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 DSC_1444(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 DSC_1487.

The women’s quad of Linda, Jo, Liz and Maggie were in the equivalent women’s Masters B/C event, DSC_1521where 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 DSC_1502given 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.

DSC_1498Meanwhile Jo and Linda won the Masters E double sculls event by a large margin over the other Loughborough crew.

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 DSC_1433halt. Although they got going again they couldn’t quite close the gap and lost by half a length.

DSC_1441But in their other race they made no mistake and beat the local Bewdley crew by a length to win the Masters B event.DSC_1425

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.

DSC_1470He then met a Ross sculler who had beaten him at Llandaff by two lengths. This time it was much closer, but the DSC_1461Ross 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.

DSC_1515We 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 DSC_1513and 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. DSC_1435This 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?

Ron

A win for Julian in Masters E 1x, beating the Stourport rower who won MasE 1x at Nottingham, Hollowell and Molesey in the final, the winning by several lengths. Upton’s second Henley Gold Medal!

Julian was also in a composite Upton/London Boat Club MasD 8+ which beat Maidenhead and Nottingham but lost the final to Molesey by ¾ length.

Maurice

Sal_DebDebbie & Sally had good rows in their novice 2x, winning early rounds by 2-3 lengths. The finals competition looked very good as well but not good enough, and Upton won by 3 lengths. Unfortunately their MasB crew scratched on the day. Toby also looked good in novice 1x and won the early rounds by similar or better distances. His final was quite tight, just losing out in the latter stages and crossed the line just over 1 length behind a very capable sculler.

John & Keith in MasC2x had a great start but then had a steering issue/nightmare. Checking the vegetation is one thing, but it is normally done on your own side of the river. DSQ.

Stuart and Maurice novice 2x got off to a bad start when we met the competition – both well over 6′ and younger than us. It got worse after we boated and found we (ok I) had put the wrong seats in Montel and the seats would not go past the ribs so could not get anywhere close to front stops. We moved our foot plates as far as they could which allowed us to get full strokes in, but no time to practice a start. We had a solid start and they seemed to head towards the far bank so from early on we got a 1/2 length lead. We tried to get the boat running and slowly edged away. I took Ron’s recommended racing line, rowing along the buoys at the pontoons, fortunately no collisions. Upton win by ~ 3 lengths.M4

The Mas C quad (Jon, Keith, Stuart and Maurice) opposition was a pain as they had a v busy crew member umpiring, racing etc so would not commit to a time to race. In the end Jon talked to his Bewdley doubles opposition in the bar and one volunteered to sit in the Swansea boat. Swansea were happy but put him in bow (steering the quad). We boated early and had chance for a practice start. In the race, again we had a solid start and transition into stride, not the tidiest but OK and starting to take a lead. I could see Bewdley heading for the boats coming up so just concentrated on staying in the middle and trying to keep the boat running. Upton win by ~ 3.5 lengths.

Andrew had a good row in his Mas F single but had a couple of duff strokes at the start and so was never in a position to challenge the Ross guy, but stayed pretty close through to the finish, losing by ~ 2 lengths.

Jo & Linda’s early round WIM3 doubles opposition scratched so they had a late straight final. They seemed to have a good row despite the age difference – opposition were Avon county J18s who had been at Henley trials recently. Unfortunately Upton were out–powered and lost by 1.5 lengths but a very creditable performance.

Horrible weather, alternating between heavy drizzle and rain all day. Fortunately wind was not too bad.

Evesham to Upton row via Tewkesbury – 4/5th July 2015.

Participants: Peter Barker, Sandy Barker, Terry Mason, Pauline Mason, Patrick Adams, Duncan Jardine, Sheila Adamson, Sandra Bristow, Paula Corlett, Andrew Spencer, Sarah Spencer.

Leaving Evesham CropThis proved to be a successful event and we were fortunate that the weather was very good. Two recreational boats, one sweep and one sculling, (including two of URC’s affiliate American rowers Andrew and Sarah Spencer from Hereford RC), set off from Evesham at 10.00 am on Saturday.

We arrived at The Anchor, Wyre Piddle at 12.45 where we moored and had a good lunch (14 km and 2 locks). Terry Leaving Fladbury Lock Cropwas on ‘shore’ duty.

In the afternoon we rowed to Eckington, arriving at about 18.00 where we moored and stored the boats in a field (15.5 km and 3 locks). The crews walked into Eckington village where we enjoyed a good meal at the Bell. We all drove home afterwards.

On Sunday, Terry and Sheila swapped roles. We reassembled at Upton and drove back to Eckington, where the boats set off at 9.45, reaching Tewkesbury lock by 11.30 (9 km and 1 lock). From Tewkesbury we joined the Severn, and, after a brief stop at AB Severn at the Mythe, we carried on to Upton arriving about 1.30 pm (10 km no locks). This was a 50 km row approximately.

Thanks to Ian, (who unfortunately wasn’t able to attend as he was away) and Peter for organising the logistics.Nafford Lock Crop

Caledonian Canal

We left for Scotland on 22nd May. I crewed for John Westoby (the boat owner) with Nick Meyer in a Swallow Bay Raider 20. We entered a series of 10 races sailing and rowing over 7 days.

MackieCrop

We visited Loch Linnie at Fort William, Loch Lochy, Loch Oick and Loch Ness, linked by the Caledonian canal to the last day on the Moray Firth at Inverness. Rowing races were held on the canal stretches. There was snow still on the mountain tops and the wind at the east end of Loch Ness was Force 5 to gusting 6.

The even was attended by crews from throughout UK, Italy, France, Holland and Sweden all entered. In our class of 5 boats we were second.

Ian