Here's a man who looks justifiably pleased with himself. It is Geoff Shilling, boatswain of Langstone Cutters, with our new Solent galley, Sallyport. Over the last few months she has been taken back to the bare wood, the gaps filled and revarnished inside. Outside, she has been painted a fetching shade of royal blue.
Geoff did the lion's share of the work as well as directing operations, and a stunning job he made of it. Sallyport (the name recalls the gate in Portsmouth's sea wall where Nelson left for Trafalgar) immediately took part in the Galleys and Gigs Round Hayling race on Saturday.
The race was huge fun, 14 miles down Chichester harbour, along the beach and then back up Langstone Harbour. I rowed in our other Solent galley, Bembridge, and we won in a new record time for a galley of just under 2hr 10min. We beat all three six-oared gigs too. The photo below shows us moving into the lead.