A really horrible day out on the Tideway! Although the rain held off (at least until we’d finished), there were high winds and it was pretty cold too. The winds made for some “interesting” sculling, reflected in the times, which were well down on last year. As well as being very difficult to row into, with the strong winds catching our blades when we squared, it caused a really choppy surface, worse than even Caldecotte Lake in a bad cross-wind.
Anyway, despite this, our two (first time we’d entered more than a single crew at this event) crews both did pretty well.
Masters B 2x-
Despite a total lack of practise time, Tim and Pierre-Yves put in a stunning race to finish second in the Masters B category, of six boats, a mere five seconds off of the winners, Ardingly. A bit of training together and who knows what next year will bring?
Masters D 2x-
Although it seemed like a really awful race at the time, on reflection Steve and I showed progress from last year, in spite of the conditions. We finished eighth of ten but reduced the gap to the (same) winning crew by over 20 seconds compared to 12 months ago.
It seemed a little less stressful than last year, certainly the marshals were nowhere near as aggressive. The conditions were truly terrible and at times it was just a case of fighting through the waves, worrying more about keeping upright and going than racing! Certainly my forearms knew about it by the end, just from tensing up so much.
The one thing that doesn’t seem to change is the sheer muppetry on display from some crews. Not sure who it was but one boat was bleating to every marshal all the way from the finish back to the Civil Service; the reason being that the safety boat, while involved in rescuing two capsized schoolboys had the temerity to get in their way! I guess the crew felt the kids should have been left to drown? all credit to the marshal who finally shut them up by telling them in no uncertain terms that she would not file a report. As with last year, what is it with some crews that have to race back? We were hassled all the way back by three crews, one of whom (Bristol) damned near rammed us. We were keeping station on the boat in front so why on earth do these idiots have to do this?
Award for the most up themselves goes (as usual) to one of the Tideway crews. Having spun to start, they immediately wound up to race speed – even though there was a queue in front of them. On being told to hold it up, they whined that they’d never had to stop before and always started from there. This from a crew rowing somewhere around 270. You aren’t that good if you’re starting there!
Anyhow, full results can be found at the Pairs Head website
and photos (courtesy of our wonderful support crew of Paula, Steph and Neil) at the MKRC fotopic site