Rowathon 2004

posted 6 Oct 2016, 08:13 by Dave Tomlin

The Challenge

The challenge was to row a rover continuously for 24 hours around a 1-mile circuit on the River Avon between Charter Bridge and the Banbury Road Bridge in Warwick.

We met the challenge!

The rover, loaded with at least a 5-man crew (one for each oar and one Cox) started from the jetty to complete its circuit. As it crossed the finish line the next boat already loaded with a new crew set off, so keeping the rowing continuous.

Target: 50 miles - Total distance achieved: 90 miles


Approximately 12 Beavers, 23 cubs, over 70 scouts, 14 explorers, 15 leaders, 31 parents and a few other relatives and friends took part in rowing at some point during the 24 hours. This was over 165 people in all, truly making this a whole group event. Many others simply came along and supported the event. With each lap requiring a crew of at least 5, and boats with our smaller members in often having several more, a total of over 480 bottoms went on seats in the boats during the 24-hours.

The younger children sometimes rowed two to an oar or were helped by the scouts. Some crews consisted of as many as 9 children! All 20 of our patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders were cox at least once and rowed at least once - some did much more as those over the age of 14 were allowed to stay all night!

At night the flags were lowered and replaced by a hurricane lamp - it was a dark night! The overnight crew consisted of 8 scouts, 11 explorers and 12 leaders, many of whom stayed awake all night, taking it in turns to man the boats in order to get warm and stay awake! 40 laps were completed between 10p.m. and 7a.m. Egg and bacon sandwiches went down very well at 1.30a.m (thanks Martin and Jess)!

Fastest Lap

10 minutes 44 seconds (Crew: Titch, Shep, Simon and James. Cox: Amy)

A number of challenge laps were included. These ranged from the Mum's challenge, the Dad's Challenge (several of them), The Tea Tent Challenge (very many thanks to the catering team), The Old Codgers Challenge, The 7th Warwick Leader Challenge (well we had to let them join in didn't we!), the Mc Challenge (2 scouts, 1 explorer, 1 leader and 1 ex-leader all from the same family), the Vanguard Challenge, The Vigillent Challenge and various scout team challenges, explorer team challenges and leader team challenges.

Many of the laps with the younger children manning the boats took nearly half an hour. The first challenge lap was a demonstration of how to row by the SPLs and was completed in a very respectable time of 14 minutes and 24 seconds. A mixed team of our youngest leaders (network members) and two scouts then set an early fast time of 11 minutes and 34 seconds mid afternoon. This time stood unbeaten by the late afternoon and early evening challenges until it was finally smashed by an explorer team late evening, setting a time of 10 minutes an 48 seconds (Crew: Richard, Doug, Steve and Joe. Cox: Amy). This time remained unbeaten until 4:50a.m. when a leader team knocked 4 seconds off the time at their third attempt and after swapping their original cox for someone lighter (and actually the same cox as in the Explorer team that had set the time to beat)!

Well done to everyone who did the challenge laps, this definitely helped us reach our final total of 90 laps within the time.

Well those were the facts... and now some personal special moments...

Quote of the Night

"It's definitely easier to row if you don't put the oar in the water!" (Sid - our Chairman at about 3a.m.)

Funniest Lap

Simon being the 'Dragon Boat Master' whilst very hyper on strong sweet coffee and no sleep! (At about 4.30a.m)

Magic Moment

Rowing through the mist as the sun rose!

Thanks to everyone who supported this event and made it such a fun weekend!

I hope that the attached pictures show how much fun we were having!