With the Sons crews heading to warmer waters for rowing camp, it's time to do the capsize drill and learn how to get yourself back in the boat ... or find out how hard it is to do.
With the regatta season fast approaching its time to get some racing starts in.
With the start of Regatta season, Sons Ladies have been working extra hard on their starts and short fast pieces. A grueling rowing camp over Easter left us all a little worse for wear and blistered. Putting our newly refined skills to the test at Hammersmith Amateur Regatta we entered a coxed four and an eight, many of us rowing in both boats. With three heats for the 4+ and two for the 8+ we had a total of 5 races! Rowing against Team Kean, Kings College Wimbledon and Putney Town, we managed to walk through all the heats! Winning not only one, but two of our races! Two boats, tow pots (the winning trophy) Needless to say, we are all pretty stoked!
Congratulations to our local rivals Auriol Kensington on winning the Dewar Shield 2018, and thanks to Furnivall for running it.
The three clubs fielded 18 eights, which was an achievement in itself. [Ed: It also explains the lack of a photo: our cameraman was required as a last-minute substitute.] Conditions were fast with times for the Mortlake to Hammersmith course ranging from 11:14 to 11:47. AK Womens 1 were the most impressive crew finishing 4th overall. The Sons senior crews achieved respectable times but our best performances came from the Veteran and Novice crews. The event will help everyone involved to prepare for the forthcoming Head Races.
Despite our race initiation taking place back in the Autumn at Henley, the Quintin Head Race still held many firsts for the Novice crews. Our first Tideway head. Our first experience of a large-scale race (and marshalling). Our first race in Winter and all the cold, rain, wind and waves that come with that. And, most importantly (& startlingly) the first for many in Lycra!
In short, few of us knew what to expect, except that the 4.8k would likely feel a great deal longer on race day than it did during weekend training sessions. On this, we were proved correct.
With support from senior members of the Club, the Men’s crew were entered in IM3 and the Ladies’ crew became a mixed boat. This meant we were competing against a rather different set of rowers, many with more experience – even if they did still need ID to buy a pint.
As our first Tideway Head, this was always targeted as a learning experience: a chance for us to test out our technique with added pace and show the coaching team our progress and where we need to focus our development plans as a team. For the crews, we gained valuable experience and confidence as we look ahead to WHORR and HORR in March. So a positive day all round.
Following a tough day of racing we had one more first…the benefit of the club house bar after a Tideway Head Race
Wrapping up the year at Christmas always makes us think of all the fantastic people we have had rowing at Sons. Here is a short reel of some of these lovely people.
* * MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR * *
Six of the Sons Mens Masters entered the Scullers Head this year. This has been one of the toughest events in the rowing calendar since it was rescheduled from April to December. The 2017 race was no exception. Early starters had little help from a slack flood tide over the course from the Mile Post to Chiswick Staithe. Later starters had to endure a numbingly cold wait before racing and were still showing the effects as they passed Sons. Congratulations to Mirko for finishing first and fastest of the Sons scullers in a time of 19m44s. And also to Pete, Greg, Dave, Tim and Bruno for rising to the challenge: four miles flat out in a single is very demanding both mentally and physically.
Seals have been visiting the Tideway since the river was cleaned up and oxygenated in the 1980s. This one was enjoying the sun on the sailors' pontoon on 17 November 2017.
Mirko, Dave, Tomaso and Pete retained the MMasA.4- pennant at the Veteran Fours Head, finishing fifth overall behind four quads. The crew has been short of training this year – too many weddings, too few ergos - but they looked good value for their win over opposition from Thames and Warsaw.
The race ran on the ebb tide as usual but finished at Ranelagh so as to avoid the tunnel works below Putney. No veterans were complaining about the shortened course: the Pairs Head finish at Harrods would have been quite sufficient for most of us. Racing conditions were excellent with early drizzle clearing before the race started and flat water apart from launch washes. The club entered six crews in all. The WMasA.4+ almost matched the MMasA.4- achievement but finished just 7 seconds off the pennant for their division. The older crews were outshone on this occasion by the youngsters but generally rowed or sculled well enough to enjoy the day.