A first-hand account of not a sailor.
I wouldn't exactly call myself an avid boatman. My interest in such activities stretches as far as enjoying fish, but only when it comes with some chips and a pint down at the local. So it's safe to say that putting me in charge of any activities on a large body of water would be hazardous at best.
So I sit here asking myself, how on earth did I end up as the captain of a 6-person boat with the challenge to row 8.5 miles up the Thames river?
The answer is charity of course, the Ahoy charity to be more precise. They are a fantastic organisation who work with disadvantaged children, young vulnerable people and those with disabilities. They need help raising funds, they actually need so much help in fact that they have had to scrape the bottom of the barrel in way of captains.
The Ahoy charity offer the children the opportunity to learn new skills through courses and programmes training them to gain qualifications and life skills needed for employment. Feeling a little burdened with the undertaking of such a great cause relying on my meagre skills I roped in my athletically tuned Sales Director John Henares. Johns lineage hails from the Irish, and as we know, Ireland is an Island, therefore everyone there must be fantastic sailor, so then must John.
I put this theory to the test and enlisted John as first mate and we underwent our Ahoy training in preparation for the big day. After some group stretches our 6-person team strapped on our life vests and headed up the river for the first time.
As captain my position was at the bow of the boat, fortunately we all face backwards whilst rowing so I was able to follow the example of everyone else, including that of my first mate. Turns out however my theory about my half Irish Sales Director was completely unfounded, his boating know how was as useful as a sun roof in December.
My worries of drifting aimlessly down the Thames and out to sea then started to rise as the 6 of us slapped at the water with our paddles in an attempt at rowing. Then a strong voice cried out from the stern of our boat "in and pull, in and glide, nice and easy." We had what those in the trade call her, a coxswain, or what I like to refer as the lady with the 'easy job.' Under her firm direction our motley crew managed to row smoothly up the Thames and for once our goal to row 8.5 miles started to look achievable. We may just be able to pull this off!
As this was simply our training we didn't row the full distance. The full Meridian Pull Challenge takes place this Sunday the 9th of October at 8am. The big challenge we face now is not to let the Ahoy Charity down, we are poised to row our hearts out but what we need from you is a small donation to help us achieve our fundraising goal before we fulfil our pledge to row the Thames. The work the Ahoy charity does helps to provide a future for those who never thought such outcomes were possible.
With a crew of land lubbers at the helm we need all the help we can get. Please donate here: The Ahoy Centre Charity
Thank you all for your donation, every bit helps us towards our fundraising goal.
From a nervous Captain and definitely not a sailor,
Managing Director, Concept Vehicle Leasing.