Team Apogee 2012 – LIVE BLOG Part 1



Part one of Help a Capital Child 2012 Double Challenge accomplished.

I now know what it is like having a baby, be it without the TLC…

Waiting at Docklands at the start (just like having a baby) you know that it is going to hurt a bit because everyone tells you that it will and we are nervous.  I notice young Noah looking at us like Snow White looks at the seven dwarfs, with a mixture of pity and apprehension at what the crew is going to do next. There we all are the nerves showing in different ways; ‘GRUMPY’ Barry eating everything that does not move, ‘HAPPY’ Campbell playing in the water with all the enthusiasm of a 5 year old on Brighton Beach.  ‘BASHFUL’ Painter contemplating his one miniscule error (getting masking tape instead of duck tape); ‘DOPEY’ Femi incessantly smiling as though; ‘SNEEZY’ Jason amusing himself asking the boat with a Welsh dragon flag “what part of Scotland are you from”; ‘DOC’ Boosty worrying that we are going to get away on time and me (Charlie to the boys) the outsider sitting in for ‘SLEEPY’ Lee is fussing like a nesting mother making sure everything is just perfect…


For some crazy reason, we had to watch over 300 boats get going before being unleashed on the 21 miles.  The start is a mad panic like your water being broken.  There is water everywhere, waves making you row at fresh air, instructions being barked out by the cox and we are last…


Great, that is all we need to set Grumpy off.


Things soon settle Heigh-Ho…

Our progress is rapid, we pass boats by the dozen as we settled into our stroke its off to work we go.  Everything is perfect the sun is out, the boat is cutting smoothly through the water and we have overtaken well over a hundred ships and more than half the boats in our class in what (despite being a time trial) is being treated like a race.

“Are we there yet?”

The response that comes back from ‘Doc’ sends a chill down my spine “15 miles to go”.  Believe me that is like being deep into your labour and being told that you are 3cm dilated.  My undercarriage is already feeling the strain, I am sweaty and being told to “Push harder” by ‘Happy’ and even ‘Dopey’ is chipping in.  Thank f*** Grumpy is in front of me!


Our progress continued Chelsea Bridge Doc says we are 5cm dilated and looking good, with even more boats in our wake.  Looking good?  Who f***ing looks good when they are in the middle of squeezing 6lbs 6onz out of their body? ffs.


We wiz past Scooby Doo and Shaggy as Putney Bridge looms on the horizon and ‘Bashful’ pipes in declaring that we have not got far to go now.  I hope that Apogee keeps him well away from the Accounts department – Doc recons that we are just dilated by 6cm.  But we are into Surrey now and the head is showing while the pain intensifies.  I think that my hands and backside are blistering but do I give a sh*t?  I just want this thing over with.


We solider on getting solace only from the fact that we have past well over 200 boats and must be in with a chance of winning this thing.  ‘Sneezy’ says that “Richmond is the next bridge” and Richmond is virtually the end.  He may be factually correct but as anyone who has driven from Junction 15 to 14 on the M1 will know that is cold comfort its bloody miles away.


I glance over my shoulder to check if  ‘Happy’ is having a coronary or an orgasm one thing is certain he has shut up at last.  We are running on pride and bloody mindedness.


“Come on Apogee” is bellowed from the bushes.  ‘Sneezy’ is lifted by this and thinks that it must be one of our supporters and I am just too exhausted to tell him that the bloody massive Apogee flag flying at the back of the boat has just been read by some drunk at a bar on the river bank.  Never mind Richmond is in sight.


Going through Richmond Bridge is like the head popping out.  The birth is not complete, you do not know what sex it is but it bloody feels good.  No one needs to tell us to push now we can sense the finishing line and we go up a gear.  Rowing like true professionals we power on to Ham and through the finishing line.  The Apogee family is there waiting to greet us and tell us how well we have done and ‘Sleepy’ is on the river bank waving at me his f*****g surrogate mother.

Snow White looks on… How easy was that?


How have we done?


Who gives a sh*t?  We left everything that we had on that 21-mile stretch of river and could not have done any better.  3 days then we are cycling to Paris – Bloody hell!


Written By Team Apogee 2012 Member Glen Charles