Thursday, 21 October 2010

90. Surf Rowing

19th October 2010. Only did 5km (running total 273km) this evening - I went out in a 'yolette' with 3 beginners. They had quite a good row but it wasn't enough for me to work up a lather!

What I did do though was to sign up for a try-out of surf rowing on Saturday afternoon at Anglet.. The club has its own surf boat and it's something I've wanted to try for a long time. This video explains all.
Is it me or is there not a whiff of Village People here?! I'm not going to be wearing one of those hats! Or - before anyone asks - one of those thongs!!

21st October 2010. Very satisfying outing this evening in a well-balanced coxless quad scull IV. The crew had a good blend of technique and boeuf - evident in the distance between the puddles. Coming back, the river was quite lively due to the strong current towards the sea and an opposing wind, which gave rise to some waves.. so we came back a bit damp! 10km (running total 283km)

25th October 2010. 12km this chilly morning in a IV.. an outing that turned into a bit of a flog (running total 295km). But enough of that - after a quick lunch I returned to the club at 1pm and joined the five others who were going surf rowing with R & C. R is an Australian who works in London during the week but lives in the Pays Basque at the weekend - he commutes there and back via Ryanair. His wife, C, is French and rowed in the '92 Barcelona Olympics. R had looked at the weather and decided Hendaye would be a better bet as broken surf was forecast for Anglet. 

On arriving at Hendaye, we all changed and I couldn't help noticing that all the guys were letting it all hang out in the Cheeks Department! They were all wearing trunks that... well, look at the video above.. On inspecting the boat, I saw that there was no sliding seat to sit on - instead there was a slightly concave rectangle of plastic about 2 feet long by a foot wide that we were to slide up and down on - using water to lessen the friction between skin and seat. Except in my case it was between shorts and seat. 

We launched the boat and hopped in and started rowing through the small waves. I became aware that my seat/body interface (aka my backside!) was getting quite hot and fortunately we stopped at that point. I splashed more water on the seat and off we went again. The heat I was experiencing caused me to focus in on that to the extent that all I wanted to do was to stop, jump out and dip my burning backside into a bucket of cold water with all the sizzle you'd expect to hear when an old-time blacksmith dunked a red hot horseshoe in a tank of water..

On returning home, I found two burnt contact points - one on each cheek - that were still cooking! I'll be off rowing for a while..

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