BR Tour 2013 – ‘Explore Rowing at its best’

Close to 80 rowers from across the UK took to Scotland on August 29th, for the 20th British Rowing Tour. The three-night tour took in the Scottish Lowlands, including the famous Falkirk Wheel and Loch Lomond. Dawn Brace reports…

The tour was nearly one hundred people but not all rowers – there were 15 touring fours, two galleys and a double. The plan was to cover 73km over three days but, owing to the weather conditions on the loch, it was probably a bit less than that.

Rowing against the wind in such an exposed area meant you need to keep driving the legs down to keep momentum going – short and sharp, and pointless stopping to rest. But it wasn’t all hard work…

Lots of shipping oars to get through the narrows and ducking under bridges was a novelty, but getting the boats out of the canal was a challenge – these touring boats are real beasts compared to fine boats when it comes to lifting and manhandling.

Hearing stories of previous tours was for great for us newbies, and many had clearly been doing this for many years and reigniting old friendships on tour.

We were warmly welcomed to the group, and brought back not only blisters and haggis but most importantly many new friendships. Many thanks to Caroline and John Turnbull of Weyfarers for the organisation and the opportunity to join in.

Caroline said: “This was the 20th national tour and the first one in Scotland. It was also the biggest, with nearly 80 rowers from all over England, plus our first crew from Wales. This is Explore Rowing at its best – visiting new waterways, experiencing different conditions from those at home, and, most importantly, developing friendships with like-minded rowers from other clubs and regions. Long may it continue!”

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