The Month of May has been the month of wind at Damflask, so a hardy mini-group decided to escape to Nottingham... and found more wind. Of course. But it was the first chance this season for a bit of multi-lane fun and games, we'd had no road trips for ages, and we even had a supporters' squad in attendance - what more could anyone want?
Less wind, that's what you could want.
First up was Ciara in the novice 1x. First time racing in a single, first time racing in a non-coxed boat, first time going further than the length of the dam in a single, first time trying to get on a stakeboat...clearly it was all set up for a storming victory. Which was what happened! Well, in the race-within-a-race...two girls disappeared out of view and Ciara and the other one fought it out for the honour of 3rd. Despite being that idiot who needs three tries to get on the stakeboat (horrible crosswind), spending most of the race trying to stay in her lane (horrible crosswind), and probably rowing well over 2000m on a 2000m course (horrible crosswind), she held on and spurred on by the very welcome Sheffield shouts at the 1500m mark, got a place in the final.
Next was Gareth, also in a single, rowing up a category in IM1 because of a schedule clash - brave man! Unfortunately the others were able to show their IM1 experience and Gareth missed out on a placing. But a good effort, and all part of the learning.
Just before lunchtime was the novice final. Details of what actually happened are sketchy but it appears that Ciara MAY have somehow missed the race. But sure everyone needs to row back up a course on their own in the lane of shame at some point in their career. A learning experience, it's called.
Last CSRC action of the morning was Jo, in IM3 1x. This was Jo's first 1x race in a few years, and although she busted a gut in true Jo fashion, it wasn't quite enough to get to the final - IM3 being the very broad category that it is. But a good solid row from Jo.
With noone scheduled to race during the afternoon, and too much wind to sit around sunning ourselves, there was only one thing for it - an outing to Ikea. Ably led by Captain Piers we descended on the Emporium of Swedish Awesomeness at the best possible time of the week, because clearly nobody else wants to go there on a Saturday afternoon. But despite the crowds we battled on, bouncing on mattresses, perusing unidentifiable kitchen gadgets, and eating apple cake. Leaving with only a handful of pint glasses, some lunchboxes, an ice-cream scoop and a set of shelves was a pretty respectable achievement.
Next was a quick race through the traffic back across to the city to Holme Pierrepoint, in time for Gareth and Piers taking on allcomers in the IM2 2x. They too rowed a really solid race (aided by Scandanavia's finest caffeine drinks) and responded really well to some encouragement (or just general hollering) at the 1700m point to push on and give the other crews a real run for their money over the last few hundred metres. They finished 3rd, and were pretty pleased with their row, a good first 2x outing for the season.
So all in all, a successful day out (albeit without any pots) - race experience for Ciara, a frustrating but still useful race for Gareth, a good row for Jo in a strong field, and finished off with a satisfying race for Gareth and Piers. Topped off with an exciting family outing to a shopping mecca.
Thanks to the wonderfully enthusiastic (even at 8am!) support squad of Cat McD and Karen, and to Uni Ceri for towing.