The club’s second intra-club race day took place on 16th September 2017, this time off the Exmouth sea front allowing the local community a grandstand view of the spectacle.
The crews this time were ‘Five strokers + two small cox’, ‘Unleash Hell’, ‘Ben’s babes & Jeff’ and ‘Bring It’. The rules were simple: out to the buoy and back.
First out were Five strokers vs Unleash Hell. Both crews began well with Five strokers edging ahead off the start. Once both boats had found their rhythm, Unleash Hell crept up and began to pull away. By the mark they had a clear water lead and managed to hold on until the finish.
Ben’s babes vs Bring it was next, the latter making some crew adjustments on the beach. They eventually found their rhythm but Ben’s babes had a comfortable lead by the mark, which they didn’t give up.
No rest for the wicked, though. The babes were immediately out again against Five strokers. Despite some raw power in the crew, Five strokers struggled to find their rhythm in a different boat and Ben’s babes made it two from two.
Unleash Hell swapped out Rodney for Avocet, racing against Bring it. For the second time that day Unleash Hell enjoyed a controlled but powerful start that gradually edged them ahead. The advantage they had gained by the turn was enough to row home long and strong for another win.
This meant two crews were unbeaten, and they were racing next.
Ben’s babes were the fresher crew, but they had several boat lengths to make up by the time they made the turn. Unleash Hell took a relatively wide line, maintaining boat speed as they looked to consolidate their lead. Ben’s babes went far tighter around the mark, this kept them further from shore and in the strongest incoming tide. This advantage immediately told. Ben’s babes crept up on Unleash Hell inch by inch every stroke on the way in until there was barely a boat length in it. The fatigue from a double header was now telling, but Unleash Hell kept the rhythm and dug deep to hold off their rivals by half a length. A fitting ‘final’.
There was still more to come, although some rowers probably wish there wasn’t! The effort put in up to now had resulted in a few injuries so Five strokers and Bring it had to draft in some ringers. It had been a long day – you could see it on the rowers faces – but that didn’t stop some great rowing to finish. An appropriate level of encouragement spurred on Bring it to give them their first win of the day. This left them in 3rd place overall, with Five strokers an honourable 4th.
Big thanks to everyone who took part. You put on a great show!