A couple of weeks ago Amy H ventured off to the Metropolitan Amateur event at Eaton Dorney and then last weekend she was joined by Rosie at Plymouth. Here is the report from the Met Am. - thanks Annie:
We had the most fantastic time.
Amy managed to come in 4th in her heat and get through to the repechage. She was in 5th place at 1750m but put on a huge sprint and beat the Thames RC girl by, literally, a bowball. We had no idea at the time who had got through and had to go and find the results. Amy was thrilled to get another race. We had both expected her to be trailing way behind everyone else but it was brilliant to see her up in the mix.
It was a bit daunting when we arrived at Eton Dorney with all those big London Clubs but we found ourselves a spot under the trees next to Cambridge University Boat Club, near the boating area and with a good view of the events. The weather was perfect. The umpires were friendly and had a few chats with Amy since no one realised there was a rowing club at Taunton.
Two more wins at Monmouth last weekend (including an all Taunton J15 final) and several wins in the earlier rounds shows the club is well on track. Below is the story of the day from some of the competitors. More tales and photos are welcome...
On Saturday the 24th-25th may I took part in the Monmouth reggata weekend. On the first day it was a 1500 metre race. My first race was a heat against a strong cardiff rower I won this race by 2 lengths. It was now time for the final against again another cardiff rower. I had a terrible start which led him to winning by 3 lengths but I did gain on him by 2. I lost out on the cup but there was always day 2.
On day 2 it was a 750m sprint. My first race was against a Gloucester rower. He was a strong rower but I some how managed to beat him with out the current and him being in it. I won this race by 1 length. It was now time for the semi final against llandaff. He was a very good rower but I managed to beat him again like my heat without the current. Now it was time for the final. It was a all Taunton final, Sam takes on Kester in the j15 singles final. It was all level 500m in but after that I manged to sneak past him and win the race by a length and a half (not sure if this is true but that's what the commentator said). I WON!! my first ever event and medal in rowing. Well done to Kester for getting to the final and showing such sportsmanship at the end of the race. Can't wait to race him again:)
The day started very early and under grey skies, but with a bit of hope. My first race with the club after missing the whole of the winter season due to injury.
We arrived at a wet and muddy field and immediately donned our wellies and went to find the brave campers who endured a wet Saturdays racing and soggy night. I saw that the conditions were fast flowing and that it could prove tricky.
First race was the heats of the IM3, After meeting up with my opponent, who was from Swansea we made our way down the near side of the river, it was a good chance to see how bumpy the water was. Turning at the top of the course was challenging ( some larger crews managed to get into a bit of bother due to the flow and current), we drifted towards the starter and it was a rolling start. It felt really good to be back in action and putting all the recent training into action. I had a reasonable start and found myself in the lead, but had to be aware of the slight bend in the course that could throw you off course, luckily this wasn't a issue and I had manage to get some clear water and focused on maintaining the lead with out expending too much energy. Round 1 down and a victory by 2 ½ lengths. There was no time to relax as the boat had to be turned immediately due to the current and flow. The stewards had decided to shorten the course, I was pleased with this.
Next was the semi final of the IM3 ( timings has gone a little to pot by now!!) My opponent was from Llandaff, this proved to be a much closer race and victory was only by ½ a boat length. Credit to my opponent for a good honest race.
Shortly after came the semi final of the J17, My opponent was from Hereford, and I knew that this would be a tough test. We were a similar build and when chatting on the way done it was clear he had raced previously. It was a very close race and I had managed to get my boat in front just after the bend, but the challenger had not given up and it was a very close race, fortunately I won but by only 3 feet. After talking to Steve SD I realised that I had been very lucky as I had spent a lot of the race watching him rather that concentrating on my own race.
The final of the J17, I was really pleased with how this went and great to be back racing competitively again and I was so please that I managed to get clear water and build a large lead to complete my first victory.
Now on to the IM3 final and I have to say that I surpassed all of my expectations in reaching this. My opponent was for Leicester and looked a incredibly competent rower, and this proved to be the case. It was a good race which I lost by 2 lengths, but I took a lot from the race and come away from the regatta more that happy.
The day ended in sunshine and a wonderful day was had, with Taunton Rowing Club achieving some wonderful races. Congratulations must go to all who competed for the excellent spirit shown throughout the days racing,to the clubs supporters for the loud vocal support and to Steve SD for his calming words as we boated off.
Here's to the next one.
Gracie & Becca's story
On Saturday the weather conditions were terrible, it rained all day. Despite that, we went out and raced our quater finals and beat Monmouth by a few boat lengths. Not long after we had to race our Semi Final and sadly lost after giving it everything and a close finish.
On Sunday, the weather wasn't as bad but the flow of the river was quick, using that to an advantage we pulled away from Swansea winning our quarter finals. But we lost out on our Semi's and once again we finished as best as we could and not too far behind them
My (Gracie) single went okay, a few problems ocurred at the 500m point, sadly I lost in the quater finals but I put up a strong race and used it for experience to help me for future events.
Overall a great weekend, full of some great races!