[Watermarked pictures copyright Al Craigie (fb)]
Of the Ladies
By Sarah call-me-Burgess.
Chesterton Ladies had a very successful day yesterday will all 3 of our boats getting to their finals. We started off proceedings at 8:34 with our open coxed IV and finished at 17:45 with our Masters coxed IV.
Our Ladies Masters Quad (Sarah C-H, Amanda, Meg and Katherine) had a bye to the final and were up against a very experienced Masters crew (composite of Peterborough and Leicester). Being a Master category above our ladies they also got a head start on the race, always making it difficult on such a short race to get them back. A very good row by our ladies!
Our Open Ladies Coxed IV (Meg, Eleanor, Catherine, Sarah B, Rachel) were less fortunate and in a category of 5 crews and got the short straw with Gravesend as the first race on the river at 8:34. It was a beautiful morning and when finally on the river it was lovely! Winning the first race by just over a length. The second race was up against one of the two Peterborough crews in the early afternoon with a win of two and a half lengths. The other Peterborough crew was also knocked out by our next competition Darwin College. Probably our youngest competition of the day and we had seen them out training the week before. The final was our best race of the day but also our third and the Darwin crew were just a little longer and faster beating us by 1 3/4 lengths.
Our Masters Coxed IV (Anne, Angela, Pamela, Renata, Kate) a different line up to the last year but still a very successful crew. Winning their Semi-Final against St Ives by 4 lengths (not sure when easily is put!) and coming back for the Final (one of the last races of the day) to take on Devils Elbow and taking home the pots by winning by 1 and a third lengths. Well Done Ladies, Renata's first pot with Chesterton and Anne's first coxing pot.
Masters Coxed IV
Race report from Anne.
Sunday 9 September dawned fine and sunny for 99s regatta. We had entered a Master’s C IV+ with Angela, Pamela, Renata, Kate and me coxing only my second regatta. 99s in their infinite wisdom, compelled all coxes to complete a totally time-wasting exercise of being weighed on Ditton Field, which is totally inconvenient if you are boating from town Surprise, surprise, I weighed more than 55Kg.
Back now to the business of the race. We had only had one outing in this combination which had been scrappy to be polite. The 3 stalwarts of W2 insisted we had the same start as W2 in bumps which did at least avoid any discussion on that point. Bow pair needed to row together more evenly to stop any lurch to stroke side off the start – very scary for a cox.
Out first opponents were St Ives. They didn’t look too intimidating in their row to the start. We actually got a 3 second advantage off the start as we were Masters C and they were youngsters at Masters B. I was relieved to get on the stake boat at my first attempt Remembered to keep my hand up until we were ready. Then we were off on the first go. 3,2,1, go. Then St Ives. And we kept nicely in front the whole way down the Reach. No sneaking up on us just when everyone gets a bit tired. Through to the final. Hooray.
5 hours later, we faced Devil’s Elbow, who were also Master’s C, and who we thought looked significantly younger than us. Must have been using their moisturiser. The start was much windier and our bows started floating off at 45 degrees from the stake boat. But eventually after the umpire had straightened us both up, and clearly enjoyed using his megaphone, we were both off. And steadily and consistently we slowly drew away. So long as no one caught a crab, I knew it was ours. And it was!
It’s great to pass the finish line first. Pots and showing our BR cards – the ones we bring but don’t like to mention, in case we don’t need them.