The Coxswain Fleece is ideal for warming up after a session on the water
The Coxswain Fleece is constructed from luxurious, warm boucle fleece, with natural stretch and a two-way zip for optimal freedom of movement. It’s a versatile garment; the ideal outer-layer for a cool, dry autumn evening or for use as an everyday mid-layer beneath a jacket. Inspiration for the Coxswain fleece comes from Hemingsworth’s search for the perfect garment for getting warm after a session of rowing.
Rowing requires huge physical strength and aerobic fitness. But as we head into the cooler months, additional resilience is required face down tough weather conditions on open water. Heminsgsworth’s AW21 collection applies modern fabrics to classic designs through high-quality craftsmanship to create pieces that are fit for the challenge of cold-weather training. Committing to the training required to become a great rower demands not just the right gear, but an extra level of mental toughness, too.
The crew of the Fox had that extra essential element. The Fox was an 18-foot rowing boat built in 1896 for the Norwegian-American rowers George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen. The pair used their life-savings to commission the building of the boat with one aim; to be the first people to row across the Atlantic. The Fox was named after a magazine editor, Richard Kyle Fox, who had previously offered a $10,000 award for the first person to complete the feat of endurance.
Ocean rowing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Organised races take place across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Explorers have rowed across the Arctic Ocean and, in 2019, the great Icelandic adventurer Fiann Paul – who holds more performance-based world records than any other person – led the first team to row from the tip of South America across the Southern Ocean to Antarctica.
Impressive as these feats are, modern ocean-rowing boats are advanced, lightweight designs, practically unsinkable with a covered cabin and modern navigation equipment. The Fox, on the other hand, was an open wooden boat with handrails on the keel to help the rowers in righting the boat when it capsized mid-Atlantic.
Harbo and Samuelsen set out from the Battery in New York on 6 June 1896. 55 days (and at least one capsizing) later, they arrived in the Isles of Scilly before continuing to Le Havre. Richard Fox, held a dinner for the pair in Paris, awarding them each with a gold medal, King Oscar II of Sweden awarded the men with ten Swedish Krona. The rowers then loaded the Fox onto a New-York-bound steamer for the journey home.
Harbo and Samuelsen’s feat soon receded into obscurity. They received no great financial reward, they never become successful public speakers or published books about their exploits. However, their record time of 55 days to row the Atlantic stood for 114 years. And when their record was broken, it was by a team of four rowers, rather than a pair.