Dewar Shield 2013 : From the Sons M1 boat
After waiting for a year to race the Dewar Shield (for reasons not to be spoken about here), the day had finally come round again! A year of anticipation had increased the enthusiasm within the club and a whopping 72 people signed up for this year's challenge, filling eight boats from Sons (four men's crews, three women's and one mixed). Boats were begged, borrowed and stolen from around the Tideway and thanks must be mentioned to Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club, Thames Rowing Club and Vesta Rowing Club. Some last-minute scrambling ensured that the last boat was filled - thank you to all the rowers, coxes, timers and marshals that participated to make this year's event so great!
To the race, I was racing in the first men's crew and we got out onto the water promptly (after a good warm-up row in the morning and to ensure we didn't clash with the schools who were running an impromptu head race outside Sons). The race preparation was going well right up until a launch (unrelated to the Dewar Shield race) washed us down and half-filled the boat with water necessitating a quick stop at Tideway Scullers for a boat empty (without wellies as we were in race mode!). Back on the water and a soaking wet crew had to wait for over half an hour in the freezing cold for the start, as a school octuple had managed to wrap themselves around Barnes Railway Bridge. School kids rescued, the race started (with reluctant de-kitting!) and my boat rowed over at the head of the river. We had a determined row knowing that Auriol Kensington Rowing Club had a good crew after a close result at Quintin Head. The crew showed some of the symptoms of the early part of the season but the boat speed was there and we managed to secure the fastest time at just over 11 minutes.
A quick shower to thaw out (along with the traditional club photo) and then over to Furnivall Sculling Club for the results. A set of strong and promising results from around the club but the shield was lost by one point owing to a very strong showing by the hosts, Furnivall, in the women's races. Congratulations to Furnivall on their victory (a deserved one this year after the controversy of last year). Thanks also to Auriol Kensington for organising this year's event. We look forward to next year when, rest assured, Sons will be even stronger and I hope will show out in force once again.
Ross Cook, Men's Captain and at five in Sons M1