Saturday 16 April 2011

Basque rowing

A while ago Iñaki from the Basque country left a link in the comment box. It’s a video of a ‘trainera’ hurtling along with dolphins gambolling about the bow.

The ‘trainera’ fixed seat rowing boats have developed from anchovy and sardine fishing vessels that could be rowed or sailed. Originally made of cedar and beech they are now a high-tech mix of kevlar and carbon fibre. The 12 metre boats weigh in at 200kg. The trainera has 13 oarsmen, 6 pairs and one on his lonesome in the bow, his job is also to help turn the boat by taking his oar off the thole pin, fitting it into a special rowlock and paddling sideways. The patron stands at the stern with a steering oar.

Competition is fierce up on the north coast of Spain and there are active clubs from Galicia to the Basque Country.

I still turn up to training sessions with my local rowing team though only to say hello and receive presents of fresh fish from the fishermen of the crew. Now that I’m underweight again, and have this fabulously streamlined head, they’re trying to convince me to cox. Well, there’s another adventure waiting to unfold.


Vidal Solé said...

Ben, as you may know, we also row here in Catalonia.
Here we use the 'Llaguts'. It is also fixed seat 8meter long ang a bit wider than the basque ones. we are just 6 oarsmen and the patron, 'timoner'

Ben said...

Hi Vidal, Yes, I do know! I've been a member of the Torredembarra team for two years.
Where do you row?

Vidal Solé said...

Premià, second year.
Rowing is great to keep you in shape
but I prefer sailing.
I am also part of this crew, check this:
We go sailing every Sunday, you are welcome anytime, I MEAN IT!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ben!
Since I sent you the video of the dolphins with the trainera I hadn´t watch your blog again and recently I have found out and felt surprised, happy and proud that you liked it and you have even written a few words about it. Here I saw you one of the oldest remained
Well Ben,I hope the strength and happiness of the dolphins be with you from now on. Iñaki.

Ben said...

Vidal and Iñaki, Thank you both. I might well take you up on your offer Vidal.