Winter 2004/2005

Training started again in earnest in the second week in September with the first race at Wallingford 3 weeks later.  The whole squad attended, racing in singles and doubles, and whilst we had no wins (except for Emily in WVet A 1x – racing herself!) everyone came away happy with their performance at this early stage in the season.

For those of us who had made foolish commitments at the end of the previous season, the Pairs HORR loomed in the second weekend in October.  A raging headwind round Chiswick Eyot made for very difficult conditions in the last third of the race.  Nonetheless, we all made it and managed 5th place in WS2 2x and 17th & 19th places in WS4 2x.

Illness meant Kev was unable to attend GB trials, leaving Emily the squad’s sole representative who came a very respectable 17th out of 39 in WLwt 1x.

The switch to big boats was then made for the Fours HORR and 3 crews trained for the next few weeks ahead of the race at the beginning of November.  The day itself was really quite calm for the tideway as the crews set off for the start.  We had 2 quads in a very competitive Senior 2 category (over 50 entries) and they didn’t have too long to wait before they raced, both turning in good results.  The first quad over the line comprised of Bridget King, Yolande Wase, Tamsin Knill and Danni Phillips, who came 15th in the category (296th overall), the second being Tash Somers, Fay Beanland, Lisa Knill and Mandy Parr who came 47th in the category (420th overall).  We also had a Senior 2 coxed four entered (Louise Ainley, Helen Selden, Jo Chesney, Kim Wilson and cox Ella Waddingham) who after about 2 hours got their chance to come down the course, managing to come 7th in the category and 355th overall.

The Scullers Head was the next event on the calendar and as a squad we had 8 people racing.  You could not have asked for better conditions to tackle the Tideway in a single scull.  Despite the cold, the water was flat and the dreaded headwind round Hammersmith bend non-existent.  If only we had the benefit of local knowledge, we might have had a couple of wins, but the results proved that the technique we have all been perfecting for the last year has paid off: WE Lwt (Emily) 4th; WS1 (Kev) 3rd; WS3 (Kim) 3rd; WS4 (Bridget King) 3rd; WN (Yolande Wase, Lisa & Louise) 8th, 17th & 18th respectively; WVet A (Clare) 2nd.

And so to last weekend and Wycliffe.  Again, near perfect conditions, great organization and a really relaxed atmosphere made for a good and enjoyable day’s racing and some promising results from the squad.   Clare drew the short straw and raced all 3 divisions, subbing into a WS3 4x with Louise, Dani Phillips and Tamsin which went on to record the fastest women’s time of the day.  A win for Clare in WS1 1x, narrowly beating Kev (silver), added a second squad win, and silver medals in WE 1x (Clare), WS3 2x (Dani & Tamsin), WN 2x (Tash Smith & Mandy Parr), WN 4x (Tash, Mandy, Louise and Lisa) brought the medal haul to a respectable 7.

So, what next?? Some members of the squad are off to race at Burway this weekend, whilst Helen is off to GB trials mid December.  A break in racing for Christmas will be followed by preparation for the Eights HORR in March, and all the fun that will bring …… TO BE CONTINUED!!