Following hard on the heels of two days in the sun at Henley, we spent the Sunday out at Bedford, this time for the Quarts regatta. As usual (how DO they do it?) it was glorious conditions, hot and sunny, although an interesting cross-wind did enliven some of the racing.
Really pleasingly, we were back to winning ways for the club, taking home two wins from the four boats that we entered.
Women’s IM3 4+
A variation on the normal crews had Helen J, Paula, Andi and Ash sitting in an IM3, despite Andi and Ash still being novices. Their first round was a fairly easy win over Staines, actually given as an “easily” verdict (first one they’ve had). Next up were some old rivals, from Broxbourne. This was a much harder race, the girls really having to dig in, encouraged by Liz (coxing) and Tim (running the length of the course!) and they pulled away at the end to finish a half a length clear. Into the final, they were pitched against Norwich. This was to be the closest race of the day (in the entire regatta). Our ladies put in a fast start to gain a small advantage but the lead swapped back and forward down the entire course; as they went past us with about 50m to go, we were (we think) just in front. There was a “beep-beep” finish and the two crews sat looking at each other as neither boat knew who’d made it first. After an interminable delay, the PA announced MK as the winners – by just one foot!
A brilliant, hard fought win, with real praise for Andi and Ash who only started rowing under a year ago and de-noviced in style at a top event after three hard rows. Well done all!
Women’s Novice 2x-
Clare and Karen out in only their second race as a double. Although they were pretty level with Broxbourne up to the weir, an unfortunate piece of steering saw them head into the bank. This effectively killed their race and Broxbourne went on the win on an “easily” verdict
Women’s IM2 2x-
This was to be the first time out for a new combination of Jo and Liz. Sculling up at IM2, they were unsure of how competitive they’d be – the answer, VERY! A first round win against Broxbourne by 1 3/4 lengths was followed up by a closer race against Champions of the Thames, winning by 1 length. The final saw them against Norwich and this was another seriously hard race. There was not a lot in it right up to the last 100m or so when Jo and Liz managed to break away slightly to finish 3/4 of a length clear. Not bad, first race, first win.
Masters C 4x-
“Fresh” from our exertions at Henley, Pierre-Yves, Tim, Steve and I were out again, in a straight final against (would you believe it) Norwich. However, we were Masters C and they were Masters E and this gave them a seven second advantage on the start. This translated to around a three lengths lead and although we really went for it, this proved too much to claw back over 600m and we finished two lengths down.
Another great day out at Bedford, some incredibly hard races and, best of all, a couple more wins for the ladies. Gone are the days when drawing MKRC ladies meant an easy race into the next round; really pleasing that they are able to mix up the crews and still put out winning boats too.
Funniest moment of the day though had to be Andi the “Limpet”. Tim decided that, to celebrate her de-novicing, she should be dunked in the river. Andi was not so keen and managed to wrap herself round Tim and hang on desperately – and succeeded in keeping dry!
To cap it all, also nice to see our friends Andy and Ella from Ely winning their Mixed double – well done to them as well.
Inevitably, the results already out (were up on the evening of the regatta – amazing) at Bedford RC
My photos from the day are also on line, at the MKRC fotopic site