One of twins, he was random, brave, tough, charming, reckless and intelligent. We got on ever so well, I’d say. Neither of us would ever admit to being tired, or cold, or wanting to quit, even though at times we probably should have.
You can see why we got on, I reckon.
We’d go training in the dark and fast Thames at – 5 degrees at 5am in January, no life jackets, no lights, no safety precautions, no gloves, in shorts, with bare feet. Sometimes the ice would form around our bare fingers and toes so that the pain was intense and we’d have to prise frozen hands off carbon paddles. It was definitely a game to see if either of us would crack, but neither of us did, so it just got easier. The more adverse the conditions, the better we’d be, as other pairs suffered and we flourished.
We did well together, given his youth and my inexperience, but both went on to have different partners in K2 racing, though stayed friends You don’t do DW ( Devizes to Westminster canoe race ) with someone, and then lose contact. It’s such an intense bonding experience that you are forever connected, and we did it twice together, the second time as possibly the best crew, though came 4th ( due to the old rules – now altered ) Anyway, that’s all history
Henry went on to become a barrister, representing celebrity types and naughty politicians. He, like his ( even better at canoeing brother ) came out as being gay, and went ‘ off the rails ‘ a fair bit, though still held it together professionally.
We raced again in the Yukon 1000 mile race in 2009 and actually crossed the finish line together, as joint winners and still 1000 mile record holders ( though Henry would have you believe that they won it alone if you asked him, conveniently forgetting the pair – myself and Rob C – that dragged them for the last 400 miles of river, at record breaking speed )
Anyway, never mind ( again )
Henry’s life went into reverse after ( as detailed by various newspapers ) he got into Chemsex parties – mostly gay drug and sex 48 hour parties – the premise of the gay, rich and powerful. Henry hosted a party in 2016, supplied the drugs and venue, but it turned into tragedy when he woke to find his 19 year old boyfriend dead beside him.
As Henry had supplied the drugs that ultimately had led to the boy’s death, he went to trial on a charge of manslaughter, but he was convicted of supply only, it not particularly being in the public interest to send him to prison, but he was struck off as a barrister, presumably for ever. As he’s too arrogant ( though in a ‘nice’ way, to work in a menial job, he’s not done anything very productive since, and I’d say hasn’t cared a lot about anything since . Im Very familiar with thé ‘ well what does it matter if it goes wrong ?’
mindset , to the extent that nothing matters at all, any of the time, for a long time ( ‘ normal ‘ thinking completely disappearing from the thought process )
Id say that that’s where Henry has been for a while. There is a reason why I write this post, and that’s because Henry, now unemployed and free from any obvious responsibilities, has embarked on his possibly last escapade.
Get this – with NO experience of sailing AT ALL, he has decided to circumnavigate the globe by boat, and has already set off. He has bought a used trimaran and left the South coast of England in fair weather ( thinking possibly that’s how it always is, at sea ).
After a day, he had. to be rescued by the Cosst Guard off The Needles, not far from where he’d started. having found himself adrift with no engine, no technology, no sail skills and no idea of how to get himself out of trouble. To be totally fair, anyone with no experience of sailing would likely be the same,but that’s not exactly compensation. To most tho, it would be a sobering experience that would make you rethink your circumnavigation of the world’s most treacherous oceans, taking in the seasons and the weather changes and the navigational complexities, not to mention the danger of coinciding with vessels much larger than oneself.
However, NOT put off, Henry has set sail again. I doubt if he has a planned route, let alone a plotted one, and doubt he has food and water and power or rescue back up options.
A friend of mine said that he’d be claimed by the sea within 2 weeks, and I can’t see how he’ll manage in a seafaring emergency, with no experience. You can’t just wing it around the world in a tiny boat, can you?
If you know Henry, do me a favour and send him a message, telling him to stop, before he inevitably dies.
If you don’t know him, still send him a message and say the same.
I of course already have.
His email is
and his phone number
+44 7957 683885
Seriously, I don’t want him to die yet.