Very cool talk by 5 lovely ladies last night. All part of the Coxless Crew that rowed the Pacific.
They planned on 6 months, but it took them 9 months.
None of them looked like the type of girl that would row the Pacific – all were more ballet than hockey girls.
In common with Astronaut selection criteria, the team was chosen more on the basis of being chilled out types than super driven athletic types.
Its no good if everyone rows as hard as they can, but fall out with each other after a fortnight at sea.
I know from my Yukon 1000 mile experience that having an extremely chilled, non confrontational partner to defuse my testosterone fuelled approach, really does ensure tolerance and harmony ( and race completion ) in the boat.
There were lots of sensible questions at the end, by the audience.
I thought more laterally, and asked how often they thought about sex whilst at sea?
The most innocent looking one said ‘ it’s the last thing you think about, out there in the vast ocean ‘ and the other one ( more of a twinkle in her eye ) said ‘ I’m not gonna lie, it was quite a lot ‘
Then I asked the obvious ‘ does coxless refer to the fact that you’re all female, or something to do with having no coxswain in the boat?’
Twinkle said ‘ it’s whatever you want to make of it…’
They all loved the experience, but never, ever want to row again.
I recall Steve Redgrave saying that after only his 3rd Olympics.