Update 3 – December 2021
Keeping with the same format at BP.2, we’ll get started with an update on the Boat, and then follow on with updates from behind the scenes, progress with sponsors & partners along with details on our physical and theory training.
The boat remained at the Jersey Field Squadron for a few more months as life became busy over the summer and we weren’t really in a rush to get her in the water when we had little chance of getting out to row. We had booked in our bronze sponsors, Signtech, to complete the first version of our decals. There were still a few things we wanted to do to the boat, and we also wanted to get our current sponsors decals on the boat ahead of her official unveiling. This was to be in the fan zone at Super League Triathlon in September.
After the Superleague, our plan would be to get the boat in the water. However, this would be subject to a few factors including securing a suitable fixed mooring. This was to be easier said than done, and we would end up waiting a few months after this date before Lilly Mae entered the water.
A few days before Superleague Pete made his way down to the fan zone to see when they wanted us to transport the boat down there. He was somewhat surprised to be told that it would have to be in the next hour, or we would risk losing our slot. Fortunately, we were able to call in a favour or two to get her down there and in position within the hour.
Over that weekend the boat was unveiled, and we spent many hours chatting to members of the public about the challenge, whilst also showing them the boat. We also tried to kick off our fundraisings by running a fun quiz and a social media competition.
The display of an ocean rowing boat in Jersey certainly attracted much interest, and we were pleased to officially be able to unveil Lilly Mae.
After this successful weekend we moved the boat back to the Jersey Field Squadron.
A few weeks later we were told she would have to be moved, so we managed to have the boat transported to Gorey Boat Park. PC Boat Sales assisted with the logistics in getting the boat there and in position so a huge thanks to the whole team there.
We are enormously grateful to Charlie Martell at the Jersey Field Squadron for allowing us to keep the boat in dry storage for so long, and at no cost to us.
We decided to leave the boat at Gorey Boat Park for the time being as we continued to chase sponsors, and plan for version 2 of the decals.
Behind the Scenes
The website continues to be updated as we add new content and secure new sponsors and partners. Phil from Blue Llama and Steve from STS graphics have continued to help us enormously. The quality of their work has been excellent.
We also secured help of Bethany Lawrence to manage our social media and provide us with advice from time to time. We have subsequently been far more active across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
On the Sponsorship front, we continued to arrange meetings and generally follow up with various contacts between July and December. At the time of our previous update, we felt we were around 70% there.
We had a great deal of success and managed to secure KPMG and Rossborough Insurance as Silver sponsors. This completed our line-up in respect of this sponsorship category, and it was great to have them on board.
Both were very interested in the challenge and our choice charities matched their designated charities for the year. Garenne Group have signed up as bronze sponsors, after an introduction from Chris Clark (CEO of our Gold Sponsor – Prosperity 24/7). We also received generous donations from Nordic Capital, Centamin, Quay Boat Sales, Ruelans and Doctor Wes McCain.
We have also had more individuals and companies sign up for the 250 club: Trail Monkey, Gemma Rowley, Henderson Green, The Mackenzie Family, Ian Anderson, Quantum Kenpo Systems, EFG and Family Nursing & Home Care have all joined the adventure, and it is great to have them on board.
We have also been asked to talk about our challenge by some of our sponsors and partners. A particular highlight was presenting to recruits at the Jersey Field Squadron. We do like an excuse to talk about anything endurance and ourselves.
Thank you to all our sponsors for the support, it is really appreciated.
We feel that we need one final push re sponsors and have set ourselves a deadline of 31 Jan in respect of finalizing everything.
ITV interviewed Pete and I in late November. The interview was 2-part with half being on the water as we rowed a club boat and the other half at Gorey Boat Park alongside Lilly Mae. You can watch it here. Conditions were great on the day, and we were really pleased with how it all went. A link to the interview is here
We are pleased to announce that Jersey Sports & Spinal Clinic and Well Kneaded (Sam Matthews) have both become partners and will be helping with physiotherapy and sports massage respectively up until when we depart for La Gomera.
I have been using JSSC for quite a few years, and Lisa Mann was instrumental in getting me to my first marathon many years ago. I have never looked back since, and they are very much my ‘go to’ practice.
Sam from Well Kneaded approached Steve and I to see if we needed help as we prepared for the challenge. Embarrassingly her message ended up unread in our spam folder for quite a while, but we were happy to take up her generous offer.
Jim n Tonic have continued to film our progress, and will ultimately be producing a short film. This will be due for release at the end of the challenge. Pete and I went to Jim’s studio in November and were interviewed separately. We were not in attendance at each other’s interviews, so it will be interesting to see what we say about each other come the release of the film.
Training wise, we have both continued our Pilates sessions with Sonia Assiter on a Wednesday morning and surprise surprise, Wednesday mornings at 7:30 tends to be a day reserved for high winds and the odd spot of rain! It still seesm to be a highlight of our week and really improves our mobility which we’re discovering is going to be very useful on such a small boat.
Focusing on rowing, in the last post I mentioned that we had successfully completed the Sark to Jersey race.
We continued with most club races for the remainder of the season, and only missed one or two.
The Round the Island race in August was a particular highlight and it was a stunning day. At 55km it was our longest row to date, and we were happy with our time of 5:30, especially as it was only a week after Steve had completed the Round the Rock Ultra marathon. Not many pairs had entered this year and we took the win (first pair).
The final race of the season also saw us having a near collision with a pole, resulting in Pete falling out of the boat. That said, he managed to clamber back in, and we also won that race. An amusing and fun way to end the season.
Pete and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the rowing club in the 2020/21 season and after significant hours on the oars our hands were becoming nicely conditioned.
We also received a few trophies at the end of season awards, which was a pleasant surprise.
Our trophies from the Annual Club Awards
With the rowing season winding down, our focus switched primarily to spending time in the gym and focusing on strength and conditioning. However, when weather conditions were favorable, we would always manage to get a couple hours out on a club boat around the bay.
As part of our knowledge training, we had planned to visit La Gomera in December to see the start of the 2021 race. We felt it would be beneficial to be out there to check out other boats and chat to other teams, as well as former participants in the race. Covid restrictions, as always, caused complications but I managed to get out there for a few days and have a productive fact-finding mission, as well as the odd drink or two in the Blue Marlin Pub!
For anyone wanting a bit of winter sun in December we’d highly recommend booking a few days in La Gomera. A stunning island with real old world charm and fabulous nature. The race start is hair raisingly inpirational and emotional. Get booked up to come and support us.
La Gomera for the start of the 2021 race