Not the right technique!

4 Jan, 06 – 20:30

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it, as they say.

My knowledge of ocean rowing techniques is coming along apace. The problem is that no two days are alike – the Atlantic seems to have an infinite number of moods, different permutations of wind direction, wind strength, wave height, direction of swell, and so on. So what I learned today may never be used again.

But I hope it is, because it was good. The wind was blowing strongly in the right direction, for a change, and towards the end of the afternoon I was maintaining a steady 3 knots. Ellen Macarthur may not have been impressed, but I was pleased.

A couple of people had sent me advice on rowing techniques: ‘row evenly and precisely’, ‘concentrate on rhythm, technique and form’. Huh, I’d thought. They must be talking about a different Atlantic. Have you seen the size of these waves? I congratulate myself if I manage to get both oars in the water at the same time.

But I tried it anyway, and it did work – sort of. It’s a lot easier said than done, but when it actually happens, it does make a useful difference to boat speed.

So by the time I get down into those lovely lovely trade winds (if I ever do – they seem to be a moving target) hopefully I will have the techniques at my disposal to help me make the most of them.

Other stuff:

There has been talk of writing a book about this year’s race, covering all the competitors and possibly based on the blogs. Any offers? Maybe a collaboration between Tiny and Andrew V? There’s a company that will print self-published books as and when ordered, so it might be feasible to produce a book without needing a book deal or large print run.

Belated Happy Birthday! to Andy O. (And apologies for being a day late.)

Huge congratulations to Julian and Celina on the birth of Barnaby. I hope he takes after both his parents in sheer loveliness. I can’t wait to meet the young gentleman when I get back.

Thanks for today’s texts: Flemming from Denmark, Malcolm B, Helena S-S (I don’t know, what IS pink and hard?!), Guy, David P (I don’t think the guy in the photo is your neighbour, unless your neighbour was president of Cambridge CompSoc in 1999), Clarkie Sargent (good to hear from you!) and the regulars.

Rita Savage’s PS: Roz and Richard Uttley punting Sedna Solo in Chichester Harbour where it was too narrow to use oars in the accepted way!

Wind: 15-18 kts, ENE
Weather: sun and cloud
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: 12

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