Ed Coode

You’re born bright and slight, in a small village in the heart of Cornwall. 

You adore sport and fall for rowing.

You walk your way into Oxford University in 1997 where you meet Ed Coode, a fellow Cornish lad who’s also reading marine biology. 

A year on, the boat race looms.

Ed makes the crew, but try as you might to elongate your limbs and beef up by 7 stone, you settle for being understudy cox. 

The boys win and you’re thrown in the Thames for ‘luck’. 

In 1999, you’re a mile underwater in Oman while Ed bags his first world champion title with a ‘passenger’ crew of Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.  

In 2000, as you save rare coral, he avoids catching crabs at the Sydney Olympics in the coxless pairs with Greg Searle, but misses out on a medal by one tenth of s second.    

Undeterred, in 2004 he grafts his way back into the most famous seat in British rowing for the Athens Olympics (as Steve Redgrave has now after retired Sydney Olympics with the immortal words, ‘if you ever see me in a boat again, you can shoot me’). 

You wangle a ticket and finally, you’re there, as Ed lines up in the men’s coxless fours with Pinsent, Cracknell and Steve Williams.

It’s Saturday 21st August 2004 and World Champions Canada are nosing it with 200m to go as you sprint like a cheetah, trying to keep up. 

The Brits crank up the stroke rate and claw back the lead but it’s too close to call…until…you see…they’ve won, we’ve won…by 0.08 of a second!

Olympic Champion Ed hangs up his oars and joins his family’s law firm back home in Cornwall and you too find gold, one calm day, on a wreck, about 500 yards off Lizard Point.