Home The Race The Boat The Crew Sponsors Charity Support Events Blog & News Gallery Contact

Day 98 - Rossiters & Flying Ferkins Guest Blog

Greetings dot-watchers!

We were delighted to be asked to do a guest blog spot for Flying Ferkins.

Earlier blogs have already told you a bit about the boat. It is a Phil Morrison design. Phil is a top notch sailing boat designer, as well as a top notch bloke. He has been responsible for a large proportion of the ocean rowing boats and Flying Ferkins is built to the design that he generously place in the public domain.

The boat is a bit shorter than the original Chay Blyth plywood boats. It is 7.3metres long by 1.85metres beam and draws about 300mm. The rudder increases draft to 600mm and is quite the most vulnerable part of the boat when close to the shore. The rudder on Flying Ferkins is controlled by ropes connected to one of the foot plates of the forward rowing position.

The all up weight of the boat can be up to a tonne when fully loaded - depending on the provisions. So you eat as well as row your way across the ocean.

There is a cabin at each end - the aft cabin is just about long enough for Andrew & Guy to stretch out, even at their great heights. I suppose it is about the same size as a small 2 man tent. The forward cabin is much smaller and intended for stores, though I have heard reports of smaller rowers sleeping in it. The cabins are also key to the boat’s self righting capabilities. When capsized the boat floats on the cabins, but unstably so that any movement will cause the boat to flip back the right way up.

The project started for us in January last year when Andrew & Guy first contacted us by email. It really got going on the 9th February when the dynamic duo came down to the yard and against my better judgement I posed for some cheesy photographs with them in front of the mould, a set of drawings etc. While we were getting started on Flying Ferkins they saw quite a bit of ‘Shackleton’ the boat we were building at the time for Lorenzo - this ‘ocean rowing boat’ has an engine and sails as well as oars and is currently enjoying the Songefjord in Norway. They were able to resist the temptation of alternative means of propulsion - though I wonder how often they might have wished for them during this phenomenal row?

While we will of course be very pleased when Guy & Andrew reach Mauritius, it will be a strange sensation not to have a dot to follow across the Indian Ocean after all this time!

Charlie & the team at Rossiters out.

Click here to donate money for the fight against the spread of male cancers and support Orchid, the boys chosen charity.

To follow our progress please go to the official Woodvale Challenge site.

2559 Responses to “Day 98 - Rossiters & Flying Ferkins Guest Blog”

  1. fionawatts Says:

    I can’t believe how quickly the miles are being clocked up, a few more days and it will all be over. Simon and I come home each day and the first thing we do is find out how far you have both come and we have been AMAZED at the huge amount you are both doing.
    Keep going boys, you are so close and we absolutely can’t wait to see you.
    A few questions:
    1) Who is close to winning the bet on when they’d arrive???
    2) What are you both looking forward to most about arriving and what are you going to miss most/if anything about the trip?
    3) Is the weather becoming calmer as you approach Mauritius?
    Lots of love Fiona & Simon xxxx

  2. petesz Says:

    Well done to Rossiters - interesting to read about the boat which has held up so well through all different kinds of conditions out there on the ocean.

    I can’t believe how close the lads are to the shore now! It’s really quite amazing: all the effort and hard work over the last couple of years, and now nearly 3,000 miles already covered. Brilliant!

  3. chrisandsamthew Says:

    Cannot believe how quickly this has come around….words cannot say how immensley proud we are to say that ure my best mates.

    Tina, Nigel, Claire and Tom please pass on my best to them when they roll on to dry land.

    Chris & Sam Thew

  4. andrea newall Says:

    Hi Guys - Just went away for the weekend to find on our return that you certainly have been flying and are almost on dry land. Loved the bit about the parrot and the signs that land is in sight. It has become such a big part of our life following your progress - the highs and lows that I shall have to take up a new hobby to fill in the time devoted to you both. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Love Clive and Andy xx

  5. Goldie Says:

    Amazing to think how heavy the boat may have been when the guys started out from Oz

    Amazing to think they could now be as little as three days from the shore

    Amazing to think literally how far they’ve gone especially bearing in mind the sea and weather

    Amazing to think how many more people know about Orchid because of this race


  6. xtina Says:

    Our eyes are on the edge of the horizon, as you can imagine, where the rolling Oceans meets the Reef ; can only just hear the powerful roar as it hits and disappears again. We are getting very excited ~ a few more days then something we have been waiting for for sooooo long. As soon as we greet them i promise everyone we will give them your messages. Just keep sending them and thank you for all your support over the last few months. This is sooooo powerful ~
    masses of love to all.

    xtina and nigel

  7. Crazy Canine Says:

    I’ve checked. You will definitely be the first man with a baboon’s bum to row the Indian Ocean. Congratulations.

  8. russ Says:

    Lads, a news update on the Woodvale site confirms that last week’s epic row is a RECORD for the greatest Distance To Finish in any 7 days for any boat in this race!!

    FF’s DTF for 19th - 26th July was a staggering 449nm. An average daily DTF of 64nm!

    This beats the record held by the 8-man Aud Eamus of 442nm set in May.


    We all thought it looked good but that is amazing!

    Well done the pair of you - not long now and you’ll be able to see land. Keep hunting those records!


  9. Jill Holmes Says:

    “On these sands and in the clefts of the rocks, in the depths of the sea, in the creaking of the pines, you’ll spy secret footprints and catch far-off voices from the homecoming celebration.” - Homer.

    You will not see us but all your loyal dot followers will be there in spirit on the beach, counting each stroke of the oars until you safely reach the shore.

    Let’s put out the flags. You’re nearly home.

    With love
    Jill and David Holmes

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.