Upper Thames Head 2009

Yuk. The only way to describe the conditions for yesterday’s Upper Thames Head. Heavy rain and driving winds for the first division with at least the rain holding off in the second division. This made for a very hard race, with a strong, gusting head/cross wind and a fast stream running.

W.IM1 4+
Although really an IM3 level crew, the ladies put in a strong performance in the worst of the weather in Division 1. Not surprisingly finishing last in their section, it was still a good time.

W.IM2 4+
Swapping Becks and Yemin from rowing to coxing was the only change for the IM2 boat in the second division. Again, still and IM3 crew, they did well to finish sixth of eight crews. Much praise for Becks’ coxing in this one, avoiding the carnage by Temple Island

IM3 2x-
Still gaining experience in the double, Josh and Paul found the rough conditions very hard going, finishing well behind the other IM3 double. They weren’t helped of course by the coming together with another crew…

Vet D 2x-
Despite coming together with another crew (yes, we did clash with Paul and Josh, but only as we were forced over into them by an UTRC double who needed at least half of the river to pass us) Steve and I put in a good row. The rough water allowed us to overhaul Paul and Josh off the start although they then came back at us as we tired and the water calmed by Temple Island. On the final straight, we managed to push past them again as their lack of experience told – in the conditions they had been tensing their arms so much they could hardly feather at the end! We finished well off the UTRC double, although losing time because of the coming together with the other two didn’t help.

Overall, very hard racing in very poor conditions. This one is a real test of endurance and technique.

Must comment on the (lack of) organisation. Firstly, the parking arrangements had cars parked nice and close to the boating area and the trailers parked about half a kilometre away; not fun carrying boats and blades that distance, weaving in between parked cars. Then, the marshalling (especially in division one) was almost non-existent and finally, there was the game of spot the start post! Considering this is one of the most expensive heads and UTC are a “big” club, not impressed. Oh, and the marshall shouting at Paul and Josh to come in from the far bank when we were being pushed across into them; had they done so, we would have had a major collision. I guess there’s no way they are going to yell at one of their own crews…

Photos are already on-line at the MKRC photo site and results are up at the UTRC results page


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