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What size oars for R32?

Posted: 19 Jan 2014 - By: Geoff Crowley

I have taken part in SIPR four times (including the only year it was abandoned part way round by weather) but never on a Rival.

First time round we made oars from a stair handrail with ply blades that creaked as the wood fibres strained each time we made a stroke 33; Only used them from Lamlash to Troon but they helped us make some progress but were far too flexible. These were lashed to the lowest point on the lowest stanchion (which in our case was very near the stern and we had to stand to row).

Following that I purchased a pair of sculling oars from a rowing club that no longer needed them. Carbon and Kevlar! Lovely! Worked like a dream but we never needed them in anger! Again, we had to stand to row because the shaft length was not long enough to allow sitting (which would have killed our backsides without a sliding seat anyway).

You are never going to get a set of oars to work efficiently from a standard yacht because of the freeboard. At best, they are an aid to forward momentum which will assist getting some apparent for the sails. Personally, I would not get too bogged down in size and style but consider how easily they will stow without compromising sailing (sheet catchers, etc.) 33; If there is a lack of wind your Rival will never move quickly enough to make anywhere near its rating against the lighter boats powered by Marines or Commando types that love it. There is alot of tidal performance in this event; effective kedging in 100 metres of water and steely nerve dodging it through the rocks might be of more use!

Have a great time 39;d bet you'll be back for another crack at it having done it once!




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