***Note from ENO: Welcome to the wonderful Four Birds A Boating! These tough gals will be participating in theNew Ocean Wave race – a rowing race from Monterey Bay, CA to Honolulu, Hawaii – in honor of The Oceans Project Georgia – a charity aimed to provide free, high quality environmental education to any young person, anywhere in the world. We will be sponsoring them with Hammocks and ENO products to ensure they get a little bit of relaxation on their difficult, but worthwhile journey.***
Fourbirdsaboating Official Launch Event
A very exciting week for team Fourbirdsaboating though very much in need of some hammock time after the week’s events! Monday night was our official launch event at the Regal Picture House in Henley-On-Thames. We had a great turn out with well over 100 people of all ages, ranging from river rowers, Olympic rowers, ocean rowers, rowing clubs, our fitness trainers from Purestretch Studio and Urban Fitness gym, local people, neighbours, friends, family, as well as regular cinema members.
The evening began with a quick photograph and interview for the ‘Henley Standard‘ in which we are starting to become quite a regular feature, before we all rather nervously entered screen 1 ready to give our introductory speech to the audience. Brief intros over, it was my job to introduce the speakers and stars of the evening; ocean rowers Chris Martin and Mick Dawson and the film’s Producer Liz Tucker. This in itself was very exciting, as Chris and Mick hold a Guinness World Record for being the first team to row across the Pacific Ocean, and Chris is the organiser of the New Ocean Wave Pacific Ocean rowing race, in which Fourbirdsaboating will take part, prior to continuing on to Australia alone and unsupported in 416 days from now! (We have now been learning to row on our Concept2s for 107 days). Mick is a very experienced ocean rower having previous rowed across the Atlantic Ocean twice, and attempting the Pacific Ocean solo. The DiscoveryChannel film is called ‘Rowing the Pacific‘, narrated by Olympic Rower James Cracknell and follows Chris and Mick during their 189 days at sea, so it was perfect to have Chris and Mick with us, as well as the film’s producer Liz Tucker of Verve Productions. I’d seen the film before, but seeing it on a big screen was something else, and there were a lot of tears of pride throughout the audience, from rowers and non rowers alike. This created a fantastic atmosphere and buzz, and so great to meet with Mick and Chris afterwards and their family and friends to get their take on this awe inspiring journey.
Following on from the film screening, we ran a Q&A session, and then screened our own promo film which has been very kindly put together for us by Meadows Farm Studio. There were lots of great questions from the audience, from all ages, and it was really uplifting to hear some 12-15 year olds tell us how they had already been inspired, one had met Mick during a visit to his school, and was now preparing for his own ocean row, and was with his parents in the audience. We received so many lovely messages after the event, collected a lot of cash donations, and there was a great buzz and sense of community, so I hope we can carry this forward to our future film screenings and events as we raise funds to buy our boat.
Huge thank you to everyone who came to support us on the evening, to all the people helping us prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the journey ahead, to Discovery Channel for allowing us to screen the film, to the Regal Cinema, and very special thanks to Dashwood Boat Club in Henley for providing us with one of their gorgeous rowing blazers to wear for the evening.
Our next event is a film screening, Q&A, and book signing of ‘Janapar’ with round the world cyclist Tom Allen. This will take place at the Regal Picture House in Henley, England, GB around 8pm on the 15th May, and tickets can be purchased directly from the cinema box office for anyone who would like to join us.
Meanwhile, Fourbirdsaboatingare busy with learning to row and are looking for sponsors for different bits of kit, as illustrated by our official doodler Helen Pateman, so if you know anyone who would like to be involved then please do pass our details on (shameful plug I know!). Until the next time, thanks so much to ENO for all the great support we’ve received so far xx