Deciding on your next challenge? How about an Ocean Row?! Tara Remington’s Top Food Tips

World record holding trans-Atlantic rower Tara Remington is getting ready to complete her next big challenge, Rowing The Pacific, in June this year, a 4000km row from Long Beach, California to Waikiki, Hawaii. Tara is using the row to raise funds for Charlotte Cleverley Bisman to ensure that Char is able to attend Camp No Limits, a summer camp for children who are amputees, later this year. This will be Tara’s third ocean row. In 2005 her boat was attacked by a shark. That was followed by a freak wave which capsized the boat, splitting Remington's head open and unbelievably this wasn’t enough to deter her. Tara, a champion of the seas, suffers from sea sickness and finds Expedition Foods' Macaroni and Cheese and Rice Pudding with Cinnamon the two meals that keep her sane when offshore.  With countless days at sea, Tara has a wealth of experience when it comes to planning race nutrition. Find out her key tips for choosing your food when planning an ocean row.

Tara Remmington'If you are taking the time to read this article, you may be like me and about to take on one of the toughest challenges in the world - an ocean row. An undertaking like this requires a huge amount of planning and nutrition is one area not to be overlooked in your preparations. When you are getting your food ready for a row, there are some very important points to keep in mind. 

TASTE

When you are at sea, your taste in food can really change. For me, after a few hours on the ocean, my voracious sweet tooth gives up on sugar and my cravings become all about savoury. In past ocean rows, I have fed more chocolate bars and muesli bars to the sea life than I have managed to shove into my mouth. The other thing that can happen out there after many days of sun, wind and sea air is ocean lips. Ocean lips don’t like food that is too spicy or hot. The vindaloo curry that you love on land can become an enemy out on the briny. Make sure you try out lots of different meals on training rows so you can feel confident you are taking food with you that tastes great, agrees with you and stays down. 

QUANTITY AND QUALITY

It is practically a given that you will lose weight during your ocean row. You would need to be chewing almost around the clock to get enough calories in to replenish the ones you’ll be burning up at the oars. So every meal you take the time to eat needs to be as nourishing for your body as possible. Look for Expedition Foods meals that are labelled ‘High Energy’ or plan on having a couple of regular size servings each time you eat. You will probably want to take 3-4 ‘High Energy’ or 6-8 regular size meals with you per day per rower.

QUICK AND SIMPLE

You will probably be so tired out there that you want a meal that will virtually cook itself once you add boiling water.Charlotte Cleverley Bisman
Also, time is of the essence because once you finish eating, you will only have about 80 minutes to get some sleep before someone is calling you to wake up and get ready for another shift on the oars. Make sure your meals and your snacks are all easy to grab and eat, and require as little preparation before consumption as possible.

WEIGHT AND SPACE

Ocean rowers know that a light boat is a faster boat. Expedition Foods meals are all very lightweight and you can take large quantities of meals with you that don’t increase the weight of the boat too significantly. They are also all dehydrated and as a result, take up very little space when you are packing them into compartments. You will still have plenty of room and weight left over for your gear and all your special treats.

If you can keep these principles in mind, it will make your ocean row a little less complicated and a whole lot better. Save the tricky stuff for navigation! A well-nourished rower is a strong and happy rower. A strong and happy rower can set new World Records and achieve world firsts. Go out there and chase your dreams! Happy rowing! 

To find out more about the Row, please visit tararemington.weebly.com or you can donate to the campaign directly at www.givealittle.co.nz//cause/RowingforCharlotte.

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