St Ives Regatta, Cambridgeshire – 18th June

Posted June 19, 2016 by Hillingdon Rowing

St Ives was held on a quiet stretch of river which was very pretty with yellow irises and bullrushes lining the banks. The course was 550m downstream with a fairly tight bend at the start with stake boats. There had been heavy rain the previous day and night so organisers had been concerned the river was flowing too fast. Pontoons had to be raised but the regatta went ahead.

Hillingdon had our most event entries ever with everyone in more than one race. Almost every race was a final. It was our first time racing downstream and using predominately mixed (male and female) rowing and sculling crews. We had a great picnic as well as entertaining our 6 month old baby, in mascot mode wearing a club babygro.

Our day started off brilliantly with a win in the women’s single scull event by Aoife. Our men’s single performed well as did our men’s double. Our first mixed double was a scratch crew (a crew specially formed for the event, having not practised before) and did well. Our second mixed double had trouble coping with the stream but did well on their first ever regatta. Our Womens’ double regretted locking the steering as they struggled with both the stream and wind and got tangled in the bullrushes.

Our mixed four sweep coxed boat had a good start and held onto their lead to win the event. The crew was Paul, Andrew, Nishma, Aoife and Larissa (cox). The men’s sculling crew acquitted themselves well against a very strong competitive crew coming off a number of prestigious regatta wins. We had so many people at the regatta that an extra semi-final race was added as we formed two mixed scratch sculling crews. The winner of this race went on to the final. A poor start, bad corner and decent opposition lost the hat trick.

There was a winners presentation where everyone received a really lovely engraved glass tankard. Hillingdon got a special mention as being the youngest club to both attend and win – St Ives RC is over 175 years old! And there was the usual interest in how and where and why we formed a club. All in all it was a very friendly and relaxed regatta, an excellent first regatta for many, and a great day out. In all the excitement we forgot to drink the bubbly.

Well done to all competitors, picnic providers and baby sitters. Huge hurray to Matthias for organising the entry and towing the boats. Big hugs to Jon (Chair) and Tom (Secretary) for doing stuff so we didn’t have to.

Nishma Shah
Women’s Squad