Monday 29 September 2014

The Hunt

The unique thing about rowing races is that the crew can see threats coming up behind but only the coxswain can see the boat in front.
This makes it very difficult to overtake. A cox can shout and scream about how near the opposition is and how easily they can get past, but the crew never really takes it seriously. Meanwhile, the crew in front can see doom approaching and redoubles their efforts.
Gladys got stuck behind our rival Claydon skiff Witchoar for ages. They started slightly before us for some reason. Here we are slogging through Chiswick unable to get past.
Here's another attempt failing.
Eventually it got too absurd and we managed to up the stroke rate for long enough to get through. Then Witchoar seemed to lose heart, as often happens. Now we could see their timing get ragged as they faded into the distance.
But as we approached the finish line, it nearly happened to us.
Here we are emerging from Richmond Bridge, pursued by the camera boat (why, I cannot imagine).
Just a few seconds later, came this:
Solent galley Bembridge, with a crew of cocky 40+ youngsters who have been loudly threatening to get past us in the GRR for years without success. Here they are storming past the Pembrokeshire longboat Yellow.
This time it was us who had to give everything we had as we saw the much faster boat relentlessly approaching. But we held them off, finishing a few boat lengths ahead - 14 seconds ahead in fact.
But that was GOOD ENOUGH. Gladys was 30th, Bembridge 31st. Yay us!
Thanks to Ron and Cheryl Williams for the top pictures, and Paula Bray for the lower ones.

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