I competed in my first on-the-water race yesterday at the Nottingham head. Another first was that I wore an all-in-one, albeit borrowed. It was quite something to see that many boats on the water at once, I’m used to seeing 3 or 4 other boats a day. There must have been over 60 boats on the water at any one time.
For me personally, I thought it went quite well considering it was only my 2nd time out in an 8 and my 5th ever time in a sweep oar boat. Also, I managed to get through it without catching any crabs, another first for me! I don’t actually know how well (or badly) we performed. One thing I struggled with was knowing how long we had left, therefore I couldn’t really gauge when to empty the tanks (go for it). This was despite having a pre-race chat with someone who had already rowed it (and more) in a single. But, to be perfectly honest, I was struggling just to keep up with the stroke rate and keep my technique together. So I didn’t really have time to look around at the scenery for landmarks. I did put in some good strokes and started to get a good feeling from the boat at some points throughout the race, but I also put in a few crap strokes and missed some completely. As did another member of the crew. I didn’t know that until after we’d finished. But, I have been told, I didn’t slow the boat down at all, which is good.
Despite one persons rather negative comments after the race, I thought it was a good day out. We couldn’t really lose as we got moved up a division, so there is some comfort in that.