Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
They battle crosswinds and waves that attack from the side, rocking them relentlessly and slamming the oars into the rowers’ shins until they’re bruised and bleeding. They go ashen with seasickness, but Hanssen is the worst. “I can vomit and row at the same time,” he notes cheerfully. -- Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean
The 158th Boat Race between Oxford University Boat Club & Cambridge University Boat Club last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse". He has returned home to recover. [more inside]
Saturday, a four man rowing crew (pictures) broke the 114 year old record for rowing across the Atlantic. [more inside]
Lone ranger or lunatic? Colin Yeates is about to set off from the Falkland Islands on his second attempt to row alone and unsupported around Antarctica. His previous attempt ended in spectacular failure after just two days of plotting an erratic course in the wrong direction and crash landing on a beach just 50 miles from where he set off. Undeterred by the danger he places in the path of those who will, inevitably, have to rescue him, the father of seven has repaired his tiny rowing boat and seems unbothered that winter is nigh and the local sailors don't want to shake the hand of this dead man walking.
Did you know that a woman is rowing solo across the Atlantic? She's almost done, hopefully finishing the journey in the next week or two. Just the thought of it blows me away...