During the Night of Adventure evening which we spoke at a couple of weeks ago Al Hunphries gave everyone some advice about taking on their own adventures. He also gave his answer as to whether you should travel alone or as a team and concluded that if you wanted more of a challenge you should take on a solo adventure whereas to make it easier you should go as part of a team. Having been a part of the Coxless crew for 3 years now I don’t agree. I believe that our biggest challenges whilst rowing the Pacific where not the challenges which the ocean could throw at us but how we pulled together to deal with them. It was not the isolation from the outside world which was such a challenge as living in such close proximity with each other. Fortunately we didn’t underestimate these challenges and with the help of Keith formed a strong team who could work together drawing on each persons strengths and getting the best out of each other. I believe that one of the greatest successes of the row is that we have stepped off the boat as friends having achieved what we set out to do.

So as the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”




  1. I loved reading this, your description is totally the right way to go about it, and doing it together as a team, you achieved that which no-one else has done before.

    Love the African proverb!!

    I hope the day comes soon when all 6 will be together in the same place, but what an impressive and inspiring post.

  2. JG says:

    Would have helped if Humphries had clarified exactly what he meant by more challenging going solo.

    As far as I can see the main disadvantage of being on your own is loneliness and the lack of decision sharing. The Crew were clearly much stronger as a group and were able to share tasks and support each other. The organisation and maintenance of that is challenging by itself.

    The main solo advantage I see as being the ability to do what you want when you want without having to consider anyone else. But that is a small bonus considering the disadvantage.

    On balance, as the excellent Emma, has pointed out it seems that the maintenance of cohesion is a very significant part of the overall challenge and is an additional factor that is not experienced by a solo adventurer..

    There is no doubt that team ACHIEVEMENT is far greater and therefore the challenge must be greater.

    Looking at it another way – Teamwork overcomes greater challenges.

    • JG says:

      The team principle so effectively displayed this afternoon in the womens Henley boat race, Despite the red flag flapping behind them as their boat threatened to founder they unanimously decided to press on and compldete the course.

      They didn’t win which was a disappointment for them but what courage and sheer determination they showed as they battled to the finish line and brought the team home.

      Reminded me somewhat of a certain group of hardy rowers recently on the Pacific!

      I know which team I would like to have to rely upon in a difficult situation.

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