On Saturday, June 4th, Tom Jones, David Chapman, John Ward and Alan Mordue will be taking part in Cork's unique race - the Ocean to City - with Alan's son Ed as their cox.
'The race is 15 nautical miles. It begins in Crosshaven, then out to the
mouth of Cork Harbour, Roches Point, (boats that are suited to Ocean
rowing will be going to Roches Point this year if weather conditions are
favourable) back into the Harbour and down the long straight to Cobh,
passing in front of the quays. It continues on past Monkstown and on to
Passage West before entering Lough Mahon (where the wheat is separated
from the chaff). This wide expanse of water is the toughest stage, as
there is nearly always a strong cross wind. Once completed the sheltered
home stretch down the "Marina" beckons. This is the most exciting part
as the real race for positioning occurs here as the crews spurred on by
the crowds and the approaching finishing line battle it out. This year
we are going to finish the race at Lapps Quay in Cork City Centre
providing more of a spectacle and festival atmosphere for participants
and the public alike. '
John and David took part in the Ocean to City race two years ago, (very soon after they had started rowing - their very first race in fact!), but this will be the first time for the other members of the crew and the first ever race for Alan!
Their cox Ed is 14 years old, but, in David's words, - 'wise to the ways of the sea' and 'our secret weapon!' - as he is an experienced sailor and kayaker and was crew to their team in the Great River Race two years ago.( so he knows what he is letting himself in for!)
Last year in the Ocean to City there was only one longboat taking part - it took 3 hours to complete the race. This year there are 8 Celtic longbaots entered.
It will be a tough race , with strong competition ( especially from Aberystwyth's 2 teams), but , - in David's words again -'the race is on!!'
The Aberdyfi crew are definitely aiming for a better time this year and hope to be one of the top three Celtic boats to finish .
They are all looking forward to the day now , 'slightly nervous' but 'confidant that 'the black stuff' will help us recuperate at the end of the race!'
Good luck to the whole crew - to Tom, who, in David's word's again, ' will set a mean stroke rate for the penpushers from across the border!', and to David, John, Alan, and especially Ed!