Today Fourbirdsaboating held their selection day at the Five Horse Shoes Pub in Maidensgrove (near our home town of Henley), where team mate Lizzie works. The day was a kind of ‘meet and greet’ event, in which we were looking to find two strong and lovely ladies to join the Fourbirdsaboating row across the Pacific Ocean in 2014.
After putting the word out, we received a lot of emails from ladies keen to join the team, and after lots of question answering and thinking, we set about inviting folks to our meet and greet event. We had five amazing ladies attend the day, ironically, three of the five were called ‘Kate’ and added to our other team mate being also called Kate, it added an extra level of irony and amusement to the day!
Throughout the day, we each made a mental note of how the 5 ladies got on, circulating around the table at the pub and thinking of that person in different contexts prior to and during the expedition. Would they be easy to get along with, would they pull their weight, what skills or personality traits might they bring to the team, how did they get on with others, could we be in a space the size of a cupboard with them for many months at sea, and could they cope with uncertainty and not having a set structure to the day. Would they really be able to commit, and would they be reliable, able to deal with the media and being interviewed, and being pushed outside of their comfort zone. Then at the end of the day, we sat down and individually named our favourite two ladies for the team. Amazingly each of us selected the same two people.
Choosing was super tough, because the standard and commitment was really high. All of them had travelled a long way especially to attend the day, one had flown in from Dublin, and one had flown over from Florida, coming straight from the airport, and then leaving the day and going straight back to the airport. Serious commitment! And there was hardly anything between them. We have now made our decision on the two ladies we feel will fit the team the best in terms of workload, dynamics, and logistics but haven’t yet informed any of them. We also still have to decide which of the two ladies will be reserve and which will be doing the full 8 months of the row. Of course they might have all decided that they don’t like us too, so it was as much about the ladies interviewing us as it was about them and we did the best we could to put them off.
Special thank you to the Five Horse Shoes pub for hosting us for the day, to Peter from Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School for helping us with the team activities and explaining the training requirements, and thank you to Kate’s partner Lee, and Paul and Chris walker for the photos. We’ll be adding some more pictures very shortly. Special thanks to Michaela from the Henley Herald for attending the event and covering the story.
A formal press release and photos, with the selected ladies names will be going out shortly. If you would like to receive this and future press releases from the team, please get in touch here.