Sunday 10 May 2009

Hamble River Raid

Saturday saw a record turnout for the Hamble River Raid. The boats and their crews assembled on the foreshore for the event organised by the Hamble Sea Scouts.

The majority of the entries were Bursledon Gig's; fibre glass rowing boats based on a Falmouth Oyster boat, but now firmly established on the Hamble river.

Chris Partridge came to the event and his blog Rowing for Pleasure has some great pictures of the event, he was joined by Langstone cutters who crewed two of the local gigs.

The Hamble gigs have a crew of four, I entered Gato Nego (Spanish for black cat) singlehanded.

The start was from the beach by the Hamble town quay, the crews had to run down the beach and launch their boats like a nautical version of the "Le Mans" start. The course ran up river to the Jolly Sailor pub (the landlord John, had entered a team and very kindly provided beer for the event by way of sponsorship). Once around the turning mark it was back downriver. A sea breeze had picked up making the final stretch from Crablake past Bunny Meadows a hard pull to windward.

Above I'm on the final stretch, crossing the river and tying to avoid passing yachts, the photographer's boat in close pursuit.

The race wasn't over until the crew stepped ashore back on the beach, after 53 minutes of flat out rowing I could just about stand! Overall I finished fifth and won the "odds'n'sods" prize for the first non Bursledon Gig to finish.

For all the people who kindly sponsored me, thanks for supporting the event, here's the trophy the "Hamble River Raid Harrar!"
Special thanks also to Andy, Annette Tom and everyone involved with the Hamble Sea Scouts for organising the event

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