Abingdon Head 2009

Another successful day for the Women’s IM3 4+ crew saw them winning their category at our second visit to Abingdon. Showing real, solid progress as a club since last year (see last year’s entry) we entered twice as many crews and posted some very good results as well as the ladies second win in a row.

Division 1 saw the J18 2x double of Sal and John post a reasonable time in their first outing together (although see the adjusted times guys – you won’t be happy!). Steve and I were in the Vet C/D/E 2x class, rowing as Vet D. We had a really good row, with Steve steering a great line that saw us in an early lead, beating some respectable crews (Canterbury Pilgrims, Upper Thames). We finished second overall after the handicapping was applied, falling to a Vet E double from Upper Thames – we were the fastest Vet D crew of the day though, a really massive improvement from our first go last year. Really pleased!

Up in Division 2 were the two Women’s IM3 4+ boats. Mixed fortunes here, with the Charlene/Jo/Lindy/Steph boat storming away and posting a time of 8:57 – 21 seconds ahead of the second IM3 crew and a time that puts them in the mix for IM2. The other boat of Helen/Paula/Becks/Clare had an unfortunate close encounter of the barge kind and this pushed them down the field to finish 4th in 9:45 – still ahead of two other crews, despite losing probably half a minute.

Division 3 saw me back in rowing action (having coxed the winning women in the last division). This time a Vet C quad, with Simon making his MKRC competitive debut. A good solid row saw finish last of the four crews on handicap but a very encouraging start. Our other boat out in this division was a J18 quad, another first as this was a composite crew with Hollowell. Sadly, this crew also had a close encounter, this time with the bank and this clobbered their time.

The final division had me coxing again, the victims on this occasion being a Women’s Novice 4+. First time that this crew (Jo/Lou/Terri/Yemin) had raced together and they pulled out a good row to finish 4th equal, beating many other big names. Only Lou’s second race, too. John showed his continuing progress, to finish second in J16 1x.

Overall, a very satisfying day out for the club and me in particular (first coxing pot!). The weather was great – although chilly at first it turned into a really hot sunny day (having to explain tan at work today) and the location really nice. The course is a good one too; a mix of some really nice wide straights and some very challenging corners. Although the boat handling was every bit as good as last year, the marshalling at the start could have been better. To be fair, the marshals weren’t helped by the total ineptness of some crews. Some of my favourites were the two crews desperate to get to the front of our division – only to then block the river when the division started as they were out of order, the school crew who were across the river aimed at another boat when the cox called for “whole crew, normal rowing” (fortunately, the crew ignored him) and the cox determined to fit his four in a space not big enough for a single. Then there were the J14/J15 quads….


Crew Position
Vet C/D/E 2x 2nd of 7
Vet C/D/E 4x- 3rd of 3
W.IM3 4+ 1st of 7
W.IM3 4+ 4th of 7
W.NOV 4+ 4th= of 10
J16 1x 2nd of 4
J18 2x 3rd of 3
J18 4x- No competition

The results are now online at Abingdon RC Results

My photos are now on-line at MKRC fotopic site, with others from Big Blade


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