2011 in review

January 26, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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St Neots Head 2011

October 16, 2011

With a large proportion of the club doing the Spartan Race, our entries for this year’s St Neots Head were a bit sparse, only four boats entered. Although we picked up a couple of second places, we didn’t post any wins and (unusually) came home empty handed. Still, there were some good races and a very eventful one for the ladies’ quad.

Women Masters C/D 4+
Fourth crew off in the first division, the ladies put in a strong row and set a good time for the competition to aim for. They had one of their competitors from St Neots following them and felt they’d pulled away from them over the 2.6km course and it proved so. They then had to wait all the way through to the last division for their other competitor, another St Neots boat. Unfortunately, this crew (racing as a “D” boat rather than our “C” crew) posted a time some 11 seconds quicker, pushing the ladies into second.

Masters D/E 2x-
After the previous day’s exploits at Wallingford, this actually seemed quite a short race for Steve and I, the halfway point coming up surprisingly quickly! However, our exertions did start telling towards the end and the last section from the marina to the finish was a struggle. However, we were extremely pleased with the result – we finished second but just four seconds behind Nemesis, a crew that has beaten us easily on many occasions. We do seem to have closed the gap quite a bit over the last few races, so pleasing progress.

Masters C/D 4+
A new combination saw Iain and Roger join Steve and I in a coxed four. With Roger’s years offsetting Iain’s relative youth this put us as a “D” crew, up against another “D” from Peterborough and a “C” from St Neots. Despite a good, solid row, we were well off of the winning time, with Peterborough winning the class and St. Neots coming second.

Women’s IM2 4x-
A race that can best be described as “interesting”! After a good start and getting round the twisty bit at the beginning of the course, the ladies were settling into a good rhythm when they were aware of people on the bank shouting “swimmer – get out of the way”. Being a nice, hot day, some numpty decided it would be good to go for a swim in the river – while a race was on. Paula, at stroke, got a huge surprise when a head emerged right by her blade and took a whack from it. He appeared OK and, having done an crash stop, the girls set off again. Next on their target list was a black barge – fortunately the owner shouted a warning and they were able to hold the boat up just in time. Setting off again, they picked up and went really well down past the club house, down the regatta course and turned in to the bend towards the finish. Unfortunately, Clare misjudged the bend and the quad went into the reed bank at race pace, burying the boat in as far as Paula! As we went past in the four, all we could see was Paula and the stern, the rest of the ladies completely hidden in the reeds. They did finally manage to extricate themselves (by grabbing the reed stems and pulling against them – their blades were completely tangled) and get free to finish the course. Not surprisingly, their unplanned excursion cost them a lot of time and they finished last, slowest time of the day. Still, quite an amusing episode and no harm to the boat or the ladies (but hopefully the swimmer had a big headache).

My thoughts…
With the amazing, freak hot weather and a really chilled atmosphere, this was a lovely day, despite no wins. Congratulations to St Neots for the speed with which they posted up the results – our ladies were able to tell the St Neots Masters ladies they had won before they’d even got back to the pontoons to de-boat. With really sensible marshalling, setting big gaps between crews, there were few overtaking problems all day and we certainly were able to just focus on our races and not worry about traffic

Results can be found here.No photos as we were all racing in the same divisions!


Christmas Party 2009

December 9, 2009

Proving that we’re not just about training and racing, our Christmas Party was a great excuse for socialising, drinking and taking the mick out of a number of people. It’s amazing how well some of your fellow rowers scrub up – it can be quite a challenge to recognise someone you know really well from the back, dressed in lycra and all how and sweaty, when they’re all smart and made up (well, the girls, anyway). Equally surprising is how the club house can be transformed into a Christmassy party venue.

Pretty well attended and many thanks to those who helped before, during and after (especially Paula for doing so much food!).

Some great memories of the last year rekindled while the Christmas Awards were handed out. I’m sure this isn’t a full list but…

Senior Moment awards to the Ladies Vet crew who carefully de-rigged a boat to re-rig it the opposite way round – only to get down to the water to find they’d put it back exactly the same way as it had been to start with

Lane Discipline award to me, based on my uncanny ability to start on one side of the river at Warwick and wind up hitting the opposite bank (not to mention a rather too close encounter with a bridge at Bedford)

Get Stuffed award for Steve, who managed to bring a packet of Paxo stuffing to Peterborough (he thought it was cake bars, allegedly)

Digging out of a hole award for Steph. Having won at Bedford Quarts she was washing out her pot (prior to having a beer…) and saw someone from another club doing the same. On asking what she’d won, the reply was that it wasn’t hers; in fact she’d been knocked out in the semi – by Steph’s crew. Ooops.

Another one for Steve was the Mr Bump award, for failing to spot the very large barge at Abingdon. The one that’s moored there. Permanently.

Little Miss Chatterbox naturally (despite her very loud protestations) also went to Steph (circuits are SO quiet when she’s not there)

The 101% award went to one of the new guys, John. At his first circuit session he desperately wanted to keep up. So much so, he went very, very white and disappeared outside, to throw up. Shows commitment though…

Owing to her total lack of co-ordination, Becks received the Spotty Dog award. You have to see her pysching up to do these to appreciate this one.

Dean was awarded the special prize of Mr Indecent. Amongst other reasons, this was for his increasingly shredded shorts that he wears to circuits.

Finally, following the saga of the “missing” Galaxy bars of Facebook, an emergency Galaxy was given to Andi, in case Tim hides the others.


Veteran Fours Head 2009

November 15, 2009

And I thought the Pairs Head was a long way! Out on the Tideway again today, for the Veteran Fours Head in the Quad, rowing at Vet C. Really nice as we started at number 7 so didn’t have to wait around too long for the start.

In stark contrast to yesterday, the weather was clear, bright and sunny and virtually calm (the Fours Head yesterday was cancelled because of high winds and heavy rain). There was a very strong stream running (with lots of alarming sized debris) which made keeping station at the start “fun”. Although we’d had to rejig the crew yesterday, with Tim coming in for an unwell Simon, the race went very smoothly. Results now up and we came 5th of eight in Vet C, and a creditable 61st overall. Really pleased, especially as two of the crews in front of us were composites and three were Tideway clubs.

We did lose some time as two boats (London and Thames, who should know better) left us nowhere to go coming off of Hammersmith bridge, causing us to virtually stop, to avoid ramming the marshal. Otherwise, no mistakes and a clean row.

Rowing back is sheer hell though. Four and a bit miles at race pace, then the same back again, this time against the tide. Must be mad but despite this really enjoyed it (although the alcohol now is numbing the pain) and we’re already talking about the Eight’s Head!

Photos on-line at the MKRC Photo site, with race results now up at the Vet Fours Website


New Year – back to training…

January 7, 2008

After a well earned break it was back to training – time to shed the pounds that went on over the holiday. Circuits started again last Thursday; this was pretty tough and certainly my body wasn’t too impressed. Saturday was back out on the water. Despite fairly high winds we got in two sessions – I went out in a double for the first one (a reasonably gentle paddle as I was with Becks, probably her last row until after she produces) and in a quad for the second. This was a serious piece as we had Steve L and Helen in the boat, neither of whom was taking any prisoners! Still, it was a really good outing, even though I was shattered by the end of it.

Tonight was Martin’s first circuit of the year; obviously he though we looked like we needed a good work out. Boy, did we get one! A mix of CV and weights, something like 20 stations, 25 reps each, 3 times. Given that the pain normally starts at the back end of the following day, the fact that I can only just type this now says something. Still, it is good for me…..

Trying to sort out crews for the first event of the year (Northampton Head). If you read this and haven’t put your name down yet, best contact Ray (and quickly).

Time to go and collapse now!


Girlies night out

December 14, 2007

Last Tuesday (11th Dec) the girlies hung up the lycras and went for a night out.  Starting at City Limits Bowling we had two games, Steph raced ahead after the first game with a score of 125.  We started the second game determined to knock Steph off the podium, but alas she then won the second round with a score of 111.  With a total of 236 over the two games, Steph was way ahead of Yemin in 2nd place with 198 and Paula in 3rd with 193.  We then went to ‘Nandos’ to finish off the evening.  We had a great night out and it was nice to see the faces of people we normally just see the back of the heads as we look down the boat!!!!  Will try to organise another night out in the near future – still wanting to arrange a Quaser Laser evening.


MKRC Christmas Party

December 10, 2007

Last Saturday was our Christmas Party! Everyone there seemed to enjoy it and there was quite a good turnout. Some of the highlights were the annual “spoof” awards, with some of these going to Jo (memo pad, to remind her to untie boat from pontoon before rowing away), Steph (racing snail for de-novicing at her first qualifying event!), Charlene (compass, to remind her which way round to attach the boat on a stakeboat). Another highlight, bizarrely, was the raffle – Martin was getting upset and not winning anything, so wound up with everyone’s tickets just so he’d get a prize (and then cleaned up on the remaining prizes…).

Thanks especially to Bob and Sue for arranging it all and to all those who helped set up, wash up and clear up!