Old Stithian Alex Cruickshanks Launches Rowing Book

September 03, 2021 | Campus, Boys’ College

Old Stithian and past staff member (MIC of Rowing for St Stithians Boys' College), Alex Cruickshanks launched his debut novel, Pangolin Crew at an intimate event on the 2nd September 2021. Alex has followed in his brother, Piers Cruickshanks' footsteps - author of Confluence and the true story behind the epic film, Beyond the River - Alex was inspired to write about his years rowing for the Rhodes University Rowing Club and in the SA Universities Boat Race. 

The launch of Pangolin Crew took place on Campus at the St Stithians College Sports Pavilion and was attended by rowing alumni, representatives of the broader rowing community and family and friends of Alex, who had returned to South Africa from Canada for the launch.  Alex and the Cruickshanks family have a long and happy relationship with St Stithians College.  All four Cruickshanks brothers attended Saints and their Mother, Morag is a much-loved past staff member.   

Here is a bit of a descriptor of what Pangolin Crew is about:

Rowing on the tip of Africa is not rowing as you might know it. Fall into the rhythm of PANGOLIN CREW and burn down the Kowie River. Inspired by the real South African Rowing scene, Alex Cruickshanks’ unique writing style captures the bond and banter of a varsity rowing crew; read the mind of Tommy and live the dynamic of a close-knit rowing team, candidly revealed like never before. 

The Pangolin Crew need to plot a new course in the ever-changing tidal river and come together in their pursuit of a golden synergy. Their struggle with the huge training load, the endless pursuit of perfect strokes, academic commitments and squeezing in a splash of the magic of the ultimate team sport along with a hope of romance is the classic rower’s balancing act. Tommy must overcome a loss far worse than his third Boat Race silver medal in a row and strap into the shoes of legends for one final effort to break the run of the unbeatable Highveld crew.

The evening included a wonderful introduction of Alex by the President of Rowing South Africa, Sean Kerr who spoke highly of Alex, his rowing career and the book. Alex then went on to welcome the guests and to give them some insignt into the book, the process of writing it and reading a few excerpts to the gathering, giving them a taste of what is to come. You can read Alex's Speech here.  We also share with you some snippets from the book which Alex read on the night: 

Snippets from Pangolin Crew

It was a wonderful evening of celebration, reminiscing, reading and signing.

If you would like to get your hands on a copy, they are available on Takealot and Amazon.  Twenty percent of the profits of the sales of Pangolin Crew are being donated to Nemato (@nematochangealife) - a development rowing programme based in the Eastern Cape where the novel is set.


For those who would like to buy a copy and get it signed by Alex, he will be at the Higher Ground Restaurant on the Stithians College campus on Friday 17th September from 16:30 – 18:30.

Save yourself (and Alex) the trouble of lining up for your copy and have it signed and ready for pick up. Copies are R260.00. If you'd like something specific inscribed, please email the details to alexcruickshanks@gmail.com.

There will be a pay point on the night as well as the option of GeoPayments. If you would prefer to pay via EFT please contact Alex via the email address above for details.

For more information, visit/follow:
Website: https://www.pangolincrew.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pangolincrew/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pangolincrew