Happy days at Henley
04 Jul 2011
(Written by Capt David Mans)In addition to the ocean training down on the South coast I've also been pushing for selection within the Armed Forces rowing set up - and did just enough to get selected for the Combined Services river eight back in May. The last few months have been pretty intense as we've been gearing up for arguably the biggest event in the rowing calendar, the annual Henley Royal Regatta. Fitness demands for the Arctic and Henley couldn’t be more different, one requiring endurance and the other 2,112 metres of gruelling side by side racing spread over 5 days.
Many of the top club, university and school crews race at the Regatta from all over the world and this year was no different with a number of the top international crews attending, including the GB eight and the German eight. We entered the Regatta as underdogs but our pre-race form was good and we fancied our chances of causing the odd upset! On Wednesday and Thursday we had two tough races, coming from behind to beat City of Oxford before beating a spirited American crew from Yale on the Thursday.
Before we knew it Friday had arrived and much to our amazement (and no doubt many others) suddenly we were in the Quarters. With nothing to lose we gave it our all but were out muscled by a very strong Thames ‘A’ crew, but rest assured we didn't go down without a fight – and left with our heads held high. All in all a great experience, and an honour to represent the Combined Services at one of the truly iconic British sporting events.
So a tough few days racing but all the hard graft should put me in good stead for the challenges that lie ahead in the Arctic in a few weeks’ time. Rest assured it wasn't all blood and sweat however as those who have been to the Regatta will appreciate the hospitality (and the vibrant array of jackets) plays as big a part as the rowing itself. So with my stint on the oars finished I was joined by Jock and Billy to have a few well-earned beers on Friday and Saturday…and a [very] good time was had by all!
Fingers crossed I'll be back in the racing lane at Henley next year, but for now it’s time to wean myself off the river routine and in to expedition mode.
Old Pulteney Pole Position Challenge Heats – An Honour To Be A Part Of
26 Nov 2010
Last Saturday left both myself and the Old Pulteney team truly humbled. The effort put in by the 48 finalists of the Pole Position Heat was utterly extraordinary, and I could not be more appreciative of everyone for making it to the day and putting their all into each grueling exercise.
Each finalist was put through a series of incredibly demanding tests: endurance rowing for two and half hours, group interviews and psychometric trials. All were specifically designed to ensure the winning candidate has what it takes both physically and mentally to endure the demanding challenge of rowing to the North Pole.
The event took place at Dorney Lake, Eton Rowing Centre – the Olympic Rowing Centre for 2012, and I would like to also thank the staff at Dorney Lake for making the event such a success.
The winner will be announced at the London Boat Show in January. Ultimately we are looking for three people (one plus two reserves) to make up the squad. We are looking for people who best complement the existing crew members: - knowing our skills/strengths/weaknesses and also bearing in mind other skills that might be useful to us.
However, choosing the winner will be no mean feat, as after meeting everyone on Saturday, I would be truly honoured to have any one of the finalists by my side on our way to the North Pole. None the less, I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of training with the winner before embarking on our life changing expedition in August 2011.
Let the fun begin!
03 Nov 2010
On Monday, the competition to find the final member of Jock's crew closed. Our panel of judges and I are busy sifting through all the applications, enjoying reading why potential participants want to join me on this epic adventure through snow and ice.
It's exciting and busy. On 20 November, the best of the bunch will be put through their paces: primarily a 3-hour rowing challenge as well as interviews and other tests. I'm looking forward to finding out who has what it takes to be the final member of the crew and join me on my adventure.
If you’re not already, become a fan of the Row to the Pole fanpage on Facebook to stay in the loop.
Remember remember the 1st of November
27 Oct 2010
Remember remember the 1st of November
rowing prowess, courage and pride.
To row Arctic waters with Jock at your side,
by now you should already have applied!
Remember the closing date for applications is Monday 1st of November. The competition winner will be chosen during two heats testing physical and mental fitness.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to row through Arctic waters and be part of an extraordinary challenge then fill in the application form now.