Yesterday I awoke to a beautiful blue sky and warm weather, a great day for being out on the water. A great day for our man over board training. Charlie had volunteered to “chuck” herself overboard and play victim for the day.
We started with a quick team debrief in the gig shed, going through all possible ways a man over board may occur within our gig or in the surrounding waterways. We also looked at who else on the water may need our help e.g tired windsurfers or paddle boarders. Next we looked at different possible scenarios with regards to the weather and tide. This is important for the cox to judge in order to guide the rest of the crew. For example the current of the tide could be pulling the man over board (mob) one way and the wind pushing the gig boat in the opposite direction, making it more challenging to rescue the mob. We also looked at technique and where to get the mob back into the gig. We also discussed that rower in bow would also stop rowing and stand up pointing and communicating to the mob giving all important info to the cox. It is then very important for the rest of the crew to follow the cox completely to ensure that we perform a safe rescue.
After the debrief it was off down to the water’s edge to find the water beautifully still. Since our briefing the weather had turned and the sky had become a soft shade of grey with drizzle in the air. Once we got the gig into the water we paddled away from the shore to where we could begin our mob session. We took it in turns to be rower in bow and also in positions 3 and 4 where you co-ordinate the technique together and pull out the mob. Depending on which side of the gig the mob is on depends on which oar to move and which pins are removed to create space for the rescue. I was very surprised that the technique was so easy and very little effort needed to pull the mob into the gig. It was great to witness a change of current also which made rescuing Charlie more difficult.
After the session Simon our cox explained that this would be our last row as a beginner and if we wanted to continue to row we would now have to sign up to the club. Once we are members we can then log on and book a place on an improvers row or even a social row. I am very excited to join and can’t wait to improve my rowing as well as start the social rows and enjoy a row, chips and beer.