Pre-Celtic challenge 2010

The club has entered this event due to be held the first weekend in May and training started in earnest on 6th March.


Apart from your socializing gear, you will need quite a lot of rowing kit, bearing in mind that you will be doing upwards of 6 rows, maybe more depending on the conditions.
There won’t be enough room on board “Beyond Mehalah” (our yacht support boat, hereafter referred to as BM) for lots of people and lots of kit. So what we did last time was to put all our rowing kit in large individual polythene bags with our names on them and an extra bag also named for putting used wet kit in. These will then be stowed on “Celtic Prince” hereafter referred to as CP until we get to Arklow, keep one set of rowing kit with you ready to change into before the race.
The same goes for socializing clothes (Thursday and Friday, and Sunday night in Aber), keep one change of togs with you and the rest to be stowed away on CP.
When we start the race the only bags on board BM will be your rowing kit. Glad rags will be in the hold of CP.
Rowing shorts, boots, hat and gloves.
1 pair of trainers (you won’t want to stay in your rowing boots for 2 hours on BM.)
3 tracksuit bottoms (for night rowing).
6 sets of base layer garments.
4 intermediate wicking/thermal tops.
1 waterproof top (preferably breathable)
Spare underwear
2 pairs of wooly socks.
Washing kit.
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mat for CP crews
Sun glasses (you will be rowing facing west!) and Sun cream (one can only hope!)
SUDOCREM or Vaseline.
Wet-wipes. NO TOILET PAPER down the “heads” on either boat so it has to go overboard. Think on that one!
Micropore tape and old fashioned fabric Elastoplast roll would be useful for patching up hands etc.
MOTION NAUSEA CONTROL. Try Stugeron or Kwells and test them out beforehand. Take advice from your doctor as some medications are PRESCRIPTION only. Pros&Cons Once you have taken a tablet and it makes you drowsy then there is nothing you can do about it. A patch on the other hand can be removed if you start to suffer side affects. Check out the bottom of this bulletin for other options.
A pair of waterproof pants would be good, especially at night if it’s raining.
Also, some Gaviscon liquid is essential as sitting down rocking backwards and forwards for hours & messing with your body clock can cause bad indigestion and heartburn. This will really muck up your performance, especially if you’ve been at the bottle, so on this point we, as a team have decided that Friday is a DRY NIGHT. Any body caught drinking Friday WILL BE KEEL HAULED!!
You will need some cash for your reveling and shopping. There are ample ATM’s in Arklow so don’t worry too much about that! Also remember that we will be staying in Aberystwth Sunday night, (all going well).
Mobile phones: You will probably need to arrange with your network provider to make calls from Ireland. On the row back you won’t get a signal until we are about 15 miles out from Wales.
In between rows it is best to change into your next set of rowing kit with a tracksuit over the top so when you get the 3.50am call you will only have to put your boots on.
Maxine has volunteered to co-ordinate some sort of stew/hotpot which will be on the two hotplates the whole time.
However, you would be advised to bring some HIGH ENERGY bars, flapjacks, chocolate and sweets (jelly babies and wine gums are recommended as they are high in sugar and carbohydrates and are easily absorbed into your blood stream. Also energy/sports drinks. We will arrange to have some family size bottles of water on both boats but bring your own rowing bottle. Best bring your own mug, bowl and spoon.

Quite a few of us were involved in the aborted 2004 row (Edw, Tina, Shakey, Manon, Ceinwen, Dave Ll) and for further advice on the actual row we did in 2002, consult with Pete, Sarah or Simon.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Various precautionary medicines and devices are available these days to fight sea sickness. Some work well for some people and not so well for others. If it’s your first trip it might be a bit of a “hit and miss” situation, but one of these should do the trick:
1. Diet – to start off with, eat “safe” foods for about a day before boarding (nothing acidic, spicy or fatty, also try to avoid anything with MILK in it) … and don’t over indulge (food/alcohol). Eating a light “safe” meal before you board will also help reduce the risk and/or effects of seasickness. Ginger is a great choice!.
2. The motion sickness patch is probably the most popular these days – to be placed behind your ear 4 hours before boarding and changed if necessary after 72 hours. This is quite an effective way to prevent seasickness but causes things like a dry mouth and blurry vision. Better to be thirsty than sick, though! The active ingredient, scopolamine, is absorbed through the skin.
3. Over the counter medication (usually causes some drowsiness) – to be taken 1-2 hours before boarding. The most recommended are pills with the active ingredient meclizine (less-drowsy Dramamine, Bonine, Antivert), then pills with the active ingredient Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine regular). Marezine (cyclizine) and Stugeron (cinnarizine) seem to be less sleep inducing than all of the above. Other popular antihistamines (Benadryl – diphenhydramine based) also work for some people. (Money saving tip: ask your pharmacist for the generic version of the medication you wish to take.)
4. Homeopathic medicines – Trip Ease should be taken 2 hours before boarding but also works if you’re already feeling seasick (contains 6 natural active ingredients and has no drowsiness or other side effects); or Sea Sik Oral Spray to be sprayed under your tongue 3 times a day or more if needed (contains 7 natural active ingredients and has no drowsiness or other side effects). On The Move capsules (contains ginger root, licorice root and cayenne) also help alleviate motion sickness and can also be used to combat headaches.
5. Acupressure bracelets – a drug-free product causing no side effects – the motion sickness band is worn one on each wrist for the duration of your trip. Some contain small magnets, others just a stud, which should be aligned with a pressure point (P6) on your wrist and pressure applied periodically. This won’t work very well if you “miss” the pressure point.
6. Motion Eaze natural oil – to be applied behind the ear and is absorbed through the skin. Also effective if feeling nauseas already. No side effects.
7. The electronic, drug-free motion sickness ReliefBand® is worn on the wrist, a kind of motion sickness watch. It emits low-level electrical pulses to avoid and treat motion sickness by calming the stomach.

To The Rescue!
Should you have forgotten to swallow, stick, rub or sniff your chosen anti-sea sickness remedy or the seas are extremely rough and you suddenly start to sweat, turn pale, salivate and have a general feeling of discomfort, hopefully your brain will recall the file in which you stored the following information and you can still enjoy your cruise until you find your sea legs:
1. Look out the window (or better yet, go onto the deck and to the centre of the boat, facing forward) at a distant, stable object, like the horizon. The centre of the ship, close to the waterline, is the most stable part of the ship.
2. Use a fan or listen to some music… this will get your mind off things.
3. Eat some salty snacks with regular intervals to help dry up your stomach.
4. Relax if you can – lying down and closing your eyes might help.
5. Ginger is a natural remedy to general nausea and sea sickness. Drink ginger beer or tea, or eat fresh ginger, a cookie or suck on a ginger sweet (like Gin Gins) to help combat your green cheeks. Try Sailor’s Secret, a branded ginger capsule or Quesy Pops, popsicles containing essential oils from natural herbs and aromatherapy in ginger flavour but also others like lavender, peppermint, etc. Any ginger product is most effective if taken before boarding.
6. Some motion sickness medicine (e.g. Dramamine patches) may help to reduce the nausea at this stage. Maybe one of the most effective if you’re severely seasick and vomiting, is heavy duty Phenergan Suppositories.
7. Bitters, mint, citrus, apricot juice, carrot juice, unroasted pumpkin or squash seeds, parsley and peppermint tea are also said to help combat sea sickness but there doesn’t seem to be much proof out there.
1. Read once the sea sickness has kicked in, it will make you feel worse.
2. Drink big gulps of water. Tiny sips at intervals are better.
3. Face backwards.
Sunday 25th
10am Bendy to purchase new trailerboard from Caravan Centre and meet with Gerallt Owen at Porthmadog Football club to check out electrics on minibus.
11am Shakey and Bendy load RD onto trailer, after cutting off lock on outboard and fitting extra bow fender.
3pm Everyone to meet at Club-Briefing by Tina, Safety briefing by Mark-Both Rubber Duck and Fleetwing washed and ready to go. Load Fleetwing onto top of double trailer. All 8 oars loaded onto Bendy’s car and all other kit including Shakey’s spare outboard motor, fuel cans, ropes and fenders, stowed in boot ready for transporting RD across to Pwllheli for 6pm.
Wednesday 8pm
Tina phone organizers to check on their decision for Go/NoGo (Dai 07900 953226, Sonia 07719 659618 or home 01970 615308)
Tina to call Hobley, Bendy(phone Rob, Terry & Dafydd), Nicola(phone Max, SteveP & Shakes), Saz(phone Geoff & Sue). That covers all 12 rowers, 2 RD handlers, CP and minibus driver(Terry).
Travel Arrangements – Bendy/Rob/Shakes
Wednesday 6pm. Meet at club to load and transport all stuff to CP Pwllheli(bags with personal rowing kit, water, Gas bottle, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, food, radios, life jackets, etc

Mini Bus and trailer – Bendy
Collect Mini Bus from Gerallt Owen 5pm Wednesday
Our ferry sails at 1350hrs on Thursday 29th April. We have to book in an hour before which will be 1250hrs. We need to get over to Caernarfon to load up their boat which will take about half an hour and be on the road to Holyhead by 1200hrs, so to arrive Caernarfon for 1130hrs we will need to leave Porthmadog 1030hrs at the very latest.

Thursday 9.30am Meet at Club to load up personal kit and hitch up trailer
On the road for 10.30am
Meet C’von at Plas Menai 11.30am
Booked on the 13.50 ferry from Holyhead.
Booked onto the ferry and mini bus are:
Tina, Edw, Shakes, Si, Elaine, Max, Hobley, Nicola, Terry Birch our driver and 2 of the Caernarfon crew.

CP Crossing –Co-coordinator SteveP (01766 890201)
Saz, Geoff, Steve Pass, Bill, Sue, Rob
8am Thursday Saz driving Geoff & Steve Pass to meet at Club to be in Pwllheli for 9am boarding. Bill& Sue to arrange a pick up time of Rob and make their own way to Pwllheli.
Bring your own pack lunches and drinks.

Arklow Hotel Details – Nicola
Accommodation allocation
Double+single Nicola,Max & Sarah
Double+single Rob, Geoff & SteveP
Double+single Shakey, Terry & Mark
Double+single Elaine & Bendy
Twin Bill & Sue
Twin Tina & Edw
Supper Booking on Thursday night. Tina has got a list of places and telephone numbers.

Aberystwth Hotel/Apartment Details – Saz to book camp site
At the moment all hotels are booked up so Mark has offered the use of his 5 room canvas hotel.
We will need extra tents though, plus camping mats,(you will have your sleeping bags already), so Manon has kindly offered to transport any camping gear down to Aberystwth, BUT she might have problems getting there for anything earlier than Sunday morning. If the race is brought forward to Friday night then we will need somewhere to sleep Saturday night.

Two trailers to Aberystwth?
Still to be finalized, but the plans are for Terry to drive the Mini bus and double trailer down to Aberystwth with Dr Jon in his car on Saturday. Leave the mini bus and trailer and make their own way back to Port in Jon’s car. Hopefully we can then load RD onto bottom of double trailer for return.

Crew Changes

Rubber Duck comes alongside Celtic Prince, Fleetwing, or Beyond Mahalah. On touching, the helm (Si or Rob) shouts ‘CONTACT’.

Once cleated to CP or BM, or held to Fleetwing by change over crew from RIB, they shout ‘SECURE’ to inform the helm.

RIB handler then shouts ‘NEUTRAL’ (indicates that prop is no longer turning)

Once they are happy, not you, and things have stabilized, they shout ‘PROCEED’, and people start to move.

Man overboard

– Recovery:

  • Crew to shout “MAN OVERBOARD!” (Very loudly) and point to them until they are in physical contact with some one or the boat. (so the helm can see rather than keep asking.) A head in rough water will soon be lost, esp at night.
  • Keep your cool, keep eye contact, talk to the person, let them know you are coming.
  • The helms of CP and BM will know (hopefully!) what to do, so follow their orders. eg CP will probably throw a line, whilst Rubber Duck will come alongside. Remember propellers kill

If you fall in:

  • Shout as you go over!
  • Do not hang on to a speeding boat once overboard; failing legs will soon find the prop. If you feel yourself going, try to in fact push away.
  • Raise one arm; Use whistle to attract attention; Keep clear of the propeller and make sure the crew have stopped the engine before they start pulling at you.


By international law, to use the radio, you should have a licence. However, if there is some one in the boat with a licence ‘training you’, that is ok.

Bearing in mind there may be a lot of traffic sharing our channel, and the coastguard will hear you when in range, to avoid confusion, (and arrest!) best be aware of some simple rules:

1)To start a conversation, it’s a bit like talking to some one in the dark, so you call their name out (twice, to make sure they heard you the first time, then say your name (twice) so they know who it is.

2)Wait for their reply, no point talking to no one. They will say your name (once from now on), followed by their name and ‘go ahead’.

3)You then repeat the pattern, their name, your name, followed by message. Keep in short, no waffle, no please, no thank you. This is to reduce chance of miss-hearing. If you don’t understand, just say ‘repeat last message’

4)Always finish with ‘over’ as in ‘over to you’. as no visual signals to say you’ve finished, as you’d get face to face.

Once finished, say ‘out’, as in ‘end of transmission’, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER say ‘over and out’, only ever said in the movies, if you say it in RNLI, you buy beer!

Phrases used that are easily understood over a radio:



over=your turn to speak

out=ta ta/end of conversation

roger=received and understood last message

go ahead=I’m ready to hear your message

So, conversation might go:

Simon:Celtic Prince, Celtic Prince, this is Rubber Duck, Rubber Duck, over.

Dafydd:Rubber Duck this is Celtic Prince, go ahead, over.

S:Celtic Prince, Rubber Duck, i am coming along side for crew change, over

D:Rubber Duck, Celtic Prince, Roger, proceed, out

Short and to the point of being rude is the key! Have a practice as you may feel very self-conscious at first.

Provisional crews have been selected.
These are:

Crews if Ladies Coxing

Position Boat 1 Boat 2 Boat 3
Bow (8) Max Sue Elaine
Green (6) Steve Pass Geoff Bill
Red (4) Shakes Edw Hobley
Stroke (1) Nicola Saz Tina
Cox (2) Saz Tina Nicola

Crews if Men Coxing

Position Boat 1 Boat 2 Boat 3
Bow (8) Sue Max Tina
Green (6) Geoff Steve P Bill
Red (4) Shakes Edw Hobley
Stroke (1) Elaine Nicola Saz
Cox (2) Edw Hobley Shakes

Support boat/rib/celtic change over Proposal

hour hour CELTIC PRINCE (CP) number people in CP incl 2 RIB’s & 2 Crew Fleetwing CREW COX BEYOND MEHALAH (BM) number people in BH incl 2 Crew
1 13 Team 2-cox 7 Team 1 + cox 2 Team 3 6
2 14 4 Team 2 + cox 3 Team 1+ Team 3 – cox 9
3 15 8 Team 3 + cox 1 Team 1-cox 5
4 16 Team 2-cox 7 Team 1 + cox 2 Team 3 6
5 17 4 Team 2 + cox 3 Team 1+ Team 3 – cox 9
6 18 8 Team 3 + cox 1 Team 1-cox 5
7 19 Team 2-cox 7 Team 1 + cox 2 Team 3 6
8 20 4 Team 2 + cox 3 Team 1+ Team 3 – cox 9
9 8 Team 3 + cox 1 Team 1-cox 5
10 Team 2-cox 7 Team 1 + cox 2 Team 3 6
11 4 Team 2 + cox 3 Team 1+ Team 3 – cox 9
12 8 Team 3 + cox 1 Team 1-cox 5
COX 1 2 3 4
RIB Crew Si & Rob
BM Crew Peter & Mary
CP Crew Dafydd & Cath

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