We dusted (literally) off the carbon cleavers and with Geoff strapped into the coxes seat, Ian, Tim, Steve and Les set off at a steady, firm rate in the direction of Emsworth, intent on replicating the Hamble distance and time including a sharp turn!
Geoff, unable to resist swooping past the upturned catamaran for the umpteenth time, took us close to Northney through the moorings and across the Emsworth channel before selecting an appropriate mark to swing round.
Turn dutifully completed we reversed the route before putting in yet another turn just before Hayling Bridge and setting course for the shore and the necessary scramble up the beach to ring the bell.
I am sad to report that it was shortly after this stage that Les had to be spoken to regarding his less than enthusiastic approach to being a team player.
In short with Geoff driving the crew towards the Mill at a relentless pace, Les was directed to stop rowing and simply dive into the water and sprint up the beach to Mike's front door ring bell etc.......
Well we did our bit, hurtled towards the shore and slammed on the anchors, all held firm and turned expectantly to see Les still in the bow unmoved, grinning, jelly baby in hand!
So 39 minutes of stirling effort, stunning turns and then with an expectant crowd on the shore awaiting what must be an awesome finish we gently caressed the shore and sat there speechless!
Bow rower required, agility and the ability to fly over the water ring bells etc critical