Hydrow Destinations Diaries: The oar-deal in Scotland

Leanne Yenush

In this installment of the Hydrow Destination Diaries, we caught up with Dani, James, and Nick. This #HydrowDestinations crew hit a road bump when our team’s oars showed up in Scotland completely broken. 

James: Traveling with oars is no easy task...  in fact one might say that it is often quite the oar-deal. On average, sculling oars, or the type of oars that we use at Hydrow, are between 8 and 10 feet long - a tad bit longer than your average travel bag. They are so long that most airlines don’t know what to do with them, especially when you’re flying in a tiny plane from London to Inverness, Scotland. 

Funny enough - the oars caused us some trouble before we even got to Scotland. The night before we were scheduled to film our first rows on Loch Ness, we actually missed our flight because the airline was so confused about the oars and couldn’t figure out how to fit them on the plane. Eventually, we arrived in Scotland and crawled into bed just before 1 am. A few hours later, after much caffeine, we were ready to rig the boats up and row. 

But… we realised one small problem. Our four oars were now eight. 

Nick: After arriving at Loch Ness Rowing Club and realising that all of our oars had snapped in transit, we had to act fast. With just an hour to find a solution, we were sort of in a bind. Luckily, our incredible liaison, Colin, was able to find us two sets of oars right in time for us to film our workouts. 

While oars are obviously crucial to rowing, they also have an added significance of differentiating teams, boathouses, and rowing clubs. These insignias are designed to be distinctive and carry the history and familiarity of different boathouses. So, even though having the oars break was definitely a headache, it was really cool to be able to row using the red, green, and white oars of the Loch Ness Rowing Club! 

Dani: Our experience with the oars in the UK would fall under the umbrella of Live Outdoor Reality because it is one of the many things that fell out of our control. Hydrow’s Live Outdoor Reality emcompasses all of the elements that bring the reality of rowing on the river to your home - the excitement of rowing past a dolphin in Miami, the bummer of a live row cancellation due to unsafe waters, the adrenaline when you are racing past big motor boats - and this definitely qualifies as part of the reality of LOR. There truly is never a dull moment. 

Nick: Hydrow Destination rows are a really unique part of our world - both at Hydrow and within the sport of rowing. While rowing down some of the world's most iconic waterways is really cool, there are so many logistics that have to align perfectly to reach that point, and traveling with oars can present quite a few problems, particularly when traveling internationally. 

I had never seen oars snap so cleanly like they did, so that was pretty unbelievable, but this ordeal was definitely a challenge that we were not expecting to face. Luckily, everyone on our Hydrow team was ready to find a solution. This experience solidified the fact that the rowing world is incredibly supportive and team-oriented. 

Dani: Despite the stress, to me, this moment was very special because it truly showcased the community aspect of rowing. Everyone - even rowers around the world are part of this community, which means that everyone is a teammate that you can count on to help you out when you need it most. 

What we do at Hydrow is so unique, but it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. This one challenge, or as we like to say… this oar-deal was not going to stop us. 

Excited about Hydrow Destinations? Want to suggest our next location? Comment on our Instagram at @hydrow_by_crew using #HydrowDestinations.