1 down, 2 to go! The next milestone’s a new Channel record
A weekend to recover from Loch Ness and the boys were training again…for La Manche!
With the Monster Row triumph still fresh, I’ve already moved on to the next challenge in our ‘Summer of Records’ in the amazing trainera boat. But this one is not without its awkward moments. For a start, the French have created a ‘Condon Sanitaire’ around the Calais coastline because of the migration situation and won’t allow anyone to row from France to the UK, making a cross channel record impossible. They have also banned up until 2 months ago, rowing boats entering French Waters. They have now relented but you must still be towed by your Support boat through the French controlled shipping lanes which makes any record invalid. However you can still swim across! Confusing is it not? Instead, we’re going to complete precisely the same distance on a course from the Dover coastline to the Colbart North buoy, well out into the Channel, but in fact on the British side. It’s a row which will be classed as a new record by the Guinness Book of Records; however, we’ll still aim to beat the current cross-channel record time as well. The Channel record is held by Dover Rowing Club. Their time of 2 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds – is the one to beat!
The stretch we’ll row is by no means easier than the Channel crossing. In fact, it could be considered more difficult. This is because the wind and tide are usually beneficial coming from one direction for a Channel crossing. Instead, we could potentially have the wind and tide against us in both directions.
We’re making our attempt earlier than Initially planned. We had originally expected to be doing it in September, however the weather and tide wait for no one and when we saw an opening in the weather, we decided to bring the date forward. There is a 5-hour window on Monday 29th July which looks as though it will be clear with low winds. There is also a neap tide meaning that there is less difference between the high and low tide and means fewer waves. However, weather changes quickly so we won’t be sure until the weekend.
One thing we do know. This trainera boat was designed for coastal water conditions, so it is ideally suited to make this attempt. And following our Loch Ness achievement, I am very confident in the crew. We have only grown as a team and in training our times have been continuously improving. We’ve made small changes to the boat which have only made usmore efficient as a unit. Bring on the Channel!