of early morning Dressing gown wavers from the shore appartments - just what they all needed lots of support
A hard slog and they Cutters went for it... - on the final turn in to paris Le Fig were just 200m away... (remember that penalty!) - the team pushed on...
- Sadly the finish line elluded them *just* ... Le FigaROW darted under the arch just 100m in front... - but they STORMED IT - WELL DONE CUTTERS!
From that point the relief and celebration took over.. - they joined the saftey boats for the trip to the basin...
AH... but... we're not out of the (hot) water yet!
Le Fuzz-d'leau arrived (ok sorry - the River Police)- enquiring what they were doing... blue lights and burly Frenchmen..
The French speaker took over.. the paperwork shown and next............
They had a Blue light Police escort to the basin
And there we have it readers.. the perfect end to a superb race and great spirits all round...
Congratulations Cutters... Congratulations Le FigaROW... in the words of Mr Grace "You've all done very well) (Kids..ask your parents!)
From then on silliness took over.. lots of dunkings and jumping in the river.. Colin and Sandra got very wet.. Colins shoes went in with him...
so now the saga of the shoes.. (well its a bit of fun!)
Colins shoes went for a dunk.. - so when the Cutters luggage was put in the taxi for the hotel (while some of the Cutters decided to walk) so in went the soggy ones... - and the were waved off..
Colin dived off into a shop enroute to the hotel for a little shoe-retail therapy.. - happy with his purchase -onward the valiant team went to the hotel..
as they arrived... there on the pavement - outside the hotel..in a little pool of water ...
ONE PAIR OF SOGGY SHOES... all on their own (one two three.. Ahhhhh!)
So there it is happy followers.. Cutters are probably out in the bar now.. as indeed we all should be - toasting friends and competitors...
Been great being part of this. I hope its been useful. Hope to meet a few of you over a pint sometime...
As I get the full results and any more info... I'll post it - but for now -I'm signing off from my dry and dull desk in Cosham..
GO GO CUTTERS! - slainthe'
SteveS dictated (with some polishing from moi!)
Please forgive us if we've got the last legs in a wee bit of a pickle... lots of info..and a very very tired SteveS!!
So.. Bougival to Suresnes
20 mile jaunt... the Cutters chose to rest a few of the team members as they are allowed to..so the boat had 4 rowers and a Cox - perhaps a good move
They had a 23min and 5.8sec penalty (remember this when you get near the bottom of this)
11:05pm Le Fig headed off into the dark...and the Cutters waited.. - bear in mind ALL these guys are rowing against the current..thats good going.
Colin and the team were digging deep to catch up..using the edge of the river to get the best "least current" - Colin dug deep and "SNAP" off went an oar... - in order to protect the person behind they snapped it..
The Rib sped off to collect the spare.. and a new one was dispatched.. - slightly different face on this one..but the team down to 3 oars and a new one.. pushed on (coo this is TENSE!)
Rhythm was re-established and the Cutters pushed HARD.. peaking at 5.3knots.. (BETWEEN 4 of them!)
They started to close of Le Fig bit by bit by bit.. - and finally over took them (bearing in mind the crew in Le Fig were rowing like troopers!) - and then a cry was heard from Le Fig "HEY they've only got 4 on board!"
So with Colin and Ralph at the front and Elaine and Deb at the rear..and our Sandra coxing they puish onward... - when they changed crew they took on board Ralphs peanut butter & jelly sarnies... and Snickers (tm) for the others.. they finally passed the others and with just three lengths between them it was a battle for the line..
Now bear in mind this is 3 am -and the rest of the "resting crew " and the support team were on the support boat SHOUTING at the tops of their voices and then they all begin singing the Cutters Shanty... - they are now in the suburbs of Paris
So apologies to our French readers to the teams who probably woke you up !!
- They crossed the line - just 3 lengths ahead and to much jubilation - and Porridge to follow!
The team then rested....
(Don't they celebrate in style)
Part II and the Final later...
and we'll reveal the saga of the Shoes...
Fastest Time from London to Paris - by more than 6 hours
The Pursuit Race Legs
(all details to be officially confirmed)
Commiserations ..but WELL DONE to Le Fig who crossed the finish line at Paris in front.. so managed to win the last leg - and were as far as I can see brilliant opponents- We're all very very proud of all of you...
Congratulations to BOTH TEAMS - valiant efforts and a superb week - good friends - its all about the taking part..
I feel knackered and I'm only typing this up!!!!!!!
But the comment was
"STORMED IT!" (Steve - go to bed!)
Crew all fit, well happy and KNACKERED! all tucked up in hotels having eaten and now resting..
(apart from Colins shoes...but more of that story to come - its worth waiting on!)
MANY MANY thanks to Pierre (Father of Claude L.) who sent this email to me...
"I am coming back from Bougival.
Any pictures of today.
Langstones Cutters passing Figarow…..
Pierre (Father of Claude L.)"
The pictures can be found at my fotopic website...
(the blog system is giving me a problem posting pictures)
or direct at
then clicking on each picture will enlarge it... - or view full size for MAXIMUM experience
ENJOY and thanks to for the contribution!
"Will call you after 10am with great news - the most exciting race yet last race of the week is due to start at 6am"
Looks like were going to be kept guessing as to whats happening... no chance of one of us going to be able to "pop over to Paris" to watch the final of this super and challenging week....
I've not been able to sleep looking forward to this morning...imagine rowing in to Paris with the sun rising behind the Eiffel Tower. Who needs the olympic torch - this is MUCH more fun :-)
As soon as I get anything I'll update you with as much as I can..
All I can tell you is "stay watching" - you know as much as I do!! Patience my friends.. patience.
Thats all for now..
"on the edge of his" Armchair Steve
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Thanks for all the kind messages.. but Its the Cutters and Crew who are the stars!
Nite all... catch you as soon as I know whats going on... as I know the masses a eager for more!
Finished the leg - waiting to traverse the next lock and then press on to Suresnes. The view then is that they will tackle tonights last leg (the penultimate one) from about 10pm ish - (as and when I get any details I'll post them up!)
And then tomorrow its the FINAL row into Paris - we think thats going to be an early start as they absolutely MUST get into Paris by 8am to avoid get in to hot water with the authorities! The plans are very dynamic so we wait for an update as crew time permits.
When I spoke to Steve and Sandra ( for our Scottish readers.. she was delighted )
For those kind people who have emailed in I've passed them on to the crew - spoke to a few.. they REALLY appreciate ALL the support you are providing back home.
Team spirits great - the team were lolling around on the deck enjoying the the evening sunshine and some quiet time..
More info as I get it...
And one funny.. apparently its pretty hot there... one of the "other crew" has just stripped off and jumped in - no comments on how little clothing that person is wearing!!!!
(and thanks to all the comment for me.. hey its just a small part ... and I'm wishing I was on board!)
Hope its Ok to publish folks... I'm really proud to be a VERY small part of this amazing week!
Armchair Steve :-)
It's showtime, Cutters, Go, Go, Go. Now you'll tie up triumphant c'est certain mais oui!
Marie-Anne Maurissen from Belgium
I've been following the race with tremendous interest, that's when I'm not training on the canals around here, in the wild but firm hope of being part of a crew next year.
I know Belgians aren't excluded ;-)
I've written already to another adress just to make sure someone will answer and I'll be rowing this race in 2009.
All the best to All
Dear Armchair Steve
Have got friends and family all totally hooked on the BLOG: well done Steve’s, it’s been a fantastic account.
Well done Langstone!! You really have put us on the map. Keep going and I hope it gets a bit cooler.
Sarah, Catherine and Lizzi Maclennan
but I think it has set in on Steve me thinks - hes just rung me up to wind me up...telling me about how hes sat on the top of the boat in the sunshine.. watching the Cutters rowing by their side...
I think the fun has now set in and the team have settled into a pleasant row...
either that or he has withdrawl symptoms from the lack of alcohol! Something which I have a sneaking suspicion will be fixed over the next few days!
Ah well - all the crews and rowers deserve it...
Is the sun over the yardarm yet?
The Cutters launched into the next leg almost immediately leaving around 1pm - with the similar penalty and the Cutters are now around 1/2 a mile ahead... but Le Fig are still in sight and can present a serious challenge!
The team are "really bouncy!" on a "serious high" <(your not kidding)>- they have a few blisters, but no serious injuries - and the three who are resting are "sleeping like babies" down in the support boat
PERFECT! - lots of bankside support for all the crews
And presently the Cutters have an escort of the local Fireboat
Actually Steve sounded seriously bouncy too...
Great stuff! but lets not forget the valiant efforts of Le Fig. Keep going guys!
Rowers are on Leg 7 - had a 23 min handicap on Le Fig - and as SteveS rang into me - the Cutters had passed them...
This is a 25 mile pursuit - stop for a brief rest then on to the next leg 8 Andresy to Bougival
Suns HOT - clear blue skies.. 20deg C, Cutters are sweating buckets, wearing their Legionaires hats -(very fetching apparently) - and the river is busy!
GO! GO! Cutters!
And thanks to Ken Bruce - BBC Radio 2 for an excellent metion to BOTH teams
- heard at 10:05am today.
"At 3:49 this morning the Langstone Cutters finished leg 6 which was twenty five miles - in total darkness in a time of 7 hours 11 min 31 seconds,. This was well ahead of the competition.
The night was cold and very damp!"
WELL DONE TEAM - comiserations to Le Fig - we're all friends here!
Anyone wishing me to pass back messages of support - contact me at ordessa-at-gmail.com (change the -at- to an @ sign I don't need any more spam) and I'll read them out to the team - or post to the blog.
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
The Cutters were off the port bow of the Sea Satin (Support boat) having left Notre dame de la Garenne - and were pulling steadily toward their next destination of Mericourt.
They left at 20:38 and are going to be rowing through the night and hoping to do this in approximately 5 hours. So at 3am when we're all tucked up..they'll be drifting into their next "port of call" - There they can lay over for a few hours...and get some well earned rest.
In the last leg, they rowed past a campsite with a lot of Union Flags, and St Georges cross flags - the campers found out what was happening and gave mighty cheer to the Cutters as they passed by!
Oh and I think the fatigue is setting into the support crew too.. Steve S has gone all "mystical and poetic describing the scenery " :-)
Just before I finished the call I asked how spirits were... with that came this great quote
In good spirits? I think so dont you?
And a big thankyou to Lance and the crew of the Sea Satin - for their hard work - seems they the cause for much hilarity on the support boat
Le Fig took off at a crackin pace - and the Cutters were released to chase after them with a ...wait for this
When SteveS rang in the team had just crossed the line having set a superb pace and to quote from the deck (the noise was incredible..)
"They were bl**dy close" as they came in just EIGHT minutes behind...
WELL DONE THAT TEAM! But Well Done to Le Fig too!
However this does mean victory to Le Fig for this race - All credit to them. This makes it much more interesting now.
The sounds from thew background were jubilant people and "an amazing amount of support from watchers on the quay side" the rowers had certainly "bust a gut" to get where they did.
So that was Leg 5 done - Amfreville to Notre Dame de la Garenne
But bear in mind that leg was 25 miles and both crews did that in around 5 hours (makes me feel kinda weak here...pushing heavy keys)
Quote of the day "Rowers are shattered and plastered* "
*Fear not readers - the "plastered" refers to the band-aids not copious bottles of french lager! (thats to come one hopes)
Onward to stage 6 - the teams have to go up through the locks...and the view is for them to do stage 6 tonight..
More as I get it..
Just spoken with SteveS - walking along the banks of the river.. wating for todays OFF!
The weathers warm and sunny... in fact it sounded like a Painting - boats bobbing on the river, sun, rolling hills , sigh! (where would you rather be now?)
Its the pursuit race starting today - Le FigaROW will kick off at approx 1pm - with the Cutters launching approx 25mins later
Its going to be a tough one.. le Fig are a great team and this is going to make the Cutters work hard.
Good luck to both teams - of course this site is behind the Cutters - but we'll be following the progress of Le Fig with interest - as this is going to a test of cunning and work rather than sheer endurance.
And some interesting stats (I know...I love 'em)
The TOTAL rowing time for the Cutters since leaving London is a whopping
67 Hours, 28 mins and 4 secs (approx! - hey I'm only passing on SteveS' comments!)
"04:11 Cutters arrived at the first lock ahead of the competitors. Crew all well and happy"
Now these next stages are the interesting ones... pursuit..
The points system the organisers have devised is intended to allow for a crew to win the race, even having lost every leg up to now, by winning all the pursuit races.
Let battle commence - and this is Le FigaROW's opportunity to steal the challenge.
Going to make this exciting now
Monday, 5 May 2008
"Actual results so far
Leg 1 We arrived 48 mins before the other team
Leg 2 1.5 hours ahead
Leg 3 1hr 20 mins
Official Total 3 hours and 26 mins
Goooooooo boys and girls!!! We're wishing you on back here..
Armchair Steve (who wishes he was on the Belle now)
Anyhow a quick update from the deck of the Belle Founder. Spirits seem high still.
"Crew left Rouen at 9:25pm BST - heading upriver for Amfreville - they estimate to be there betwenn 6-7 hours time.
LCRC had a chance to rest and catch up on food/sleep etc whilst Le Fig came in"
Looks like its going well then - but it still a loooooong way to go -
Next stop Amfreville - that *may* be tonight - plans are changing so the time tables you may have on your coffee tables may not be accurate.
As I get more details I'll let you know
"Currently rowing through the industrial port of Rouen - not a pretty part of the Seine. Brilliant rowing - superb conditions and the cutters have once again taken the lead - they are presently approximately 2 miles ahead of LeFigaROW - and doing well.
Team are tired having been up since four am - but the weather has been warm and hazy sunshine making rowing conditions very comfortable. Everybody Ok and no problems to report"
However it would appear that the river "boys in blue" and the Port Authority can't decide which side of the river the boats should be rowing on... so they've been paid a visit by a Police launch... with a few puzzled French River Police.
Fortunately one of the team speaks fluent French and the law now know whats going on...
apparently the following was heard on the port marine radio (well something approximating to..)
" We have boats and a couple of rowing boats on the Seine - we're not sure what they are doing but they are BRITISH!" (ah well... !)
The team are due in Rouen in the next hour and will then allow the others to catch up before the next stage on to the first lock.
Once you have done that - you can come back to the blog - sign in with your new account, create a profile and away you go...
if you have problems use the help on the top screen or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
However the tide has now changed - and with the Cutters rowing hard they are making a crackin 8.6mph
Weather forecast is for warm hazy sunshine and dry!
The Cutters a in great spirits and have taken the lead again........ :-)
(and Radio2 managed to broadcast something that was almost right! at 8;10am)
Sunday, 4 May 2008
... one comment I'd make.. - don't those boats look vunerable? Next time you're cross-channel-ing on your P&O car ferry think of these boats in the water... - scary!
Comment from Co-ordinator Mike Gilbert
All credit to LeFigaROW - they are putting up a great battle - and its anyones race yet!!
Don't count your poulets!!!
Full article can be found at:
and the opposition team site is
good luck all -
Belle Founder just crossed the winning line - 142 miles after leaving Ramsgate in FIRST Place
Crew - KNACKERED!
Sunset - FANTASTIC!!
Spirits high - and the sounds of hooters and cheering in the background
Opposition? they estimate at 2.3 miles behind -but those poor chaps/esses are going to pick up the turning tide again..
- Next stage - leaving Le H at 4am - race start at 6am... ROUEN here they come"
Superb stuff... think they're all off for a well earned rest...
They are currently off the coast of Dieppe - presently rowing at 4-5 knots, but rowing against a 2knot tide.. so the team are finding it hard going. Overnight one or two have been fighting some sea sickness
(Ed: heck I feel seasick just imagining it!)
The rowers doing well - the porpoises/dolphins were a welcome addition to morale overnight. Le Havre is about 43 miles away - fatigue is now setting in as the team have been rowing on and off for 23 hours. Support crew doing a great job of keeping spirits up
So for those of you reading your sunday paper... spare a thought for these guys and the hard working support crew... before you reach for you mug of coffee :-)
The sea is calm, the tide is due to turn around 11:30 - that will then push the team onward riding with the tide. Estimated time of arrival at Le Havre is between 6 and 8 pm tonight.
The best news - opposition is around 4 nautical miles behind the Belle.
Whilst I was on the phone to Steve I made a comment about the chatter coming from the the support boat.. "Thats not us ..thats the guys on the Belle!!!" - so it sounded to me that the team were in fine sprits..and doing really well. Good spirits and once again in the lead.
More details as I get them today.
Saturday, 3 May 2008
The team kicked off the next stage at 11:16 (see it was that breakfast again!) - for the next stage
- heading for the Port of Dover and then striking forth for Le Havre. They've moved off at full pelt
Both teams seem to using different rowing strategies... this could make it interesting.
The sea state is a little more choppy, but there is very little wind.
(Next update will be dependant upon a mobile signal)
Phone call from Steve - from the breakfast table with the distant sounds of munching and chatter.. - is anyone else noticing a trend here - of early morning hearty breakfasts?!
"The team are scheduled to leave Ramsgate at 10:30 this morning, and make a hard push down to Dover, then on to Le Havre. The organisers have made this change due to the favourable weather conditions and the general performance.
They arrived last night 45 mins ahead of the other crew - so
STAGE 1 goes to LCRC!
last nights funny - during one of the changes a member of the crew shouted "Bag overboard!" - and floating past the Belle Founder was a carrier bag full of seating mats. The Support boat was hurried in to action to retrieve these before they disappeared in to the night.. "
(and thus yet another Tesco carrier bag was saved from drifting back toward London)
"So at 2am this morning the support boat was used as a new addition to Ramsgates "B&B" community. "
A little cozy perhaps?
More updates during the day as I get them,...
"01:47 Belle Founder finished 1st leg 2.7 miles ahead of the competition in Ramsgate. The weather fantastic hence chnage of plan. Will call in the morning to explain".
-- curiouser and curiouser said Alice..!
So readers, I'll be getting an update after 8am today to give you all an update later on this morning.
Friday, 2 May 2008
...."The Boats are going well - at least TWO changes of lead so far - and the boats are rowing quite close to each other..
The LCRC have just taken the lead..and they are just on their way near
The Cutters are rowing well - sea conditions are remarkably calm...and they are looking forward to a race down the Kent coast
--- Message Ends
(Which is ok to say for the people not sitting in the cockpit of a Cutter I guess) - keep up the good work! But the support crew sounded in fine spirits.
So for those of us tucked up at home... glass of wine in hand ..spare a thought for these guys who have been rowing now for some 10 hours already...
Looks like we're in for a good race. Will update as and when I get new news
*Armchair Steve. (*AS from now on)
After a hearty breakfast near by to Tower Bridge.,.. the team assembled..
They had a fantastic start - they launched from Westminster Bridge and pulled away at their usual 24 strokes per minute. They've made great progress, as the Thames is calm and beautiful (Ed: thats a new description for the Thames!)
They've already started to pull away from the opposition. As I got the call, they were just passing under the M25 Queen Elizabeth Bridge
(Ed: probably making better progress than the bank holiday traffic)
The opposition can just be spotted in the distance, some 1/2 to 3/4 mile BEHIND the LCRC team.
They already managed one full change - and all is well.
More details as I get them..
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Wednesday 30th April dawned very very wet and windy -- does this bode well for the race (the weather forecasters are saying all will be calm!). I borrowed Colin's Land Rover Discovery and promptly filled it to capacity with all of the bags, supplies and food for the race. Nigel & I then made the 3 hour long drive to Ramsgate where we met with Lance & Mike. "How much stuff have you got" was the exclaimed comment from Lance quickly followed by "where are we going to store it all."
May I introduce to you Sea Satin our safety & support boat. This is where the twelve members of the Langstone Cutters London2Paris team will be residing for the duration of the race. There are 5 berths in the stern, of which two are now fully occupied with the team's bags. So sleeping will be cosy and humid to say the least - but we're all friends! We will also be sharing the boat with the RIB crew so that's an extra challenge.
It's becoming very real now.... just today and then for most of a 4:30am start on race day. We're being driven, by Polly, to London ready for an early breakfast and prepation of the boats. By 10 am tomorrow we should have the rowing boat set up and be cast off heading upstream to Westminster Bridge.
Let's hope for fair weather and a good race....
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
So... the Sunday meeting was well received by all
Sunday 27th April - The Bon Voyage Party
Realisation that the race starts in 5 days has hit the crew. So what better way to take their minds off it than to hold a “Bon Voyage” party. Thanks to Chris, landlord of the Royal Oak, we were able to invite friends, rowers, family and supporters to the party. The rowing team were able to greet our supporters from the RNLI, Jenny our Pilates coach, as well as members of the rowing team’s families.... several beers were enjoyed by the non-rowers and a fund raising raffle raised a significant amount of money for the Langstone Life Savers fund. The party was rounded off with the Victory Shanty men and our rowers and friends all joining in the rousing sea son “La Belle Paris” (words & recording on the L2P web site blog page). 5 Days to go and the team are ready for the challenge!! Look out Paris we’re on our way!
- Message from SteveR - don't encourage any of the team to "have a half before you go"...they're all in training...save it for their hopeful Victory
And a great thanks to all who are contributing financially.. the team appreciate it.
Final preps are underway... (you only have to see Steve's dining room to see how much prep!) - Heres to the intrepid team..
I'll be working to keep you all up to date with the teams progress... - and plotting where they are on my "control board".
Well as lead support I now have all of their bags and all of the food and supplies ready for the race. Today Nigel (the other support team member) and I will be driving to Ramsgate to meet with Mike and Lance Oram (Dover Sea School) who are providing the safety boats. The plan is to load everything onto Sea Satin, our safety boat and get it all squared away ready for Friday. It's Sea Satin, Lance and his crew who will be navigating and guiding us from London to Paris.
It's going to be an experience and I believe the whole team are ready to row! The levels of excitment, trepidation and "what have I got myself into?" were evident yesterday when I met the crew.
So good luck crew and good luck to "Le Figarow" our competition. Let's hope the weather is kind and the winds fair to light!
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Why not meet the team on our web site Click Here to see who the intrepid 10 rowers and 2 members of the support team are.
With less than 6 days to go preparations are pushing on. Nigel has attended a cold water survival course and will now be the fount of knowledge should someone get an unscheduled immersion. Today Colin is taking a VHF radio course meaning we'll have 4 qualified operators in our team.
Me I'm updating the blog, preparing food for the race and generally trying to double & triple check the equipment and supplies already prepared.
This evening we have the "Bon Voyage" party at the Royal Oak pub in Langstone. The team will most likely be abstaining from the beer but encouraging everyone else to enjoy and generously donate and sponsor the team for uor chosen charities!!
More chatterings to come and if the technology works we should be able to update this blog during the race!!
Thursday, 24 April 2008
While rowing from London to Paris in a Thames Waterman Cutter boat has been done four times before - with a record time of 90 hours - this is the first time a RACE has been run. Polar Adventures Limited and the crews will be working together to make it a success. The rowing starts in London on May 2nd 2008. It will be raced over a number of legs. Leg 1: Starting at Westminster Bridge, London will see the teams racing down the Thames, round Kent to Dover. Leg 2: From Dover to Le Havre which will include the Channel crossing under strict supervision as it is the busiest waterway in the world. Leg 3: Leaving Le Havre through the tidal section to Amfrevilles. The final legs will be a series of sprints, lock to lock; on handicap (i.e. Slowest boat gets a head start, faster boats in pursuit). The finish is in Paris beside the Eiffel Tower very early on the morning of May 8th (if all goes to plan). More information about the race and the organisers will be found on the London2Paris Rowing web site
This will be a significant opportunity for attracting local and national interest – on the web, in newspapers, radio and television so we decided to start the Langstone Lifesavers Fund: The L2P team has set a target of raising £50,000 (€65,000) for charities with a common theme – saving lives. Our first charities, which we hopefully won’t need on our trip, are the RNLI and the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer; both charitable funds that save lives at sea. Our nominated Land-based lifesaving charities included are the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK. If you would like to sponsor our efforts then click on the links above and give generously.
So now you know the objectives and the detail. This race begins on Friday 2nd May from Westminster Bridge in London starting at 11am! This blog will be used DURING the race to keep friends and families updated with our progress. There will not be pictures during the race but I will try to give you the updated information as and when time and conditions allow.
We are raising money for Life Saving Charities will you Sponsor us?
Please sponsor our efforts in this race by clicking on the links above and give generously.
Thanks in advance