Masters New Year’s Report

Posted by Andy Crook | January 5, 2011

As I write my first report as Masters vice captain, there are 2 things I find I have to remember – that we are no longer called Veterans, but more crucially the entire squad’s ages for calculating the myriad of crew variations to make the “right” age category for racing.

That aside, I am happy to report that the club currently has a healthy Masters squad, numbering 16 men and with welcome guest appearances from amongst the women. This should set the squad up well for the remaining head races this winter, as well as for the coming regatta season.

In the run-up to Christmas 2010, the Masters have competed at the Pairs Head, Veterans (note: not Masters) Fours Head, Kingston Small Boats Head, Vesta Scullers Head and, of course, our own Club Head.

The first of these was the Pairs Head in October, where we had 3 Masters entries. While we didn’t come away with any pennants, there were some credible performances with the Mixed B Double of Jo Griffith and Roger Ward placed 3rd in their category, the Mens D Coxless Pair of Hugo van Kempen and Andy Crook 4th in theirs and the Mens F Coxless Pair of Alistair Cutts and Jim Brandon also 4th in  theirs.

At the Veterans Fours Head in November only one Broxbourne crew raced, but a great result of 53rd overall was achieved, with Michelle Blunt, Jo Griffith, Roger Ward, Phil Lumley and cox Brenda Scott winning in their Mixed C Coxed Four from a starting position of 150. They beat their second place rivals, Wallingford, by 45 seconds and a number of Mens Coxed Fours to boot. Unfortunately the Mens F Coxless Four had to scratch from the event due to injury.

Since the Fours Head, it has been down to the scullers to race, with Rob Alexander and Chris Heathcote doing battle as the only Mens C Singles entries at Kingston Small Boats Head, with Rob winning out and being placed 85th overall and Chris 191st.

As already mentioned in Chris Scorah’s report on the Sculler’s Head, Rob Alexander, Quintin McKellar and Russell Mould were the club’s Masters entries, with Rob competing in the Mens C Singles and finishing 4th out of 25, with 122nd place overall. Quintin and Russell had a ding-dong battle in the Mens D Singles, with Quintin coming in at 11th and Russell 14th, also out of 25 in their category.

Looking ahead to the rest of the winter, the Masters are likely to compete in several more Heads in the run up to the Masters Eights Head on the Tideway in early April 2011, with ambitions to race some heads in fours and small boats too. Following the heads the possibility of an early spring training camp over a weekend is being considered.

The regular training days for the Masters squad for the rest of the winter will continue to be Wednesday evening from 7pm in the gym for circuits and ergos, and Saturday morning on the water.

Wednesday evening is also the regular club night for the Masters, meeting in the bar after training, which on occasion has been known to include food!

This is also a great opportunity for anybody – whether an experienced oar or a newcomer to rowing – who may be interested in joining the Masters to meet the rest of the squad.

Andy Crook – Masters Vice Captain 2010/11

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