December 2018, and Kev, Frankie and Nic travelled to La Gomera to see the 2018 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge set off.The Buoys spent time with some of the 2018 Teams, both at their boats where they were deep in preparation, and at the Blue Marlin Bar (pictured here with the wall of Graffiti from past rowers) where some of the pre-Race celebrating was going on!
They also met with several of their fellow 2019 crews and solos who had come to see the start of the Race, and received practical briefings from safety officer Ian Couch on what to expect when it’s their turn.
When the 2018 Teams started their epic journeys on 12th December, it proved to be a highly emotional experience for the Bucks Buoys!
January 2019 saw a change in the Bucks Buoys’ line up: Kev’s son Rhys, just 21 years old, replaced Trev in the Team. Rhys had been in the original Bucks Buoys line up but had to withdraw after an injury left him unable to train, but with his injuries behind him and youth on his side he is raring to go!
Since February the Team have really stepped up their training; daily sessions at David Lloyd including twice weekly punishing personal training sessions with Lorenze at High Wycombe and Mauricio at Oxford, weekly Iyengar Yoga sessions at Iyengar Yoga Shala High Wycombe, training sessions with Naomi Riches on the Ergos at Marlow Rowing Club and most weekends out on the water in Sara-Lou, familiarising themselves with their wonderful ocean rowing boat so that they are completely comfortable and confident when it comes to the Challenge.
They’ve also found time to socialise with past rowers among others, namely meeting Ben Fogle at Aylesbury Theatre where he was appearing to talk about his extreme adventures, including the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, and Isaac Kenyon and Ben Ajayi-Obe of Atlantic Discovery. Having watched Ben and Isaac row off from La Gomera in December, it was wonderful to spend a sunny afternoon in a pub garden in Bucks hearing their story and all their adventures as well as lots of sage advice! Kev and Frankie also had the pleasure of attending Marlow Rowing Club for the launch of their RowAbility Project with Naomi Riches and met with Atul Kochhar whose culinary delights were incredible!
This year has also seen a remarkable campaign by friend of the Bucks Buoys Steve Gray, who has vowed to ride his scooter to all the Premier League Football Clubs to raise awareness for Bucks Buoys Campaign and funds for their charities, Macmillan and IN-vision. Steve has been through cancer treatment himself and also has MS, but this doesn’t stop him doing what he loves and living life to the full. An amazing and generous man indeed. More to come on this!
So with only 6 months to go until the 2019 Race, Bucks Buoys are spending every possible moment preparing to rise to the Challenge. They will be out and about with Sara-Lou at several Bucks Events including Napfest on 8th June, Downley Day on 15th June, Marlow Regatta on 16th June and Bledfest on 14th September. See our Events page for details.
Now that we are well into 2019 and we can say THE RACE IS ON THIS YEAR things are becoming very real for the Bucks Buoys!