An oxymoron, you may think – an ocean rowers’ social. Surely ocean rowing has to be one of the most antisocial sports ever invented – three months of mid-Atlantic solitude. But believe me, ocean rowers make up for it the rest of the time.
Last Wednesday’s get-together was organised by Chris Martin, one of the other solo entries in this year’s race, former Hampton boy, and a mere stripling of 24 years old. Also present were assorted rowers (including another Hampton old boy – Jonny Searle, who won Olympic gold with his brother in the coxed pairs in Barcelona), Ken Crutchlow (president of the Ocean Rowing Society) and Iain MacAulay, a veteran of the Ray Mears survival course I did last year.

I was vaguely hoping for an early night, as I’d been up since 4am that day in order to do my training at home in Leeds, meet with Concept II in Nottingham at 7.30am, undergo sports testing at Hatfield at 10.30am, and meet a sponsor at South Mimms in the afternoon…. but inevitably the party moved from the pub to the curry house, and I ended up tottering off to bed at 1am, 21 hours after I got up. So my sleep deprivation training is already underway.

For the rest of the photos of the get-together, see

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