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Row For Freedom in the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla – Blog by Kate Richardson

“Once Debbie our skipper heard about it, she entered our team in and we waited to hear back, applicants had to make a qualifying argument as to why they should be selected. When we heard back that our application was successful we were delighted.

 It was an emotional moment seeing the guardian again! We had all forgotten how small she was. She was driven up from devon to london just for the jubilee celebrations and being on the water again brought back a lot of memories!

Guy Bell Photography

 The Thames was flat compared to the rough swells of the atlantic and we moved very slowly compared to the light swift wooden boats we were among. The guardian was specifically designed for being battered in rough seas….not a paddle down the thames.

We rowed 10miles to the start line. Ill have to admit, trying to keep up with the lighter vessels left me a bit puffed! We then had 10 minutes to eat a quick sandwich and then off we went! It was a sea of every type of boat u could imagine, rowing boats, viking boats, sailing boats, barges, the lot! All together on display! The crowds cheered for whole length of the 7 mile course, we were blown away at how many people were there supporting in the miserable weather. Hanging out of windows, on roof tops,  anywhere with a view!

 I loved being reunited with the girls again, and greatly missed pure athlete Helen! It wasn’t the same without her. Being in the guardian again was definitely a highlight!”


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