Archive for June, 2014

Team Selection in the Brecons

Emma Mitchell By

Another weekend, another Coxless Crew adventure! This time we headed to the Brecon Beacons with 6 of our lovely applicants to test our teamwork, resilience and sense of humour. I’m pleased to say that all three remained intact and we had a fab weekend.

Road trip

Briefing

Briefing

 

We headed down to the Brecons on Friday afternoon where we were briefed by the brilliant Matt and Ali from Fieri who were organising the weekend. A quick navigation lesson and some packing followed before grabbing a couple of hours sleep. The day started at 3am when we got up, breakfasted and headed off on the first leg of our adventure. Our super support team of Matt and Ali, Keith our super performance psychologist and our favourite Coxless Crew supporter Ella waved us off and we headed out into the dark with our map, compass and enthusiasm. Each checkpoint revealed a task which required us to function as a team and work together to solve a problem.

task 1

Task 1

 

 

4am and we're off!

4am and we’re off!

 

Navigating

Navigating

As we progressed through the day we bonded as a team and learned a lot about how to work together and this translated into much improved performance and success in the tasks.  Everyone had the chance to lead the group while walking and during a task learning from each other’s mistakes and highlighting each other’s strengths within the team.  It also allowed us plenty of walking time to let us get to know each other better.  Stories were told, laughs were had and songs were sung while we climbed hills, crept through magical Narnia like woods and waded through bogs.  Feet took a bit of a beating with blisters and slight trenchfoot needing patching up between legs.  However everyone remained smiling and supporting each other in a top team effort.

Approaching a checkpoint

Approaching a checkpoint

 

18 hours and over 50km in and we're all still smiling!

18 hours and over 50km in and we’re all still smiling!

After 23 hours we reached our final checkpoint following some interesting night navigation and summoned up the last of our energy for the final task. This involved running up and down a hill with barrels, planks and wooden pallets (thanks Ella!). An awesome sense of achievement and post exercise high was quickly followed extreme tiredness. Reviews were written (probably fairly incoherently) and then we grabbed a couple of hours sleep.

Task requiring logical thinking after 21 hours of hiking

Task requiring logical thinking after 21 hours of hiking

Sunday morning saw some hilarious attempts to get down the stairs to breakfast. We then reviewed our performance with Matt, Ali and Keith going over everything that we had learned and things we need to work on. A great end to a really great weekend. I have no idea how we are going to choose the team as everyone really embraced the experience and contributed to the success of the exercise.

Still smiling on Sunday

Still smiling on Sunday

 

Posing!

Posing!

Massive thanks need to go to Fieri, Matt and Ali for organising the weekend and sharing their knowledge with us, Keith Goddard for his input, assessment and general awesomeness and Ella for her support, camera work and banter. Finally to the six lovely ladies who joined us thanks for making it such a success, you are all awesome and part of the Coxless Crew team.

Share:     

Round the Island Race Cowes 2014

Emma Mitchell By

What a weekend!! Doris went for her first proper outing on the sea, we tried out all our Raymarine electronics and Crewsaver safety equipment for the first time, some of the girls who have applied to join our team came along for a row and we spent some happy hours running an ergo competition in the Raymarine tent.

Doris hits the sea!

Doris hits the sea!

The weekend started bright and early on Friday morning when Laura, Lizanne and I set off from Christchurch for our first venture out of the run. It was awesome, the sun was shining, the water was flat and our fusion radio was blasting out the tunes. With Matt advising us via the VHF radio we made it safely to Cowes (just about after slightly overshooting the entrance) after a 9 hour row and Doris settled into her home for the weekend at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club who kindly hosted us.

At sea for the first time!!

At sea for the first time!!

 

 

Learning to use the autopilot

Learning to use the autopilot

 

Our super comfy Crewsaver lifejackets

Our super comfy Crewsaver lifejackets

On Saturday we were joined by Ali, Naomi and Natalia and we spent the day with Raymarine getting people on the ergs to try their hand at a 500m rowing competition. We were also joined by fellow Raymarine ambassadors and ocean rowers James Ketchall and Ash Wilson who will be rowing the Indian Ocean next year. We shared stories of sponsorship hunting and got some advice from James who has rowed the Atlantic. The poor sailing boats made almost painfully slow progress around the island in conditions far better suited to rowing but very well suited to a day in the sunshine at the yacht haven. When the sailors finally started arriving back we were even treated to a visit from Ben Ainsley and team!

 

The competition hots up in the Raymarine tent

The competition hots up in the Raymarine tent

Everyone got involved

Everyone got involved

We meet Ben Ainslie and team

We meet Ben Ainslie and team

Sunday morning we were up early again, breakfasted on Expedition Foods oats and muesli meals and were off rowing at 6.30am. Shortly after leaving Cowes we were joined by Hamish on our support boat for the day. Hamish kindly followed us back to Christchurch providing steering advice, a video camera, a ride in the RIB to get some good shots of Doris and even some oar power when he came aboard for a row. We were also joined by Simon Shaw who came out on his RIB to meet us and have a row. Lots of singing, dancing and laughing in the beautiful weather occurred and we made it to Christchurch in such good time that we had to hitch a lift from Hamish to get back through the run against the tide.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Happy days on Doris

Happy days on Doris

Simon joins us for a row

Simon joins us for a row

All in all a pretty fantastic weekend and we loved every minute of it. After all the hard work it takes doing the admin and planning for an ocean row it was great to get the chance to enjoy being out on Doris for a proper adventure. And as for what’s next, we have our final team selection weekend in the Brecons and then Henley Royal Regatta to look forward to in the next week. Stay posted for more updates!

Thanks to Raymarine for inviting us for a great weekend

Thanks to Raymarine for inviting us for a great weekend

Share: