Having lost by two feet at Llandaff International and achieving our first quad win at Bewdley we continued the campaign at the bank holiday regattas at Gloucester and Ross.
Disappointed by the lack of a quad entry at Gloucester Vets and Juniors we split into the pair (Maggie and Liz) and the double (Jo and Linda). Pre- regatta nerves weren’t helped by Matt’s input “Gloucester! – have you ever steered there? It’s about as wide as someone’s drive….” No pressure then!
Both crews got through to the final with the pair narrowly beating Leicester. Lining up the old Burgashell on trestles next to their smart Fillipi pair was a bit embarrassing but it made the win all the more special. Celebrations ensued largely because this had been the pair’s first win since 2002 – which was longer than most of the juniors at the regatta had been on the planet.
The double were narrowly beaten by Leicester in the final but Leicester certainly knew they’d had a race.
The next day the crew went to Ross Vets and Juniors with events for both the quad and the double.
First on was the quad. Ron’s coaching focus since Llandaff had been on the crew achieving one catch – rather than eight. Progress must have been made as the Evesham Vet D quad was beaten by a number of lengths before the Evesham Vet C youngsters were taken on in the final. The stagger at Ross always comes as a surprise and it required a good build (by bow, two and three – eventually followed by Stroke) to get over the finish line to win by half a length.
The pair got through to the final but missed out on their normal cracking racing start and trailed after the first half minute. Having gained on the opposition throughout the race, and with around twenty strokes to go, they made a final desperate push for the finish, crossing the line half a length behind their opposition. For those who believe that bad luck comes in threes, seconds after crossing the finish line their boat was struck by the blade of a single scull which was being rowed back towards the embarkation point. Although shaken it was fortunate that no one sustained any injury but the boat was damaged and is now awaiting repair.
It has been an eventful season with so much learned from one another and from Ron. We have felt encouraged and supported by everyone at the club – so a big thank you to all.
For any “Learn to Row” graduates you may like to know that Linda and Jo were complete beginners not so long ago and only took up sculling in 2012 – so keep training!!