UKBIMcrew – A Rowing Success

Several members of the UK BIM crew took part in a demanding dragon boat race for charity last week. BIM Technologies’ Gill Smith shares the story of what happened on the day…

Our day began with a pre-race meeting to enable us to finally get together as a group and strategise. We established that not one of us had been in a dragon boat race before, half the team was in fact left handed and bizarrely one was a non-meat eater, a veggieBIM! This also provided us an opportunity to unveil the much anticipated Stormtrooper inspired BIMBoat T-shirts, created by our very own Adam Ward and #KevinfromGraphics.


The event was held at Stoke Newington West Reservoir Water Sports Centre, London N4, the weather was extremely kind to us, refreshments were flowing and the atmosphere was buzzing.


Before long, it was time for the first race… where we faced our first challenge – getting past security! Apparently business shoes (Matt McCarter) nor flip flops are deemed appropriate forms of footwear, but as this wiped out almost half the team a mutual agreement was reached where we promised to neither stand up in the boat, fall in or thereafter sue! Finally, off to the waters edge we went.


Each boat consisted of 10 rowers, one instructor and a sacrificial, a one-handed ‘drummer’ (the other hand used to grip on for dear life to a raised, precarious seat built for a child!).


Heat one, four boats, 200m

We actually stayed in rhythm, we didn’t capsize, we rowed hard and we didn’t win… in fact we came last, 51.10 seconds. We were shocked; we thought we’d done well? Time to regroup and re-strategise.


We had three hours until our next race, plenty of time for more refreshments, tweeting and a spot of shooting, where we discovered some high skills from both Casey Rutland and Dan Pitkin.


Heat two, four boats, 200m

By now, feeling confident from our new found shooting skills and more than a little refreshed, we swaggered to our waiting boat. This time with a different instructor who clearly mistook our confidence for boat skills. With little instruction but lots of shouting, this heat resulted in a very wet Kris Atkinson who managed almost singlehandedly to drench not only himself but the whole of the right side of the boat. We didn’t win but we did shave almost 10 seconds off our first race! An unprecedented improvement.


This was getting serious, even Twitter was quiet as none of us wanted to tweet any negative news. This is where Captn’ Fran used her skills to focus the team by withholding our BBQ tickets until race three was finished. Extremely hungry and liquidly refreshed to the brim, 45 minutes later we were back in the boat for our final race.


Was it the promise of food? Was it our new improved instructor (who resembled a young Brad Pitt)? Was it that we were racing amongst others, a boat full of women? Or was it that Bimmers are guaranteed to perform better with #BIMbeer?


Whatever the reason, for 200m and 42 secs, we were a team working in total collaboration. Not only did we win, we smashed it!


There’s a moral in the tale somewhere, probably several involving preparation, training and possibly some actual boat skills, but even though we didn’t win it was our passion, determination and desire to collaborate with each other that resulted in us finishing our challenge on a high, not to dissimilar to a day working in BIM…


It was a great day and fun was had by all. Thank you to all who couldn’t make it but still supported and sponsored the #BIMBoat and the charity #CRASH on the day. Thanks to our fellow crew members who gave up their time to participate and a big thanks to Rob Charlton and BIM.Technologies for hosting the day. Bring on next year!


The team raised £601 for CRASH – the construction industry’s charity for homeless people.