It doesn’t look like much – yet. But this is the first component of my revolutionary new heel-steering system with its designer, Richard of Dolphin Quay Boatyard. The two diamond shapes are where my feet will rest. The left footplate is fixed, the right one pivots on a bar underneath the ball of my foot.

Heel down, toes up, turn right. Heel up, toes down, turn left. Or was it the other way round? Anyway, once I’ve got that minor detail sorted out, it’s going to be a very cool way to control the rudder, and quite unlike anything I’ve seen on any other ocean rowing boat.

On paper it looks great. Let’s hope it looks as good on the water.

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