You might have seen on Facebook that we had a lovely day out in sunny Lincolnshire at the Boston marathon yesterday and rowed some decent times. It was really fun to have three CSRC boats in it.
Obviously we wouldn't usually send a post-race email, but on behalf of the 8+ (and the other two boats), I'd like to thank a load of people from the club who helped out. None of us could have raced yesterday without the support of the rest of the club.
Alison Johnson trained in the 8+ the whole way through the summer, but when we got to the point where we had to make 8 from 9, she very selflessly offered to be the one to give up her seat. We're really gutted she missed it, she made a massive contribution to the boat.
Awesome cox Alice! She did a really brilliant job. Despite being squashed in a miniature seat for over four hours she maintained her calm and controlled exterior throughout (even when dropping her notes in the river after 15 km), but let aggressive Alice emerge anytime we found another boat to overtake, which she did with respect but also evident glee. She kept us simultaneously focussed and entertained for 44km, and then unleashed super-competitive Alice for the last 6km and made sure we really got the best out of ourselves right to the last stroke.
Super-sub Emma B knew from the start that she wasn't actually available to do the race, but offered to 'sit in the odd time if you need someone'. She ended up doing more outings than nearly anyone else in the boat - not something she signed up for, but she did it enthusiastically and it was great to have her.
We also had lots of other people who sat in for outings, and without them there would basically have been no outings at all. Some people rowed, and some people even did the unenviable job of coxing us. Thanks to Chris P, Petrina, Fran, John J, John E, Mike L, Gareth, Beth, Donald, Piers, Vicky, Janet, Chris W, Cat T, Tref, David S, Simon T and Katy E, and I really apologise to anyone else I have accidentally missed out.
There was also a whole other group of people who offered to make themselves available to sit in for outings if needs be - we didn't end up needing them but their offer was very much appreciated. Thanks to Sarah H, Alan, Mike P, Sarah D, Dexter and Taylor (and again anybody I have forgotten, sorry!).
Big thanks to our great support crew yesterday - Simon T, Donald, Piers, Pete and Niall. They rigged and derigged, loaded and unloaded, transported boats and people to and from the race, carried boats, blades and bits n pieces, cycled along the bank yelling encouragement, popped up on bridges to give us a wave, and were generally brilliant. Thanks also to Chris S's wife Anne who filled a gap in the transport plan and dropped people to and from the race.
For the record….
Gareth did an awesome 4 hours 21 minutes 18 seconds in the IM1 single, his dedication and commitment to long lonely training sessions paying off handsomely.
The women's Masters E coxless quad of Vicky, Janet, Eli and Sarah Reay (Bedford) were the fastest women's boat in the race, set a new record (4 hours and 6 minutes) for the category, and also beat the previous IM1 and Masters D records.
The mixed IM 3 8+ (cox Alice, Stroke Cat McD, Karen, Ciara, Liz, Claire, Rosie, Simon C, bow Shirley) surprised themselves with a solid 4 hours and 26 seconds. This beat the previous mixed 8+ records for elite, senior, IM2 and IM3 (and also novice, J17, masters E and masters C). Although we were beaten by a Chesterton crew on the day, their boat was 4 men and 4 women, so we reckon we did pretty ok. Those 27 seconds are a pity as 3:59 would have been nice, but sure it gives us something to aim for next year. :)