GB Row 2013


Difficult News…

" It is with great regret that I am informing those of you that have not yet heard the very recent news. I am no longer able to compete in the race around Britain with the team due to work commitments. 

After the disappointment of how the Atlantic row ended, I was hoping this may go some way into taking some of the sting out of it. However, for whatever reason, this venture is obviously not meant to be the one to do that.

I still have a strong desire to finish what I started planning almost 5 years ago now and complete the Atlantic row but that particular Bucket List item will have to wait until I have reestablished some sort of funding for it.

Team H2rOw now represented by Mark Hughes and Jonathan Cowie are making headway into how they are proceeding from here and I will remain supporting the team throughout.

Apologies once again for an incomplete row, BUT…
The Atlantic will always be there and so will be (apparently) my desire to row across it. "



22nd October 2012 – 221 days until the race begins

Great movements with publicity!  STV are looking to run a couple of short features on us, one coming very soon so will keep you posted on that.  And, the Edinburgh Evening News just printed a story today about our entry (click the image below to direct to the article).  We are keen to build up a rapport with them and put out a few more articles as the race draws in and things progress.

28th August 2012 – 276 days until the race begins 

Excellent progress this weekend: our first outing on the Forth and a well-attended fundraiser in Edinburgh City Centre on Sunday. 

Saturday involved a good 30km trip from Granton up to Queensferry and fantastic sponsor photo opportunities afforded by the magnificent Forth Rail Bridge. We are back up to a full compliment of four rowers with the arrival of Iain, who brings both rowing and dingy sailing experience. Despite an improvised rowing set-up, Fight and Spirit feels remarkably similar to the fine boats we're all used to. We made good progress against the stream and a light headwind, all of which bodes well for the race itself. Space is certainly tight! All said, it was an important day that's galvanised us (helped along with a few beers…). 
Sunday involved towing Fight and Spirit into the centre of Edinburgh. We parked up in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and raised over £400. Thanks to both Jim Syme at FCYC and Roland Partridge (of for help with towing. Jeremy Paxman was an unexpected but incredibly enthusiastic and interested visitor! More fundraisers are planned. 
The next phase: we hope to get back out on the water again in the next few weeks, whilst we have the boat at our disposal. In early Autumn, she'll move down south for the refit. Our focus will then move towards training, fundraising, and completion of requisite RYA courses.


11th August 2012 – 293 days until the race begins

We've had positive news from the marine survey carried by Teem Surveys. Fight and Spirit is structurally sound. However, there is massive job ahead of us in terms of refitting her for the race. We need a full electrics refit, a fair bit of work on the deck, a respray for the hull, and more…. We are in discussion with boat builders (and our bank managers!) about getting this work done. 

We need to go from this: 








To this: 








In the meantime, our first short sea trial is planned for Saturday 25th August. This will give us an idea of the rowing setup and life aboard. The following day, Sunday 26th August, Fight and Spirit will make an appearance in Edinburgh City Centre, Castle Street! Please come along to see her and support us. We'll be doing a marathon session on the rowing machine, shaking buckets, and engaging with the Edinburgh Festival crowds!

Less positive news is that Ant Clifford has had to pull out. It's a great shame, however Ant will continue to support us from land. We are in the process of recruiting a  replacement. Details to follow…









18th July 2012 – 317 days until the race begins

Big news: Fight and Spirit, our 7 metre ocean-rowing boat, has arrived. Huge thanks to the Whipps for bringing her all the way over from the Isle of Man. Our next step is to get a maritime survey prior to the big refit in preparation for the race. Teem Surveys have kindly offered to survey her free of charge later this month. All being well, we'll be taking her out for a first sea trial towards the end of August. A fundraiser event is also being planned. Watch this space!
AC and JH have recently returned from completing the gruelling Coniston Marathon and MH has just got back from canoeing across Scotland (via the Caledonian Canal and three lochs). All good preparation for the ordeal that awaits in June….


13th June 2012 – 352 days until the race begins.

This time next year, we'll hopefully be in Scottish waters…. 
Progress report: we've got a new sponsor to add to the growing list. Aquapac are kindly providing drybags – critical pieces of kit. Our partnerships with Scottish renewable energy groups also continue to develop. The Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research are helping us to source the solar panels that we'll need for the boat. These are critical to the success of the project. Without them, we'll be unable to make drinking water and will have no means of powering our navigation and safety equipment. 
MH completed the Mull cyclosportive last weekend: 87 miles of extreme pain, as evidenced by this facial expression.

There are some serious hills on Mull. Despite these exertions, he's reached the dizzy heights of 75kg…

Sad news is that Mark C has had to withdraw as a crew-member. A new dream job just isn't compatible with the prospect of a month+ at sea so, with regret, he'll not be able to take part. However, his support from on land will be crucial and well appreciated.


1st June 2012 – exactly one year until the race begins. 

The major news is that we've sourced a boat. Check out the boat page for more details, more pictures, and a link to a video of her at sea. Many thanks to Mike Whipp for helping us with her. We now need to make arrangements for a necessary refit so she'll meet the demands of a UK circumnavigation.
In other news, Latymer Upper School have joined the project. The Design department, in a potential collaboration with Solar Aid, will be helping to design solutions for some of our auxiliary solar-powered kit. This will form the starting point for extremely novel A-level projects and we look forward to working together. Other projects with other school departments may develop in due course. 

Training continues… MH is off to race 87 miles around Mull next weekend

The challenge of gaining weight in preparation for the anticipated ~1.5 stone of in-race weight loss has, for some, begun. For others, it's not such a big deal!

















Saturday 5th May 2012 – 391 days until the race begins.

We’ve now formally registered for the race. Let the preparation begin! We have a core group of seven who are part of team H2rOw and there is a lot of work to do.
Seeking sponsors is dominating current activity with Mark C working his magic, amongst others. Together with some previous corporate backers (from John’s Atlantic race) we now have support from:
Natural Hero (sports rubs) – providing product, kit, and some welcome financial backing 
Forth Corinthian Yacht Club – have offered to provide a berth for our boat, as and when we source her, at Granton Harbour in Edinburgh, 
Nairns (of oatcake fame),
Stoats (porridge is now well covered!)
There are several other collaborations in the offing…details will be revealed soon so watch this space.
As for training, several of the crew are re-acquainting themselves with the Concept 2 rowing machine. Other events that are keeping the team occupied include: the Coniston Marathon in the Lake District, the West Highland Way Race, the Etape Caledonia, the Isle of Mull Cyclosportive, the Speyside Way Ultra-Marathon, a Tough Mudder race, and the Dragon Back race down the spine of Wales. Plenty to focus the mind and body!
Other tasks include getting down to the books with RYA Navigation courses and sorting out a weekend this Summer to get the crew out in a borrowed ocean rowing boat.
So far so good.