Fours Head

Posted by Graham Everitt | November 25, 2010

Winter training had begun well, too well some might say. The BRC men’s squad had been racking the miles up since September in preparation for The Fullers Fours Head and had headed over to Isle of Ely Rowing Club for two 5k runs up what can only be described as the blandest stretch in the world to prepare for the big event the next week.
With the draw setting our entries of an elite coxless four and an elite coxed four off 36th and and 46th respectively everyone was looking forward to a good run out at the top of the tide without too much hanging around at the start.

Availability had meant that we’d had to play a bit of musical chairs in the coxed four, and having at last settled on an excellent combination it was only right for something to go wrong. 2k into the first race at Ely a back injury forced the crew to row the rest of the course at quarter slide, and meant that they had to pull from the second event. The coxless four had two good runs, and although the lack of competition made for a rather uninspiring run in tricky conditions the second time around we felt pleased with both performances.

With the back injury turning out to be a proper one and not just Simon Robins being a woos, the coxed four decided to scratch, leaving the coxless to travel to the tideway with just one other boat from the women’s squad the next weekend.

A late running boat from the same category deciding to tag along with us at the start, and an enjoyable race unfolded as the Imperial College crew appeared to attach itself to the Broxbourne bow ball for the first half of the race. As we approached Hammersmith Bridge a few polite comments were exchanged as the IC crew began to push through and the usual disagreement over exactly where the racing line was took place. Thankfully, after our bowman proffered a superbly articulate ¬†explanation as to its precise location and cracked what I’m sure was a well received quip about it being their home stretch they at last located the stream and moved several boat widths in its direction.

With the opposition from IC proceeding to put several lengths on us in the latter half of the race, a crew that can only be described as “hanging” were then left to push off a tidy Vesta crew in the second half. The kitchen sink was duly chucked out along with the taps and the microwave (for good measure), and we finished the race feeling relatively pleased – not the most beautiful of rows but an excellent race that left nothing in the tank.

The final results placed us 79th, the 25th fastest sweep crew overall and 7th in the elite coxless fours category. Not a bad result by any standards, now it’s time to build on this and start to prepare for the 8s head along the same stretch in 2011.

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