Strong Town showing for Vet 4s Head
After the exploits of the senior squads on Saturday, five masters crews from our masters squads took to the same Championship course to complete in the Veteran Fours Head of the River Race. The weather was equally difficult, with the race in some doubt as the crews gathered above Chiswick Bridge ready to race. Simon and Camilla report:
With a last minute sub, the masters women raced a W4x D crew for time only in what was their inaugural race of the season. And what a great race for a scratch crew that had never paddled together before! The strategy was a strong start, maintain a steady rhythm and doable rate with no heroics for a slightly unfit sub and a newly qualified steers (Sue), and lots of smiling to relax and enjoy. A practice start on the ergo ten minutes before boating, rehearsed the crew for a fantastic first 30 strokes in the race instantly pulling away from the surrounding competition. Claire at stroke held a fantastic rhythm of 28-29 throughout the piece. Purists among you probably say you shouldn’t crack jokes during a major head race but the “actress said to the bishop” tripped surprisingly off the tongue of caller Cam at one point to keep the crew smiling through the chop and wind at Putney as they wound it nicely up through the finish line.
5th out of 9 in the Mas D category was a pleasing result. Congrats to Claire, Simone, super-sub Cam and Sue!!!
In keeping with the squad’s size and well attended commitment to coached outings at weekends, no less than four crews were entered for the annual veteran fours head. The V4HORR always attracts some of the best veteran crews in the country and this year was no exception.
Stroked by Bill and steered by Alex, the Mas D4- crew raced a solid first half. With a focus on maintaining length and run, the crew pulled away from Marlow off the start and kept pace with Norwich, just ahead. After Hammersmith, the chop came into play and Norwich unfortunately moved away to 15 seconds by the finish. The crew finished 6 out of 8 for the Masters age category in 22:11.
The squad also entered crews in Mas F4-, E4+ and G4x- but unlike previous years where progress in category finishing positions had been encouraging, this year saw previous year’s gains and improvements given up. Adequate water time preparation proved difficult to co-ordinate in the run up to the race for all crews and would doubtless have had some impact on performances on the day.
MasD.4- 70th (6th from 8)
W.MasD.4x- 148th (5th from 9) – Time only
MasF.4- 152nd (9th from 9)
MasG.4x- 177th (5th from 5)
MasE.4+ – 190th (11th from 11)