Indian Ocean 8 Crew

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The First 500 Nautical Miles by Woodvale May 9, 2009

The first 500 Nautical Miles by Woodvale
09 May 2009 11:41 BST

As we approach the end of the third week at sea, all seven boats taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009 have now completed the first 500 nautical miles – a major milestone and a huge confidence boost to all of the competitors taking part.

With three classes for Solo, Pairs and Fours crews, plus one eight man out of class boat all competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, the spread of the fleet after the first 3 weeks is extensive. Where as the Pairs Class boats – Boat No. 6 ‘Flying Ferkins’ and Boat No. 9 ‘Southern Cross’ have just completed their first 500 nautical miles, the three Fours class boats at the front of the fleet – Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger and Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostrate’ are nearing the 1,000 nautical mile mark. This gives the fleet a 400 nautical mile spread from front to back and a similar distance across the width of the fleet.

At the top of the fleet it’s the Ocean Angels onboard Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’ who continue to lead the race but Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ have now fixed their foot steering, meaning normal two up rowing shifts can resume. Ever so slightly, they are beginning to close the gap on the ladies, so watch out Ocean Angels, the boys are stalking you.

As temperatures of 30 degrees plus and long days of unbroken sunshine continue, the boys onboard Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostrate’ brave the shark infested waters of the Indian Ocean to clean the bottom of their boat.

Despite painting the hull of the boats with anitfoul, barnacles that attach to the bottom of the hull, which in turn cause drag and slow the boats down are a common problem for all ocean rowers. Therefore, if optimum boat speed is to be maintained, teams must clean the barnacles off the bottom of the boats at regular intervals during the crossing.

For a team of four, this task is less difficult as two enter the water, while the others keep watch for any unwanted visitors. However, for Solo rower, Simon Prior onboard Boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance’, this is a far more dangerous task.

For all the positions of the boats competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, please check the Progress page of this site daily.

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