Stratford upon Avon Boat Club
The Channel Rowers Return!
After a number of delays due to poor weather conditions, the Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Channel rowers finally got clearance to attempt the crossing on last Friday morning.
Said Ray Coyte, crew captain,”We set off from Dover at just after 6am. The weather conditions were perfect with a flat sea, clear skies and only a slight wind. The boat felt very heavy and slow to begin with and it seemed to take ages to get away from the coast. At times, it felt as if the tide was just holding us back. There was a lot of shipping around us in mid channel and at one point we had to make an alteration of course to steer around and behind a West bound ship. Up close, you realise how fast they travel and how slow we were.”
“Rowing in heavy waterproofs and lifejackets was horrible and after a few hours we were all beginning to wonder if this was a good idea,” said Ruth Winter, crew member. “The sea started to build up just before the half way point and at times we found ourselves in some very choppy water that was throwing the boat all over the place. We found it hard to row through the rough water as we just could not settle into a steady rhythm and every time the boat hit a wave, it slowed us right down. It was never overly dangerous but we did get the odd wave slop over the side. As you can imagine, the problem was that you either had an immensely heavy oar to pull on or the oar was just missing the water completely! We all got a big boost when we passed the mid channel marker. Approaching the French coast was tough as it just seemed to take ages. The sea started to get really rough off Cap Gris-Nez and we really struggled to finish the row off.”
Said Jen Clements, Club Captain, “The Channel Rowers completed the crossing in a very respectable five hours and fifty eight minutes. They are all feeling a bit stiff at the moment but not too bad! Between them, they raised several thousand pounds for charity and they all, quite rightly, feel chuffed to bits! Stratford upon Avon Boat Club is very proud of our Channel Rowers and what they have achieved!”