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Musings from the Mainland

20 May 2014

“It’s somewhat difficult to put the emotions I’m feeling ahead of the Great Pacific Race into words, for several reasons, but probably and most importantly because; I won’t even be on the boat….”

No, this is not an interview with the wrong man, like the time the BBC hauled a cab driver into the studio and interrogated him on the legal battle between Beatles’ Apple Corps and Apple Computer, instead of the actual IT expert sat waiting in reception.

Nor is it a completely flippant and throwaway remark.

As we wave the guys off to California, the reality of what is ahead is now becoming clearer, not just for the NOMAN rowers, but for the friends, family, colleagues, interested by-standers and for those of us at the very Foundation who will benefit from the guys’ efforts and exertions in the Pacific in 17 days’ time.

Despite their absence, our roles and responsibilities do not diminish.

No we won’t be on the boat for them, and with that will never be able to truly relate to their experience. We won’t feel the incessant sun burning down on us. Won’t feel that nauseous rolling and rocking of the boat with the sea swells. Won’t feel the despondency of yet another all encircling view of incessant blue. But at the same time, we won’t be there for their highs. Those moments of ecstasy and jubilation which only the NOMAN will feel undertaking a challenge of such magnitude. That knowing look they’ll be able to share in future years, of having been part of a special undertaking not just on the Pacific, but also in raising awareness of HPV, and influencing policy so that gender-neutral vaccination becomes mandatory.

No we won’t be on the boat. Yet wherever we are, we will be supporting them. Sending messages of encouragement and jokes to lift their moods. Spreading the word and furthering the cause. Wishing them safe passage. Mentally pulling each oar stroke with them. Hoping for calm oceans, blue skies, and an easterly breeze at their backs.

To those who have supported the Team so far, and to those who will aid them in their preparations once in California we are immensely grateful.

Good luck Team NOMAN. We’re behind you.

NB. The following is a wonderful account of how to be a good ocean rowing supporter and we’ll be providing you with more information with regards to supporting the NOMEN shortly.

David Winterflood

NOMAN campaign and HPVACF



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