Northwich Regatta Round Up

Being still quite new to racing I’ve been told many times that rowing can throw some surprises.
After starting a double last August, Jane K and myself have had swiftly approaching pontoon surprises, stuck in trees surprises, but today Northwich presented a new one which I believe caught a few of us out. Even Heather..!
Today’s offering at Northwich Regatta was turning up believing you were in two races; (Womens Masters C/D 8 and Womens Novice double) but discovering you actually had to row five.
Visions of being knocked out early in a heat, in time to get home for a cheeky G&T, promptly vanished.

The sun was out and truly blazing. Northwich Catering Team did a cracking job under their tent keeping us hydrated. Delicious rocky-roads were being munched swiftly for fear they would melt, and even Kate found lunch by way of a creative veggie burger .

Back to racing. It turns out no one knew until after entries closed, that all crews had to race on both sides of the river, meaning two lots of 500m sprints for each race.
The Vic’s didn’t have many boats down to race due to exams (good luck everyone!) and holidays, but after Bev and Elizabeth had a glass tankard from their win earlier in the day, and the ladies 4 had won one of their rounds, the pressure was on and hopes were high.

Our first 2 races were in the 8 against a crew with John Bishops’ wife in it I believe, so I didn’t feel too bad that a celebrity crew beat us.
Both times.
Oh well, I like John Bishop.

After finishing that race, our double immediately found itself at the start of 3 races in a round robin against some slightly younger crews, roughly about 20 years slightly younger.
Clean race starts aside, our only tactic at this point now, was to row straight and make sure the big rusty brown boat at the start line didn’t end up with an Apollo sized hole in it, which we managed, but did lose.
We rowed back up to race another youthful double on the inside.
We had a wait at the top of the race; this time for a barge to park, creating a completely new obstacle to miss/hit and an opportunity to quiz our opposition over what revision they were missing….
A good start this time meant we kept up with our oppo, but vitality won again, leaving us to be cheered on for our efforts by various Vic’s crews along the bank (thanks!)
We turned around and rowed up again knowing we had to bust a gut for the last sprint.
We excelled at the start with Jane hurling ‘we’ve got this’ at me at the end of our 18th stroke, but we must have peaked too early and again another school kit crew left us behind…
To keep us being too despondent about our age, fitness and lifestyle choices, we had Mike, Heather, Bev and Kate giving support by helping us out of the boat, and offering up wise rowing condolences.
By this point, legs were beyond wobbly and brains were mush; Jane pointed out later in the car that Heather had to tell me three times which my left oar was. With that our race was over. Finally.

Surprises aside, we didn’t hit the side, didn’t whack any mallards (Jane), or leave any Vics J152x’s beached on the riverbank (still sorry…)
I also learnt, it might be best not to shout to your sculling partner ‘shall we just stop?’ halfway down the course, so all good.
Bring on the next one…or 5…

LVRC Entries for Northwich Regatta 2018
W 2x NOVICE LIV-WALTERS
W 4+ DIV1 LIV-HARRISON
W MasD/E 8+ LIV-GOOD (MasE)
W MasA 4x- LIV-THURSBY
W MasB 2x LIV-SMITH (WIN!!)
Op J16 1x LIV-WALTERS
Op MasA/G 1x LIV-VICK (MAS G)
Op J16 2x LIV-MCEVOY

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