Eights were the duelling weapons of choice in the Sons of the Thames Rowing Club scratch regatta on Saturday 14th April. ( Incidentally, anyone thinking that I keep writing Sons of the Thames Rowing Club simply to improve search would be absolutely right.)
Now then... after a complex crew selection procedure involving a specially written computer programme and a hat, three mixed Eights took to the water for a sprint from the green post below the island to the LCSC mast. You might think that a friendly club event such as this would never generate quite the adrenalin of a regatta, but there again - there's something about being judged by your peers isn't there? All three Eights moved off together and it looked to be close until a backstay collapsed in the Colin Price and a seat something-or-othered in the Spirit leaving the crew of the Les Scrine to cross the line first. I've got some film of this which I will be putting up soon.
Abandoning camera duties I decided to occupy the six seat in the Spirit for the next race. The boat felt as if it was moving quite well and I was confident that we would win until the first start. This ended in a port and starboard with the Les Scrine crew a seat or two up. Restarting, it was close again until a crab in the other boat gave us several lengths lead which proved to be enough, despite a gutsy chase.
There was an unconfirmed rumour that the Spirit crew were the winners, and with an eye on the very nice mint chocolate medals Drago had bought, I decided that this must be true.
Big respect to Drago for organising and to Lu and Sanne for providing the excellent roast lamb (a whole one) and salads. The event seemed to work well both as a social and in simulating some of the tension of side by side regatta racing.