Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | February 4, 2012

Day 62: On weight loss

After lovely Norwegians landed the other day, we asked Land Team Lisa how slim they looked in the photos of their arrival, and her answer was “toned” (plus they were wearing Olaf Tufte boxer shorts). The latter will mean nothing to non-rowers, but Tufte is a Norwegian Olympic champion single sculler – a legend. And his pants are a must for every rowing gentleman – the Norwegians were sporting them during boat prep in La Gomera, and we had a long conversation about them. As you do when you’re getting to know people.

Anyway, back to weight loss. I think the Norwegians had worked particularly hard on gaining weight before the race, as toned isn’t a word we would use to describe them then. And this thus fuels our totally unscientific theory that the amount of weight you lose during this race equals the amount you’ve put on beforehand, plus a bit. And so those who put on a lot, lose the most. We did make some effort to put on weight, but failed, so how do we look now?

Again with weight loss being proportional to your initial body mass, R has clearly lost more than H, He’s looking very nicely toned in the upper body. H had hoped she’d finish up with a six-pack like Cath Griffin’s, but no such luck. Both have lost their middle-aged spreads (waist for R and hips for H, but what we didn’t expect was the amount we’ve lost off our LEGS, and this is from lack of walking. Calf muscles completely gone, and backs of thighs pretty much non-existent.

So it won’t only be the adjustment back to stationary land that will make walking hard from us on dry land – we don’t really have the muscles for it any more! Having said that, “being able to walk” is in H’s top 3 things she’s looking forward to being able to do.

Oh, and one final reason that walking will be hard is that 60 days of not walking and having slightly damp feet a lot of the time has led to the said feet being soft, and totally stripped of hard skin. I mean, forget that crazy new treatment where you sit with you rhoofs in a fish talk for half an hour – just do 50 days of ocean rowing instead. So after 5 mins walking we’ll probably have blisters too.

Today was devoid of wildlife once again, apart from the Duty Storm Petrel doing a quick fly by this morning, until the Loch Ness Monster came past this afternoon, wearing a straw sombrero! It turns out that it’s been on holiday in Mexico, catching some winter sun on its scales. I asked how it could afford such a cruise, and it explained that it gets good royalties off the effigies of itself sold in tourist tat shops in Scotland. But it confirms that the local sea creatures HAVE indeed likely gone on holiday elsewhere, which explains why we haven’t seen them.

Many thanks for messages – MacLachlans, Chris Harris (hope above weight info pleases you), Helen Page, Sheila, Helen C, Jackie S and others.

Brilliant that KGVBC have raised money for St Mungo’s with their own “when will they finish” competition. But don’t all be tempted that you just need to divide the remaining miles by 40… conditions have been pretty good for the past couple of days – fast, and in the right direction, but not SO fast that it’s hard to steer. However, they’re due to get stronger for the next 4 days we have forecasts for, and there may be some nasty squally gusts PLUS a temporary backing of the wind by 90 degrees on Tuesday which could necessitate para-anchor. Constant Vigilance” as Mad-Eye Moody says in Harry Potter 4. [There are still 5-6 days to get a finish guestimate in for a chance to win a bottle of Taliskers – Land-Ed]

Glad we’re under 600 to go, though!

Please do let us know KGS results from Hampton Head! Gather that the senior boys were foiled from racing at Nene by it being cancelled. Loved your stories of ice round Trowlock Island this morning, Rog! And in the Molesey lock Jackie and Helen!

Great photo on a choc today from Sara Reay – how DID you get 4 blue tits lined up to have their pics taken!


  1. Hi R&H – you ARE the topic of local conversation now – “did you read the latest blog about the Jelly Baby?” ” how far are they now ?” – and if no-one’s told you yet – your orange blob/location and the finish point are now on the same page – oh yey – fantastic – meanwhile this morning at 7.15am saw 4 inches of snow on the KGS pontoon and icy tonight !! .. all best Sarah S

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