Despite our race initiation taking place back in the Autumn at Henley, the Quintin Head Race still held many firsts for the Novice crews. Our first Tideway head. Our first experience of a large-scale race (and marshalling). Our first race in Winter and all the cold, rain, wind and waves that come with that. And, most importantly (& startlingly) the first for many in Lycra!
In short, few of us knew what to expect, except that the 4.8k would likely feel a great deal longer on race day than it did during weekend training sessions. On this, we were proved correct.
With support from senior members of the Club, the Men’s crew were entered in IM3 and the Ladies’ crew became a mixed boat. This meant we were competing against a rather different set of rowers, many with more experience – even if they did still need ID to buy a pint.
As our first Tideway Head, this was always targeted as a learning experience: a chance for us to test out our technique with added pace and show the coaching team our progress and where we need to focus our development plans as a team. For the crews, we gained valuable experience and confidence as we look ahead to WHORR and HORR in March. So a positive day all round.
Following a tough day of racing we had one more first…the benefit of the club house bar after a Tideway Head Race