This year the entry consisted of two boats – an IM1 4x going off 67th and an IM2 4+ going off some three hundred places lower.
The build up to this race, and the start to the season, has been fairly strong. With Craig and Adam placing 12th at Pair’s Head and the quad taking the headship at Upper Thames head, the crew was feeling positive going into the race – despite being able to count their outings on one hand. The coxed four was feeling positive too, after some heavy sessions of seat racing to set the crew and some technically strong outings we were all looking forward to a good race along the Championship course.
With race day upon us, the boats just about arrived at the course having been towed by yours truly. With only a few disgruntled motorists left in our wake, we rigged up and hit the water. The start to the race for the quad was tricky and with 4 crews to overtake before Barnes, Chris Scorah’s steering was put to the test. The test was passed, but a rapid IC crew took advantage of the gap that we had battered and followed the line through, closing fast from 2 places back. Once we were out of Barnes and into clear water, Adam Ridler played his usual trick at stroke and jacked the rate in response to IC, reminding all of us behind him why he’s been able to win his category at Scullers head for the last two years. The crew and the boat’s response was immediate, and we held IC at an even 3 lengths for the remainder of the distance. The last 500 metres passed in the usual Broxbourne fashion – an impressive increase in rate and boatspeed rapdily followed by an immediate decline in both. Crossing the line, the crew felt comfortable with the underlying boat speed that had been achieved, but felt slightly frustrated at the lack of “polishedness” to the performance.
The coxed four had an altogether different race. Going off low down the order in the heavily subscribed IM2 coxed four category they struggled to find space to breath in early on. Unable to get the racing line from a crew that they were overtaking, they were stuck on the outside of the stream going around the Chiswick Eyot corner. This was then follwed by a serious blade clash which resulted in them stopping dead in the course for some time and collecting their lost number from the water. Polite greetings and witty quips were exchanged, but the race was essentially done-fer.
When the results hit the screens of our iPhones a short time later, reactions were as mixed as you’d expect from reading the above. The coxed four would rather not reflect on the number against which their name is placed, and are knuckling back down to training in order to focus on things to be achieved rather than opportunities lost. The quad were pleased to take the club record for the highest ever finish from a Broxbourne crew with their 31st place, but look forward to achieving a more polished performance in future races in order to demonstrate their full potential.
Posted by Graham Everitt | November 10, 2011