Team Hallin’s Round GB 2013 Rowing Race team, consisting of David Hosking, Neil Ward, Julian Bellido and Stuart Chamberlayne, has just successfully conducted a week of sea-trials in their Ocean Rowing Boat Hallin Marine II.
Team Hallin conducted an eight day training period in their new boat between 25th March and 2nd April 2013. The first day was spent removing the covers from the boat before conducting the final list of jobs to prepare the boat for sea.
(Left) Hallin Marine II under her winter covers in deepest Surrey – where she has undergone a full refit lasting over a year. (Right) Day One of the Easter trials period: David, Stu and Julian remove the covers and scaffolding to present the newly painted boat.
On Tuesday 26th March the boat was lifted into the water at Shepperton Marina and to David’s delight the vessel looked great after its fifteen month long refit. London Olympic Rowing Champion Sophie Hosking christened the boat Hallin Marine II in front of a gathering of press reporters before coaching the crew in their first training session in the new boat.
Hallin Marine II at Shepperton Marina
Wednesday 27th March was spent working on the boat and then loading the food and supplies required for the sea trials. After safety briefs and equipment checks the team set off on Thursday afternoon for a row down the River Thames – spending the night alongside in Kingston.
Alongside at Kingston
At dawn on Good Friday [28th March] the crew set off again and made very good progress in a fast stream of flood water arriving at Richmond lock at 0800 hrs. Once through the lock the crew split into their sea-watches with David and Julian taking the first one-hour stint followed by Neil and Stu for the next. Progress down the Tideway on the Thames was swift and for a short burst the top recorded speed was over 7.5 kts with the tidal stream. However, as the boat reached Battersea the tide turned and for the next six hours the team had to row against a strong flood stream and into a moderate [and very cold] Easterly wind. After a brief stop on a buoy near Tower Bridge, which is the start of this summer’s GB Row Race, for lunch, the crew continued rowing down river.
Contemplating the start over lunch
Soon after Greenwich, the flood tide slackened off and as the team transited the Thames Barrier through span Bravo, the tidal stream was again in their favour. As night fell, the East wind picked up and blowing against a fast running Ebb tidal stream this created a short choppy sea. In the dark, the crew picked up an empty mooring buoy near the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. That night the temperatures fell well below zero and both the watermaker and the fuel cell froze as a result – but crew morale did not suffer in the very cold conditions!
Stu sleeps as ice forms on the deck
Easter Saturday was spent with more boat and crew drills before setting back up the Thames. On passing the Putney reach, Team Hallin witnessed the final practice session of the Oxford and Cambridge Blue boats before the Boat Race on Easter Sunday afternoon. After rowing 14 hrs that day, including into a snow storm, the team spent the night opposite Hampton Court Palace.
David and Julian returning up river
Easter Sunday saw the crew rowing upstream to Shepperton Marina – stopping off at Stu and David’s rowing club at Walton for hot bacon sandwiches. The rest of the day was then spent conducting auto-helm tests and setting to work of the spare tiller pilot.
On Monday 1st April, the crew worked hard to rectify problem areas picked up from the sea trials, before de-storing and deep cleaning the boat.
On Tuesday [2nd April 2013] the boat was lifted out of water and towed back for storage before this summer’s Race. Mr. Phil Pring, the Race Scrutineer, will conduct his scrutiny on the boat and all associated equipment on Saturday 6th April – so fingers crossed all will be OK.
So after eight days of training, race preparation and rowing, Team Hallin covered over 110 NM under oars and they were generally delighted in the way the boat and equipment functioned in this first trial week. The next time that Hallin Marine II will be on the water is at the end of May 2013, just prior to the start of the Round GB Rowing Race. The latter starts from Tower Bridge at 0800 hrs on Saturday 1st June 2013.
Team Hallin wish to thank our key sponsors and friends, for their continued support in our world record bid. We also request that you support our adopted charity, Combat Stress.
Neil rowing in a very cold Thames Estuary
Julian and David rowing past Battersea
Neil and Stu row past the City of London and the O2 Arena
David and Julian rowing with Stu coxing at Tower Bridge
TEAM HALLIN 2013 ROUND GB ROW RACE CREW
DB Hosking – 3rd April 2013
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