Loyal Landcrew – Eric Barnes

Landcrew Eric Barnes with offsider Janet Corish waiting for their paddler to finish at Brooklyn

Quiz question – who enters a canoeing event but drives the whole way because they don’t want to get wet? It’s the landcrew, the people who get their paddlers to the finish with a healthy mix of food, warmth and encouragement. Eric Barnes has landcrewed 38 Classics – has anyone else landcrewed that often?

Q. Who do you landcrew for? My son, Richard.

Q. Why? How could I stop now?

Q. Best moment? So many over the years. Getting a good sleep at each checkpoint before Richard arrives is my favourite moment of each Classic. Landcrewing with the legendary Bruce Morrison as Richard and the equally legendary Joan Morrison paddled a Classic together. Celebrating my 80th birthday at the Low Tide Pitstop which my son John runs. At the Classic Dinner, being introduced to Mardi who would become my lovely daughter-in-law. Yes, it certainly is a family event.

Q. Worst moments? The rainy Classics. The storm at the start at Windsor after a hot day, just when the boats are setting off.

Q. Best tips? A bucket – it carries everything to the bank from the car and doesn’t mind whatever wet and soggy and muddy things get thrown in it. Don’t bring the kitchen sink but do bring lots of warm clothes as it gets cold at midnight, as well as a pillow and a rug to make your sleeping in the car as comfy as possible. Don’t be worried about finding your way as the signposting is excellent and you will beat your paddler to each checkpoint.

Q. Best reward? Richard always takes me along to the Classic Dinner as a thank you and to meet people in more comfortable surrounds.