Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | July 11, 2011

Didi at Henley

At Henley, the GB VIII caught the eyes of the crowd as they did sub 6 minutes when winning their semi in the Grand against Australia on the Saturday. And whilst it was for her looks rather than her speed, Didi also got no end of comments from friends, a distant family member (nice to meet you, Emma), and strangers alike! Visitors on board also included a large proportion of KGSBC. And James Richardson took his first rowing strokes in her too, which we’re rather proud of (he proved extremely competent as well, although he was probably genetically programmed given the competence of both of his parents).

We enjoyed meeting the 4 lads with 4-letter names from Atlantic4, who will certainly be serious contenders in the race.

This was the first time we’ve had Didi on the water since we’ve owned her, and it was great to get out paddling at last, although in unrealistically calm conditions. We also tried out sleeping on her, which was fine with both of us in the cabin, except that we had the door open for ventilation, and we certainly won’t be doing that at sea, at least in the kind of conditions which would lead to us both trying to sleep in the cabin at once.

We’re hoping that we may be able to get her on the water again soon – launching from Hamble Point into the Solent (armed with suitable charts courtesy of Peter Laverick). We also have various big structural jobs to do in the next few weeks including constructing new footplates, moving the stroke stretcher so that it’s suitable placed for us short-legged types (previous owner Roger is a TALL man), adding bow foot steering, and moving the rail stanchions at bow which you hit every time you come forward at the moment.

Meanwhile, colleagues of R’s at Kingston Grammar have been brilliant about getting involved with our chocolate bar initiative: at the time of writing we probably have about 135 bars in total, though will need 540!

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