Frequently asked questions
I’ve never rowed before, could I row the Mediterranean?
Ocean Row Boats are not like the crew or row boats you’ve seen on rivers and lakes. They are much wider and much more stable so technique is of lesser importantance -- anyone with minimal training can move an ocean row boat fairly well. The majority of NOMAN alumni had no rowing experience before deciding to row the Mediterranean. Of course, after a crew registers they take time to train in their boats as part of our training sessions and on rowing machines to maximize their chances of being as fast as possible. With good preparation, planning and training it is entirely possible for anyone, with any level of previous experience, to row an ocean.
What about food?
The most important thing about a nutrition plan for an ocean row is that there is a lot of food! Rowers generally burn more calories than they can consume so minimizing this deficit is important. The majority of food on board is in the form of freeze dried meals. The meals are lightweight, easy to store, packed with calories and simple to prepare with the addition of boiling water. Meals are supplemented with snack packs filled with treats such as chocolate bars, dried fruit and nuts, and beef jerky.
What about drinking water?
What about the bathroom?
The bathroom on ocean rowing boats is not an en-suite... Having a shower is undertaken on deck with a water bottle. The toilet consists of a bucket and chuck-it arrangement.
How fit / young do I have to be?
Ocean rowing is a balance of physical fitness and mental toughness, in addition to preparedness. Of course every training session you do before the race makes your row easier. As ocean rowing isn’t a weight bearing sport, several competitors are perhaps older than you might expect. The oldest ocean rower is Thomas Butscher who was 67 when he rowed and many ocean rowers have been over 50 when they started. Comparatively the youngest ocean rower to date is Eoin Hartwright who was 17 when he and his crew started.
What happens if something goes wrong?
Why row an ocean? Surely it’s easier to sail?
Rowing an ocean is very different from sailing. Because you’re moving slower than a sailing boat and closer to the water you get to see things that you’d never experience otherwise. It’s the difference between driving across America and walking across it. You really get to experience the ocean in all it’s beauty. The challenge is not in the completion of the passage but in the way it is done. In addition, undertaking such a challenge through your own physical exertions is an immensely satisfying experience. Every successful ocean rower says that the experience has a long lasting positive impact on their life afterwards.