Swanage Regatta was the venue for our 2nd regatta on the circuit and at 11.30am Rodney Bey and the crews had assembled on Sandspit Field over-looking the course. It was also great to be accompanied by some familiar faces from Sidmouth (Mike Perrington and Paul Clare) who were as keen as the Exmouth crews to get into the action. Thank you Mike and Paul.
First up were our mixed crew followed by the Ladies vets, Men’s vets, Men’s C, Ladies B and lastly Men’s B teams.
The mixed crew with Bob as Cox got a solid start and held a competitive position within the pack. By the 2nd mark Exmouth had dropped back from the main field but had 2 gigs behind them. It was great to see the guys gritting their teeth against a punishing headwind on the 3rd leg and cross the line in 15th position.
The late withdrawal of 3 Sidmouth rowers didn’t dishearten our ladies vets crew. Ben reshuffled the pack and with the help of 2 rowers from another club they went out to take their place on the start line. Racing in a competitive field and with new crew members is a challenge at the best of time. Full credit to our ladies vets crew, they battled hard all the way to the finish line amid massive cheers from the hill.
Carrie jostled Rodney Bey into an excellent starting position for the Men’s vets race, with the experience of Mike and Paul they were able to get off to a flyer rounding the 1st mark right in the mix. The second leg saw the guys drop back from the main field but still with 2 gigs in there wake. They held that position and crossed the finish line delighted with that result.
A similar result came before us for the Men’s C, Ladies B and Men’s B teams. All three crews started strongly and remained within a boat length of the leading pack until the first mark when the newer and lighter boats were able to pull away. The racing for all the crews was being fought in the 2nd half of the field, particularly in the Men’s B race where we embarked in a fierce battle with the experienced Langstone Bay Cutters crew. Langstone stole half a length off us soon after rounding the 3rd mark and had to go to the well to keep us out after a spirited fight back.
The talk throughout the day was not only the expansion of ‘Carries Coxing Classics’ (I want to see those bald patches moving – or something like that!) and Greg’s ‘Jaffa cakes for winners’ but also how each crew are becoming more and more established and competitive – A highly successful and enjoyable day.