Honestly, Mum, ocean rowers are nice, normal, well-balanced people. The All Relative crew (2 brothers, 2 cousins and winners of the Men’s Fours time trial) were just playing up for the camera… We’ve just had the Ocean Rowing Challenge Weekend, and ocean rowers past, present and future assembled to enjoy a freebie barbecue (courtesy of Woodvale Events) and possibly a beer or two.

Before the weekend, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. The night before I left for Torquay I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking everybody else would have their boats ready and raring to go, and I’d come away feeling hopelessly under-prepared and behind schedule.

I also thought I’d be looking around the other boats, thinking, ‘Wow, so THAT’S how it steering/solar panels/electrical systems should be done.’ I expected to learn a lot.

But what I learned is that there are as many different ways to kit out your boat as there are ocean-rowers. It’s such a new sport, there is no right way and no wrong way – just your own way. And so my ideas are as valid as anybody else’s.

I also learned that as readiness goes, I’m on an equal footing with many of the other crews… in fact, even ahead of some.

So the panic is over. With the help, support, and positive can-do attitude of the Dolphin Quay guys I know I can have my boat ready on time. And I know exactly how I want it done to suit ME – the glorious, selfish, advantage of being a solo rower with a brand new boat. By the time I set out, the Solo will be totally Roz-ified – designed to my precise specifications – a place for everything, and everything in its place.

And Mum, the All Relative crew will be well ahead of me and many miles away, so DON’T WORRY!

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