Sunday, 21 February 2010
Our new boat
Our new rowing boat is called ‘el Ibrit’. The name has derived, through a series of spelling mistakes, from el híbrid, meaning the hybrid in Catalan. It is a name that has become disassociated from its meaning. We call it 'el Ibrit' much in the way that we might call it Ingrid, or Brett or any other name.
'El Ibrit' is the boat we’ll be taking to the Spanish nationals in May. It’s made of carbon or Kevlar or some such funky goo and is extremely lightweight. It has significantly lower freeboard than our other boat and a shallower draft, making it tippy and technical to row. All our on-the-water training over the past month has been centred on achieving a uniform, even stroke. And then maintaining it as the power comes on.
Part of this entails keeping your oar parallel with that of the rower in front. Our oars are black and we row at night. Peering into the inky dark to spot a glinting oar blade is another skill that needs to be mastered. Getting it right requires a level of concentration that I’d previously never achieved while rowing.
When we get it wrong the boat rolls, tips and, losing speed provokes disorder as blame flies from port to starboard. When we get it right 'el Ibrit' really flies provoking, at least on my part, a broad grin.