Upton RC President Peter Barker has been awarded with the “Volunteer of the Year” award at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards 2015. Worcester News Article
Category: Cool Heads 2015
Thirteen Upton crews raced at Stourport on Sunday, which must be a new club record, and two more would have done so but for the lack of opposition – the women’s Mas E quad and coxless pair. In their absence, Jo and Linda raced only in the WMas C/D double scull. They had a straight final against Trentham, where they rowed strongly and held off the younger crew all the way down the course to notch up another excellent win.
Sally and Debbie had a busier day, contesting two events. In WMas A/B double sculls they were drawn against Liverpool Victoria, and this proved to be a close race in every sense of the word. The Upton boat led for most of the way, but Liverpool put in a late surge and we had to wait for the finishing judge’s decision – Upton, by two feet! In the final they raced a crew from Bewdley whom they had beaten two weeks earlier, but this developed into another ding-dong battle and the crews came to the finishing line almost level. As before, the finishing judge had to separate the crews and announced a margin of only two feet, but this time to Bewdley. In the IM3 event, however, Sally and Debbie had a convincing victory over a Welsh crew from Cardiff Vale, winning by a clear margin.
Jules and Tabs started out with two very impressive wins in the Mixed MasD double sculls, first against Bridgnorth and then against Stourport. In the final, though, they met a very impressive double from Bradford on Avon and were unable to get ahead of them, eventually losing after a very hard-fought race by just over a length. This was not the best preparation for Jules’s singles final, where he once again met the National champion in MasE single sculls, Duncan Gwilliam from Stourport, whom he had beaten at Henley last month. Gwilliam had the early lead this time, but Jules put in a great charge to the line and just missed out on the victory by a mere four feet.
In the men’s events, the quad of Maurice, Stuart, Keith and Jon which had won at Llandaff and Bewdley found themselves in a MasC/E event against a local Stourport crew. However, they had to give their opponents a handicap start of 7 seconds, and never really managed to get into the race. Upton also contested the MasC coxed fours event with a crew of Matt, Adam, Steven and Jon, with a substitute cox of Keith (who was undoubtedly by far the biggest cox of the regatta!). This was a close race, with the crews overlapping for the whole distance, but their opponents from Derwent held on to win by half a length .
Upton also entered four men’s double scull crews. In Masters F, Andrew and Jeremy raced against a Derby/Derwent composite crew, but although they remained in contact throughout the race they eventually lost by two lengths. Andrew had a similar result in the Masters F single sculls event against the Derwent member of the same crew. In Masters D/E double sculls, Keith and Matt had to concede a handicap to the older crew from Loughborough and never managed to close the gap. Two Upton crews raced in Masters C double sculls, and both produced very close races. Maurice and Stuart raced another crew from Loughborough, and the two were neck and neck for much of the race; Upton took a narrow lead as they approached the finish but then faltered in the last few strokes and lost by a narrow margin. In their heat, Steve and Adam initially fell behind against Worcester but closed on them rapidly as they approached the finish. However in the final surge for the line they lost control of their steering and crossed into their opponents’ water, resulting in a collision and disqualification for the Upton crew .
So another day of mixed fortunes but with plenty of good racing experience for all the crews, and now it’s on to Gloucester and Ross regattas at the end of the month.
As they had at Llandaff two weeks earlier, Upton crews battled dreadful weather conditions on Sunday at Bewdley regatta, but managed to win four of the events they had entered. Ironically, although the rain fell incessantly from the sky there wasn’t much water in the river, which was extremely shallow and affected the outcome of several races.
The men’s quad of Maurice, Stuart, Keith and Jon were seeking to repeat their victory from Llandaff in the Masters B/C event. In their first race against Trafford (from Sale) they established a healthy lead early on but ran into difficulties in the shallow water, which allowed their opponents to close on them. However, once they got going again they reassumed control of the race and held on to win by over a length . In the final they put on a fine display of powerful rowing to move smoothly away and record a decisive win over Stourport .
The women’s quad of Linda, Jo, Liz and Maggie were in the equivalent women’s Masters B/C event, where they met another crew from Trafford in a straight final. This looked like a tall order, because our crew is in fact Masters E but the organisers were prepared to give them only the handicap appropriate for a Masters C crew against the Masters B crew from Trafford – who were more than 20 years younger. But Upton rowed powerfully and held them off all the way down the course, winning the event by over a length.
This crew also raced in a pair and a double, and each of them met a crew from Loughborough in a straight final. In the pairs event, Liz and Maggie were again given less of a handicap than their age-group deserved, but lost by only a length or so. With the proper handicap they would have been very close to winning the event.
Debbie and Sally, fresh from their novice win at Llandaff, had entered both the IM3 and Masters B double sculls events. In the first of these they were drawn against a crew from Abingdon and took control of the race early on but then hit a submerged rock with one of their blades which brought them to a halt. Although they got going again they couldn’t quite close the gap and lost by half a length.
Andrew entered the Masters F single sculls event and started with a good win over a Stourport sculler who had beaten him at Evesham on their only previous encounter.
He then met a Ross sculler who had beaten him at Llandaff by two lengths. This time it was much closer, but the Ross sculler held on to win by half a length. He also raced in a Masters F double with Jeremy in near-monsoon conditions but they lost to a crew from Bewdley.
We had two crews making their debut in novice double sculls events. In the men’s event, Adam and Nick struggled with the conditions and lost to a crew from City of Oxford. In the women’s event, Katie and Becky took the lead early on against Avon County but lost it when they again ran into difficulties in shallow water and ended up losing by about two lengths. But both crews will have benefited from the racing experience and will achieve success in the future.
Finally, Upton entered the Masters C eights event, with Stuart, Nick, Chris, Adam, Maurice, Keith, Steve and Jon, with Debbie in the cox’s seat. This was the club’s first regatta appearance in an eight for some years, and the complete crew had its first outing only the previous day, so expectations were not high! The crew was left off the start by a powerful and experienced Bewdley eight, and lost by 2 1/2 lengths, but they had a good row and may return to this boat category more seriously in the future.
So a successful day overall, with some near misses and frustrations to go with four excellent victories. The next regatta targeted is Stourport on 9 August. It surely can’t pour with rain all day again, can it?
Follow this link to read the article in the Malvern Gazette regarding our recent competition successes.