On Sunday 27th April 2014 I competed at Leicester Regatta, which was surprisingly easy to get to. Parking was fairly close by, being only a 5 minute walk away.
I had 2 events, the first being a Masters Quad. We never quite got the boat sat right on the paddle up to the start, and that continued during the race. We were, however, at a disadvantage from the word go. In master rowing there is a rather bizarre rule where the older crews are given a head start. I can understand the reasoning behind it, just not the execution of it. Masters crews are categorised by the average age of the crew, so with us being slightly younger we had to start 5 seconds after our opposition. The problem I have with it being done at the start is that we are immediately in our opponents wash, which makes everything that much more difficult.
Anyway, we pulled a little bit of the deficit back, but not enough. We lost by 2 lengths.
The next event was an IM3 quad. We fared much better in that, as we were both starting at the same time. We’ve been training as a coxless/coxed 4 for the last couple of weeks, so this was the first time in a while that we’d rowed together in a quad. The paddle up to the start was much better, although to me it still didn’t feel quite right. We agreed on our start strategy, and it worked great. Our start was really smooth, and we got the boat up to speed within 5 or 6 strokes. We were level with our opposition for the start and when we lengthened out, pulled away from them with every stroke. Towards the latter third of the course we started to get a bit messy, so I made a few calls to the stroke man (I was at 3) and we crossed the finish line 3 lengths ahead. Job done, on to the final, which I’d forgot about and was privately celebrating getting another point!!
In the final we weren’t quite as clean or as powerful and were down from a couple of strokes in. We were up against a much stronger crew and ended up losing “easily”.
Despite losing there are a lot of positive to take away from that. The main one is that we were racing against students in the IM3 event, literally half our age. And we got into the final, so I’m really very pleased with how we did. Also, it’s the start of the season and we can only get better.
So, I’m looking forward to a good season of sculling and sweep oar rowing.