Slog indeed! It seemed like a great idea to throw in a 25km warm up for Castle to Crane in 3 weeks time. Sunshine, pastries, music and plenty Vaseline, Dave, John, Laura, Lou and their cox Emily set off at 6am, heading for Newcastle. After dropping off the trailer at the finish, we enjoyed Tyne RC’s luxurious new boat house and fantastic hospitality before the safety briefing and start of the race. 

We set off in the first wave with several other fixed seat boats, including the only other St Ayles Skiff, Whitby Gigs and Celtic Longboats. We lead the field for the first 19km, passing through rural and industrial scenery, and one or two much appreciated supporters cheering us on through Newcastle city centre. It was all going so well…

The next phase, through the Port of Tyne, presented us with different challenges. The legs and joints were starting to ache, the slidey seat quads were fast approaching and quickly they went through us. We pushed on through choppier waters and when the DFDS ferry came into sight we knew the finish line wasn’t far away. 

We were beaten by the Whitby Gigs for the fastest fixed seat trophy, but nonetheless, had a great day and despite a minority preference for refueling at the ‘Golden Arches’ (aka Mcdonalds)(Ed: BOO! Happy Meal toy is an Emoji, what a missed opportunity), we enjoyed a lovely meal in Tynemouth before heading back home.

Many, many thanks to Colin Percy and his team for a superbly organised event. We will definitely be back!

Louise Presslie