EDDYSTONE CHALLENGE 2012
Crews waited anxiously at Turnchapel during the morning of
Saturday 7 July for the latest weather predictions for inshore waters put out
by Brixham Coastguard.
Finally at 1020
hrs came the disappointing news that conditions for the 10th annual
running of the Eddystone Challenge were to be too challenging for the 25 sea
kayakers and rowing crews preparing to undertake this 28 mile sea marathon.With force 8 squalls coming in from the
Western Approaches together with poor visibility, the Eddystone Reef was not
the place for anybody, let alone 60 kayakers and rowers
Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club who organise this event every
year have been in this situation before and immediately put in place the
alternative event, the Tamar Challenge in the more sheltered waters of Plymouth
Sound and Tamar estuary. This course took the fleet along the inside
of Plymouth Breakwater and then up beyond the Tamar Bridge before return slog
read jane and cath's report....
'Saturday, 7th July saw Jane and Cath return to
Plymouth, the last place they competed together 4 years ago. This was for a
very different event; the Eddystone challenge.
A 28 nautical mile (approx. 56km) row from Plymouth harbour to the
Eddystone lighthouse and back. With unsettled weather conditions forecasted,
they were preparing for a gruelling row for anything up to 7 hours continuous
rowing in a double scull.
Sadly, they are still to undertake this challenge as the
race was cancelled.
Force 6 to 8 winds and poor visibility meant that an
alternative route was chosen and a course was set for a circumnavigation of
Plymouth Sound, followed by a river trip up the Tamar, totalling 20miles. So
amongst the other gigs, Yole 4’s, single kayaks and double kayaks, Mary Clare
was launched as the only double scull and Jane and Cath were ready for the
best replica watches
After enjoying riding the increasing swell in the sound they
were faced with breaking overfalls, followed by a 5 knot adverse tide to take
them through the Drake Island tidal gate. Their carefully planned routine of
resting and taking on water every 22minutes was given over to continuous rowing
to avoid being swept back by the strong ebbing tide. Once through the tidal
gate, eddies were the game. Whilst most of the rowing boats were in the full
force of the river, Jane and Cath were amongst the kayakers dodging in and out
of eddies and grazing their oars on the pier supports as they snook into
shallow and slacker water. Finally they arrived at the turning point in 4th
position after about 2hours 15mins of rowing.
A double kayak was quickly catching them as both boats
turned to enjoy the ride home on the tide. So the race was on; the kayak
reducing the distance between them all the time. No rests for Jane and Cath
now. The routine of a low stroke rate was replaced with full race pace.
Satisfyingly, they both had it in them and they pulled away and won their
Back in familiar World Championships territory they sprinted
to the finish and ended with a very respectable time of 2hours, 51minutes,
placing them 4th overall; A most enjoyable and satisfying race.
Congratulations and thanks need to go to the Mayflower
Rowing Club for an extremely well organised and welcoming event. A definite
must for diaries next year.'
well done jane and cath!
Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club is once again indebted to all
the safety crews who make this event possible.
Having such a large number of competitors on the water for up to 6 hours
in very arduous conditions requires a comprehensive safety
plan and the ability to deal with a range of emergency situations . The six yacht crews, eight rescue boats and
a’hospital ship’ are essential for the safety and comfort of all taking part
and provide the sense of security during what is potentially a dangerous event.
More information about this competition and how to enter can
be found on the Mayflower Club’s web site www.mayfloweroffshorerowingclub.org