Saturday, 9 June 2012


We took a ladies (novice) IV and a mens (masters B) pair to Peterborough on Sunday 27th May; for the usual convoluted reasons we couldn't get more than that. The full results are here. To spare you the suspense: the ladies got through their heat, and then came third in the final. They were 15 secs off the leaders, but only 6 secs off second, so it was exciting. Here they are in the final.

Mel, get your head up. Though who am I to say such a thing, since I stare at my hands all the time - well, if you don't stare at your hands, how do you know whether they are the right height above the saxboard, or rising up to the catch nicely?

Anyway, enough of them, "what about the men?", I hear you cry. I thought you'd never ask.

Inevitably, I'm going to write about the mens pair because, well, I was in it. It was quite fun to go "alone" in that this was the first off-cam race we'd entered (well, actually, it was about our 6th outing in the pair together, and the first race we'd ever done, but hopefully you see what I mean) just-by-ourselves, without someone in the club organising it for us. We were on a City trailer, and carefully loaded up on Thursday night, because it was going up on Friday afternoon. However, on Saturday, we realised we hadn't been quite as careful as we'd thought - we'd left the seats in. Oh-err. But an email to City brought back the reassuring news that the seats were still attached, so all was well. Or so we thought. But when we got there on Sunday... err, oh dear, only one seat was there. I suppose we were lucky even one stayed on. So the intended we're-there-well-in-time-and-can-relax-and-spectate turned into a rather frantic scrabble to find a spare seat. Luckily Peterborough could lend us one. So we had our practice outing on the Neme, which turns out to be even wigglier than the Cam, and got back in time to see the ladies final.

Then it was our turn. Backing down onto the start boat turned out to be possible. This was a masters B/C race, and we were the B, whilst our opponents were C - that meant they got a 5 seconds head start. Boo hiss. This was because while I'm nearly old enough to be your grandfather be masters D, Will is so insanely youthful (though dissipated, of course) that he only just scrapes into masters A; and we average to B. So, the other boats start, and we're counted down the 5 seconds to our start. And, regrettably, we stayed at the back the whole way. Steering proved to be quite a challenge. Clonking our first lane-buoy woke me up with a bit of a start, and I paid more attention after that; but we spent some time not hitting the buoys only because we were so close that the oars went over the top. However, we were 16 secs (=11, remember) off the lead and 7 (=2, oh so close) off number 2; so I don't think we can blame our loss on the steering. Here we are, just crossing the finish line:

We look OK, I think, though just possibly I may be biased. Will isn't looking at his hands, but then again no-one is perfect. There is another one of us here and again Simon has contrived to take just the stroke when we went in perfectly together. And here we are looking Manly afterwards:

[Photo credit: Simon Emmings. Note that via some miracle of tech these pictures went from gmail via gplus to blogger without touching my harddisk, or at least I think and hope they have.]

ps: the new seat was £120 with VAT and carriage, and Andy Nicol kindly cut it down to size, and made me a cup of tea too (well actually Elspeth did). Anyway, the point is, don't leave your seats on during transit, bozo.

pps: oh yes, the other point: so, our recorded time was 4.04.5, but remember that has 5 secs added, so really 3:59.5, so we made it in under 4 mins, oh good. But then we looked at the results and realised that had we entered IM3 2-, we'd have been second, and only 2 secs behind the winners - that would have been a really exciting race to be in.