Row The Thames Challenge 2019

Row The Thames Challenge 2019

167 Miles, 42 Hours Non-stop, 5 Guys, 1 Rowing Boat, Source to Sea, 1 River

Pushing themselves to the edge of their physical and mental limits

Please Support the Crew 

Starting 1am September 6th

Starting in the pitch dark at Lechlade at the source of the River Thames in the early hours of Friday morning the crew will row through two nights and days and 45 locks

To 5pm September 7th 2019

Finishing about 42 hours later at Gravesend Pier near the mouth of the Thames on Saturday  – the crew will have to make Tower bridge for safe passage by 10am Saturday

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167 Miles

124 miles on the non-tidal River Thames, 43 miles tidal through London out to the wide estuary past the Thames Barrier

Crew of Five

Made up of five of the Shiplake Ouloars with an average age of 52.
Making it to the finish is not a formality

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One Boat - No Sleep

Rowing a traditional fixed seat boat non-stop for neary two days and nights, the crew have to navigate carefully with no sleep. 

Fundraising

The crew is fundraising for the Accessible Boating (Thames) Charity – which helps adults and children with special needs participate on the water

About the Challenge

This crew is to old  to go for any for any records – other than perhaps the eldest combined age crew to row the thames non-stop!
Simply attempting this is a monumental challenge achieved by a handful of people, and it is a challenge that could end in failure as they test their bodies and mental reserves to the maximum. 

None of the crew will be sleeping for nearly two days and nights and rowing for about 36 hours each – with quick rests to stretch, administer first aid and re-fuel in the locks (about 10 minutes per lock). 

Navigating the Thames at night will be a massive challenge, particularly in the narrow upper reaches and on the second evening as they get more tired. 

Of course, no-one know what the elements will throw at the crew.

Keeping alert throughout the most dangerous section through the Port of London with the tide ripping through with the bridges and boats will prove to be critical and they have to pass London bridge by 10am on the Saturday in order to be given passage to the finish, past the Thames Barrier and in to the wide monotonous estuary area where navigating is a real challenge.

To their knowledge, this will be the first time anyone has rowed a Jolly boat non stop source to Sea. A handful of challengers have attempted this row in faster and sleeker boats achieving times  from 30 hours in a fine racing boat pair to 50+ hours in a single rowed boat. 

Our Designated Charity

The Accessible Boating (Thames) Charity uniquely specialises in helping adults and children with physical and special needs get on to the water in all kinds of specialised boats, regardless of their needs.

The charity breaks down the barriers created by society when it comes to disability and boating. 

With a base at Bisham Abbey, they have helped hundreds of people to enjoy being on the water, helping with confidence and bringing equality to all.  The charity is now at a phase where they will be expanding their reach along the Thames and nationwide.

 

Our Boat – Zachary

Zachary is a 4-oared fixed seat Jolly Boat – based on the cutter, a popular boat found on the Thames Estuary used for moving people and luggage to the larger ships.
Made with a GRP hull and wooden fixtures we originally rented the boat before buying in 2014. 
The boat was made by a charity under the guidance of Mark Edwards – the main boat builder of the Gorianna – and subsequently neglected and left in a nuclear bunker at Upper Heyford with rats nesting in the hull. 

Meet The Crew

Our crew is made up of five of the Shiplake Outloars with an average age of 52. 
4 people rowing at one time rotating the cox from the 5th. 
Click on the + for the crew bios. 

Carlton Barnard

Carlton – 57 – has been involved with the water from an early age with the Sea Cadets.
He has been a keen skiffer, competing in the Ocean to City Cork race in a skiff and in more recently his jointly owned boat, Zachary.
He has completed countless Great River races, Hamble River Raids, and competed in the London to Paris rowing challenge 2010.
Carlton is on the committee at Wargrave Boating Club and the Wargrave Shiplake Regatta, where he has been a past champion and regularly  competes in a skiff, punt and dongler.  

Stuart Burgess

Stuart – 56 – has to be our keenest ‘Outloar’ undoubtedly notching up the most outings over the years.  When he joined us six years ago, Stuart had never rowed a boat and he immediately took to the sport. 
He took part in the 2016 Thames row completing 2 days, has competed in the Great  River Race and numerous Hamble River Raids. 
It is hoped that Stuart’s ability to survive on virtually no sleep will hold him in good stead for the event. 

Steve Bridge

Steve – 49 – has been a member of the Outloars from near the beginning in 2014 and is no stranger to endurance sports having completed the Devises to Westminster canoe race in brutal conditions in 2013, competed with the Outloars in the Great River Race and is a regular skiffer at Wargrave Shiplake Regatta. 

Guy Fisher

Guy – 46 – is joint owner of Zachary and founderof the Shiplake Outloars and has been fixed seat rowing for 9 years. 
In 2010 he was in the same crew as Carlton that rowed from London to Paris.  Guy has competed in numerous Great River Race’s, the Ocean to City – Cork, and was in the 2016 Thames Row. 
He has built his own skiff, owns Moose Canoe Hire, SUP Hire UK and has volunteered and fundraised for the Rivertime Boat Trust for 9 years years and is part of the development team at the Accessible Boating Charity.  

Yonadab Urkidi

Yona – 50 – has the sea in his blood having been brought up near the coast in the Basque Country, with a nautical background. 
As an ex-international prop forward, Yona brings plenty of power and calmness to the boat and a metronomic stroke rate.
He has taken part in the Great River Race, Ocean to City and Hamble River Raid and is a keen addition to the Outloars. 
Yona is a housemaster at Shiplake College and hopes to get some great support from the School as he rows past. 

Make a Donation To Accessible Boating Thames Charity

To Get More Children and Adults with Disabilities & Special Needs Having Fun On The Water 

 

Thank You

Or if you prefer:

Send a cheque to:  Rivertime Accessible Boating
Richmond House, Newlands Drive, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 4LL

Bank Transfer to: Accessible Boating Thames
Metro Bank
Account:  32695175   Sort Code 23-05-80

About the Accessible Boating Thames Charity

The Accessible Boating Charity was newly formed in 2018 to deliver specialist boating facilitiies for people with disabilities and special needs.
The local activities of the charity were formally run through the award winning Rivertime Boat Trust Charity.
The new charity will continue to operate on the River Thames and will also be expanding nationally, as it seeks partners to replicate its expertise.
The charity relies fully on volunteers to run the general operations, other than specialist watercraft experts for its events which it contracts in.

The charity is currently actively fundraising to provide boating days for SEN school children in 2020 which costs £1,000 per day for up to 60 children, and to run another Regatta at Bisham Abbey for 350 children to participate in various water sports and activities for a day.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

 Canoe and Stand Up Paddle Board Rental on the river Thames from their exclusive base at Bisham Abbey – Marlow & all along the River Thames.  www.moosecanoehire.com

 Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School – RYA Training Centre on the river Thames – who provided us with some much needed technical kit. http://bishamabbeysailing.co.uk/

Would you like to Sponsor Us in some way, help with land support or just get in contact?

The Thames River Clean Up Sonning to Shiplake 2019

The Thames River Clean Up Sonning to Shiplake 2019

  

The 2019 River Clean Up Sonning to Shiplake – Report

Sunday 28th April 2019

The 4th Annual Sonning to Shiplake River Clean Up saw records fall again in terms of attendance.

17 boats
25 Adults
30 School age children

 

This year we had volunteers in Sonning clearing the weir stream above the French Horn and we towed a handful of canoes up to the wires closer to Sonning to clear the reeds which badly needed doing, as well as a couple of boats cleaning the stretch from Shiplake lock to the College.

This year, newly formed Marlow Canoe Hire  donated seven canoes to the army of volunteers with more from the Shiplake College fleet and some private boats.

The organisers are grateful for a the some local regular volunteers, the Outloars, and extra support from Shiplake College’s Outreach Department who organised more pupils and staff to be involved this year, along with the use of their river front again.

A large haul of over 20 bags and various large objects of all sorts were fished out from the beaches, banks, reeds and tree roots.

Once again, plastic bags were low again compared to a few years ago. We saw a rise in glass bottles, and for the second year in a row a worrying amount of syringes and needles.

The usual road signs, and a plastic hippo stood out this year from the haul and some things that we cannot mention here!

Organiser, Guy Fisher said:
“Thank you to everyone who came along again and for the first time this year to help. It really does make a huge difference to the look of the river and to the animals sharing of one of the most beautiful stretches on the Thames”.

Guy went further to say, “I am concerned that with the increasing amounts of permanent house boats on the stretch that sewage and rubbish is disposed of correctly, knowing that this is a problem on other parts of the river”.

We plan to organise another River Clean next year. See you then!

 

GALLERY 2019 Clean Up:

Great River Race 2018 Shiplake Outloars

Great River Race 2018 Shiplake Outloars

This Year we entered a crew late on so had less endurance training than normal but survived!

We took 5 rowers and a passenger and rotated the crew at 30 minute intervals.

To avoid any mishaps on the day with logistics, (like 2016) Guy dropped the boat to the start on the Friday before.

This year we had 3 newbies to the GRR in the crew, Stuart M, Stuart B and Yona.

Crew: 
Carlton
Guy
Stuart Burgess
Stuart Milne
Yona
Passenger – Cheryl Milne

27th Overall.

36th fastest boat, 8th fastest veterans, 16th fastest 4 oars, 9th fastest Thames based crew.
Time: 2.42.42

Weather was great for rowing , dry and not too much of a wind. Crews are wising up to the faster parts of the course which means that passing is becoming more difficult in crowded parts of the race. 

With approximately 360 boats, this has to still be the best event to be a part of. 

We’ll be back in 2019!

Ocean to City, Cork 2018

Ocean to City, Cork 2018

 

Ocean to City – An Rás Mó – June 2018

  •  Crew
    Stuart Milne
    Gary Parke
    Carlton Barnard
    Yonadab Diez-Urkidi

    Guy Fisher

Scroll to Bottom for Gallery

This was a first visit to Cork for the Ocean to City race for the Shiplake Outloars (other than Carlton who had skiffed the race a while ago).

Carlton towed the boat via the ferry to Rosslare and spent a week near Cork with his family and the rest of the crew flew out on Friday evening.

We all lucked out with the amazing weather and the course was kind to us.

After a massive Irish breakfast near the marina, there was plenty of time to kill until the race.

 

The start was calmer than the Great River Race and we soon settled in to the first Ocean part of the course, heading out to a marker in the bay before making a sharp left turn before racing to the other side. The swell grew but did not cause a major problem.  

The gigs and the Celtic Longboats are more suited for the rougher ocean conditions and we struggled to keep pace with them in this section.

Heading to the next major turn, crews bunched up and we had a couple of altercations with other boats fighting for position.

The next flatter section on the river, allowed us to match and start to claw back on the other boats, with our Jolly boat being much more suitable for these conditions.

We swapped rowers here. Not knowing the course, and whilst trying to avoid boats, we narrowly missed grounding on the shore, hitting only our rudder.

 

We headed in to the open Loch and managed to keep our pace going and found the often unforgiving conditions kind to us.

We began to encounter more craft joining here for the shorter race – kayaks, paddelboards and slower rowing boats and managed to weave our way through.

The final part of the river was a straight drag race to the end, with the crowds building up as we approached the illusive finish line.

Unfortunately, it took about 4 hours to recover our boat via the one crane organised by the race officials. Fortunately the sun was still shining and there was a pub right next to the quay.

 

We ended up missing the prize giving and have no real idea how we fared in the race and ended up with a very respectable time of 2:31.43.

Cork was very busy with their festival and the Cork Marathon on the Sunday.

Yona met some of his Spanish rugby mates rowing their Traineras boats they had brought over from the Basque Country.

Carlton headed home for his marathon 14 hour drive back the next day and Guy and Yona flew back Sunday.

Gary and Stuart stayed on for the Craic on Sunday night – as the photo below demonstrates!  

A great weekend and well worth the effort.

Hamble River Raid 2018

Hamble River Raid 2018

 

The 2018 Hamble River Raid

  •  Crew
    Stuart Milne
    Guy Fisher
    Carlton Barnard
    Yonadab Diez-Urkidi

    Cox: Rob Webb


T
his year we had lovely conditions, the sun was shining and the wind was less than previous years.

We were grateful to novice cox, Rob Webb, who kindly agreed to steer us for the race.  With more boats entered this year and the nature of the course, making the first turn through the moored boats is never easy, with the tide ripping.

As usual every event has it’s dramatic moments and these included clashing with a crew coming down the wrong side of the course and a tight turn at the finish causing us to pile in to a young female crew. 

We (and the girls) survived to the end and we posted our fastest time on the course to date: 40.53 minutes, 5 minutes faster than the next boat in our class, and meaning that we won the “Jolly Boat” Class. 

 We were 3 seconds off the fastest 6 oared Cornish Pilot Gig and were actually the 3rd fastest rowing boat of the day.

Unfortunately, we had to set off home before the end of the delayed prize giving.

This continues to be a great day out and hopefully we will be back in 2019.