With the countdown to the start of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge looming ever closer, our training took to the water following the addition of a Rannoch Explorer to our ocean rowing boat fleet.
Prior to entering the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, for all of the Bubbleheads, rowing experience was limited to Concept 2 rowers. It has therefore been a key priority (and necessity) of ours to gain as much experience out on the open water as possible. Rowing is one skill, understanding the wind, water and waves in another. Being based on the South Coast, open water was plentiful… so all that was left and needed, was a boat!
As we aren’t due to take delivery of our Rannoch R45 until early 2020, as a team we decided to invest in a Rannoch Explorer, a high-performance open water rowing boat. In August 2019, Andy headed up to Rannoch HQ in Crouch End, Essex to collect the first addition to our growing fleet. The journey was eventful to say the least (5 hours each way, torrential rain and a broken trailer just to give you a taste of it – don’t ask Andy about it), but the ‘prize’ was worth it.
Designed for two people, the Rannoch Explorer is lightweight, stable and easy to use.
Launching it from Lee-on-Solent, the maiden voyage was a trip across the Solent to Cowes, Isle of Wight. The weather was glorious and it was a smooth ride. The boat performed perfectly in the open water, as expected.
Between now and the start of our campaign in December 2020, we have set ourselves the training target of completing 1000 miles out on the water, and with this welcomed new addition to our ‘boys and their toys list’ this goal is well underway.