27 Mar Bristol Sprint Regatta
This is always a fun regatta. It’s held in Bristol’s Floating Harbour where we train every week. We know the water well and how many strokes between all the various sights and features of the harbour. So we should have a good home advantage for this one. The races are short taking between 6 to 9 minutes depending on conditions, fitness and expertise over a 1.5km course straight down the Harbour.
The sun came out but the air was still cold in the shade. A very slight breeze down river to assist rowing.
Our boys were drawn in the first race to row against Portland. We rowed up the course to the start line at the Arnolfini and next to the Balmoral. Nerves were showing as both boats strayed through the start line a few times before we could be started level with the stern of the Balmoral. The starter calls “Go” and as usual we can’t actually believe we are racing. I don’t know why it always seems a shock as we have done this countless times in training. Maybe it’s the reality of having another boat alongside to actually race. From the start we allowed Portland to gain a small advantage and as we tried to apply more pressure we found that we made some mistakes. Perhaps it was just too many nerves but this wasn’t the best run we had done over this course. Portland ran in convincing winners and we finished frustrated. We didn’t feel that we rowed to our potential as a crew but we did learn a lot from this. Next time we would be better. Our time was 7’21” which was a full minute better than any of our training runs. Goes to show that a clean boat makes a huge difference. We will be cleaning Lindy very soon.
Not long after the boys row it was time for the girls to kit up and head for the start line. They asked what we had learned from the boys row. That was simple; we must row as a team and not as individuals. We agreed to row relaxed but to concentrate on the power when it mattered. We also learned that the outside lane might have been slightly easier to Cox as there was lots more space available. Once again we were rowing against Portland. We came up to the start line later than Portland on purpose. We could see that they had pushed through the start line. Sure enough the starter called for them to back down. Just as they had done that we had a quick ‘one up’ and the starter called “Go”. The girls were off and what a pace they set. Right from the off they got into their stride. They pulled away from Portland and never let up. The time is crucial at this event so they pushed on right through the finish line. Portland were well baten and the time was a fabulous 7’54”. That’s over a minute off any training run over the distance. The best part though was the way they rowed. The crew is seriously coming together. Well done girls.
With the girls posting such a good time there was the possibility of them getting through to the finals. As the day progressed we came 8th and just outside of the finals racing. A decision was made to pack up the oars and off to the Grain Barge for beers and watching the remainder of the racing from the North side of the harbour. We had a fabulous time there as you can imagine.
Thank you to all that competed. Special thanks to all who came down to support throughout the day. That is so appreciated. Training will continue and then the Scillies beckon at the end of April.