With the stocking fillers covered the other day, it’s time to get your wallet out – yes, it’s my Christmas gift guide for mid-range to super-generous presents! If you’re buying for a rower, then by definition they’re worth it, so don’t hold back. Here’s a fantastic selection of gifts that will put you in their good books for the whole of the next year (possibly forever, if you go for #8!)
1. Rowing Tales Anthology, Rowperfect, £18.95 less 30% discount – see below
A wonderful collection of memories, stories and musings on rowing, with 42 contributors from around the world including Andrew Triggs-Hodge (whose beautiful description of a rowing sunset is worth the price alone), George Pocock and Drew Ginn. The cover art, incidentally, was commissioned from Tonia Williams, former lightweight international with British Rowing. The only problem with this gift is once they’ve opened it you may not see them again for the rest of Christmas.
Rowperfect has generously offered Girl on the River readers a 30% discount. When you get to the check out, at Step 1, use the code RowingTalesBlog in the box labelled COUPON.
2. Row360 subcription, £45/year plus postage
This is as close to rowing porn as it’s possible to get. Glossy, stylish and very, very beautiful, this magazine is all about the images, and none the worse for that. You’ll get interviews with elite athletes, coverage of international events and features on the science of rowing. Less jolly and club-orientated than Rowing & Regatta, in case you’re wondering why anyone would want need another rowing magazine in their life. And because you’re giving a 12-month subscription, the gratitude will last all year. Win-win.
If the rower in your life thinks she looks bad in lycra, this is the all in one for her. In fact it’s the all-in-one for her if she already knows she looks great in it. My love for the Queen B unisuits is well documented, and this one is just fabulous. Ridiculously flattering, with triple cross-over straps and colourful lining that looks good when you pull it down. This is a new colourway – navy, purple and coral – and if you’re feeling super-generous, get her the matching Sammy sports bra while you’re at it. Prices are in euros as they come from Ireland but shipping is fast and super-reasonable.
4. Small Oar bracelet, Strokeside Designs (via Rowperfect), £100
Look how gorgeous this is. Even a non-rower would love this delicate silver bracelet, but when she sees the adorable oar design she’s going to be beyond thrilled and you will officially be the best present-buyer, like, everrrr. I know I would be if someone gave me one for Christmas (*whispers very loudly just in case anyone’s still looking for ideas*). By the way, there are cufflinks and suchlike if you’re wanting some rowing jewellery for men.
5. Silver wellies, Hunter Boots, £95
If she likes a touch of bling when she’s rowing – and lots of us do – these are just the ticket. Look, I know they’re not gold, and for most of us silver is not what we race for, but until Hunter bring back the special edition gold ones these will fill the gap nicely (and give her something to aspire to). Know your rower here, though. There are many who would run a mile from anything so showy. But for the right person these are a touch of genius.
6. VIP rowing day, Legacy 300, £145-£310
Whether they’re an old hand at rowing, have recently started or just always fancied giving it a go, they’re going to be so, so delighted with this present. They get to row in Henley alongside a GB rower (who might even be a gold medallist) and join in a Q&A. How great is that? You can even get a personalised video message from one of the athletes (caution: if they’re apt to faint with excitement you might want to get them to sit down first). Oh, and if that wasn’t good enough, it’s a charitable enterprise that raises money for the athletes and for good causes.
7. Rowing photo shoot with Ben Rodford, Ben Rodford Photography, POA
Imagine how great it would be to arrange for a photographer to come along and take brilliant, professional photos from all angles of your loved one rowing. Well, that’s exactly what this is about. Ben will come to the rowing club and do a private photo shoot of an individual rower or a crew, and can provide digital images, prints, framed prints, canvases, glass or aluminium prints. Prices will vary depending on where in the country he has to travel to.
8. South Africa Rowing Safari, Rowing the World, $4,675
This really would be the trip of a lifetime. A two-week adventure, 10 days of which is rowing on winding rivers, beautiful reservoirs and False Bay, exploring the stunning coastline of South Africa. You’ll row in coastal quads and doubles, and in fine boats on the reservoirs. I’ve been lucky enough to go on one of Rowing Travel’s trips and they are just brilliant – a joyful balance between rowing, fun and culture, where you’re guaranteed to make life-long friends. If this trip is beyond the budget, there are less expensive ones on their site. Go drool!
So… I don’t know about you, but with all this talk of cool presents I’m now itching to get Christmas under way. Let the festivities commence (but not until you’ve got those gifts on order).