Posted June 15, 2013 by Hillingdon Rowing
On 8 June 2013, Hillingdon Rowing Club was represented at Marlow Town Regatta by its Senior Men’s Coxed 4 crew, in the Open Novice class.This is the first such outing for the Senior Men crew, and a milestone for the nascent Club. Formed in 2012, the HRC Committee and Coaches have worked exceptionally hard to field a crew ready to take on the challenges of “Regatta Day”.
Day of the Race
Come the day of the race, the crew had shrugged off Man-Flu and aching muscles, and after a quick warm up in the morning at the Club’s base at HOAC, nerves about poor starts and poorer finishes seemed to be put to rest.
With the boat transported and safely reassembled at Marlow, it was a simply a matter of waiting for the start (and for the blades to arrive!). Even though the Novice race had been brought forward to 3pm, there was still plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and for the nerves to regroup.
Once registration was out the way, Paul, HRC’s Head Coach and Captain, and his son James (who had kindly volunteered to cox for the race) walked the course and provided last minute details on the tide and wind strength, distance call points, umpire flag signals, and emergency protocols in the event of a killer-crab – basically: stop, deep breath, start again and wait for the abuse at the finish…
Team talks out the way and the crew desperately trying to remember to “have fun”, the boat was launched and set off for the start for the 980m sprint.
The start line provided some entertainment, with the crew negotiating 8’s, single sculls, 4’s, launches, and river-buses, not to mention strong winds, choppy waters, and snide comments from confident teenagers in the competing crews.
At last the three boats for the 3pm race lined up…it was a free start, but James managed the boat into position without any problem.
The flag dropped and the crew made a good start. Radley pulled away with ease over the first 20 strokes, but HRC settled down, adjusted to the wave height, found a good pace and pushed on.
At the half way point, Paul bellowed from the tow-path and spurred the crew on for the last 500m. Despite a couple of missed strokes, HRC brought the boat home safely in a comfy second place.
Back to the Enclosure
The crew was greeted with smiles all round and a clearly relieved Club Chairman (“just don’t mess it up”). With the boat disassembled, they headed for the Enclosure for a much needed drink!
Vaidas (Bow), Archie (2), Damien (3) and Rob (Stroke) would like to thank everyone who came down to support the HRC crew – it really made all the difference – and to James for a great job in coxing.