Putney Town Regatta 2013 : From the women's novice coxed four

All the training we did in the winter is starting to pay off… That’s one of lessons we have learnt from Putney Town Regatta.

We took 3 Women’s boat to race, a WN4+, a WN8+ and a WIM38+. 

This is the tale of the WN4+’s crew: Stroke – Babs, 3 – Lucy, 2 – Josie; Bow – Sandra and Cox – Tash.

We met early in the morning for a pre-race outing and, as the river was quiet, we managed to enjoy some time with Paul, one of our coaches. Racing starts were on the menu and we tried to go for it, show him what we could do. We kept getting one of Paul’s favourite lines: up, up, UP!!

Yes, we were nervous but a good kind of nerves that gives you butterflies in your stomach because we were so keen on getting the first race out of the way. Our goal: win 1 race. We had BBL ‘A’ Boat in our Quarter-Final and, although we would have to through a Semi to get to the Final, in our heads, that first race of the day, wasour Final. We wanted to prove ourselves that we could do it.

And… we did!! We got to the start with plenty of time to relax, dekit and take on some water (unlike at Chiswick Regatta, where we started the race as soon as we arrived at the start, 20 minutes early!). We watched the school kids race – we still get tired just from the mad rushing of the slide!

We lined up with BBL, the Umpire called up the race and the clubs and ‘Attention, Go’ and we were off! Our start was good, we’re not sure if we had them off the start because we were all focussed on rowing as a crew and doing our own race. We won with, at least, 2 lengths, in a controlled way and we enjoyed every bit of it. We always make sure that we greet our opposition and Tash called for 3 Cheers for Barnes Bridge Ladies.

We couldn’t believe it!! We beat a boat!! So, we spun the boat and rowed up back to Sons for a rest, next race would be 2 hours later and we took a nice paddle back.

Next, we raced Parr’s. We were under no illusions that because we won one race, we would do the same thing again. But, all 5 of us, said: we’re going to row our own race. We had Susi and David from the Novice squads supporting us at the start – thanks, guys!!!

It was hard(er) work, it was an awesome race, and we loved it because we kept going and pushing off Parr’s boat. We kept together and our finish saw us win with at least ½ length. 3 Cheers for Parr’s and we cheered ourselves!! We were going to the final! WOW!! When we got back to the club, the rest of the racing squad was down and Paul came round in the launch to find out the result. We had made it to the Final! Thumbs up, coach!

The final… well, let’s say that we’re still Novice rowers… But no way are we feeling defeated. Our opposition were King’s College and we did our best to stick it to them. King’s C. won with 4 lengths but kept up the fight.

Bring on Peterborough, we’re ready for you!

Barbara Pinheiro

Bruce Maclachlan