No one forgets their first win do they? And it's always good to see people progressing from our learn to row course into club racing. A good day for the Sons coxed four at Bourne Regatta 2014. Thanks to Charles for the write up.
I took the Learn to Row course in Summer 2013 and after 10 months of practice was desperate to pull on my brand new all-in-one ‘in anger’.
Our coach, Lju, decided to enter a Novice Four for the Borne Regatta on the 10th May. The crew included Andrew, who took the Learn to Row a few weeks after me and two Davids, both of whom were significantly more experienced, and rowed with sublime finesse (to my eye) but were also Novices, having not yet won a regatta.
Our first outing as a coxed four wasfive days before the race. We’d spent months practising our sculling, but hadn’t done much sweep rowing for ages. Nevertheless, we felt pretty good straight away - although our racing starts were fairly erratic.
On arrival at Mortlake on the morning of the 10th May, we were told our opponents had scratched so we would have a ‘row-over’- a concept with which I was previously unfamiliar. It seemed quite pointless but we ‘raced’ ourselves down the course and progressed to the next round.
Our opponents in the semis would be Kings College School Canterbury. I was delighted; they were mere school boys – how good could they be? And they only looked about twelve! My more experienced team-mates, David and David, looked slightly concerned. Apparently schoolboys trained every day before lessons and were often pretty quick.
This proved to be the case; they were off like a rat up a drainpipe but we kept up and raced neck and neck down Chiswick reach. The umpire kept warning both crews to move back to our stations and Peter, our cox, began crying, ‘They’re cheating!’ When we crossed the line, I didn’t know who’d won but I did see the red flag of the umpire. Kings College had crossed the line half a length ahead but were immediately disqualified for cutting the corner. Without winning a round, we were in the final!
The final would be against Quintin, the local boys, who had destroyed another school crew in their semis and looked pretty good to me. Lju, however, was confident that we could beat them, but we’d have to push hard.
Approximately eight hours after we’d met that morning to practice our starts, our final began. We started well, relaxed into our strokes and by half way, I could see were edging ahead. Their cox called for power strokes but this had little impact, we moved even further ahead. By the time, we crossed the line a length and a quarter ahead and I was nearly passing out.
It was great to be cheered on and congratulated by so many members of Sons, who were there to race and spectate; many of whom had helped on the Learn to Row course and have been so encouraging ever since.
I saw club captain Drago shortly after our final and asked him if he thought we looked good, he looked slightly pained and said, “Well… you won.”
I would strongly recommend the Learn to Row course and if you like it (which you will) would strongly recommend joining this club.
S: David Preece
B: David Bedford
Cox: Peter Horton
Coach: Lju Lazarevic
Written by Charles Oulton.