July 14, 2008

Henley Win

My Grosvenor Rowing Club crew prevailed in the first heat of Veteran E quads at Henley, beating Bewl Bridge Rowing Club from Kent, the verdict "Easily", which means more than 5 lengths, even though we had taken the rating down to 29 after the first 250m and were only doing a little more than paddling at the end of the race.

In the other heat Hornets RC from Cambridge turned the tables on Worcester, who had beaten them at the National Veterans Regatta in Nottingham though only just. They won by only 1/2 a length in a time of 3.52, which was 8 secs slower than our time, achieved when we were not pressed. So we were optimistic for the outcome of the pending afternoon final.

Click this image to view the video of the final of E quads at Henley Veterans Regatta

And so it turned out. We went ahead after the first few strokes and had clear water by half way, see video clip here (which is a big file and takes several minutes to download even with broadband). Then we took the rate and pressure down again and cruised to a comfortable win in order to save ourselves for the final of D4x against Tideway Scullers School.

Click image to see video and be prepared for a long wait during the download!

Sadly our youngster, who was going to sub in to bring the average age and the weight of the crew down and also increase its power, injured his back in the week before the regatta so we raced with the same combination that won the E (over 55s) event. However, we were giving away too much and TSS, with ex-Grosvenor sculler, Chris Williams, sculling in the 3 seat, had a cracking start, which meant that within seconds we were bobbing around in their not-inconsiderable wash and couldn't get a rhythm until they were about 3 lengths ahead, far too much too recoup in a short 1000m race.


So we only came home with one medal each from Henley but this is one more than any of us had ever acquired before so we were all thrilled.

The crew was:
Bow: Steve Walker (steering) (oldest and lightest - 64kg)
2: Brian Chapman (rebuilt following a motor cycle crash two years ago)
3: John McMahon (rebored after a heart attack two years ago)
Stroke: Mike Allwood (only kept alive by daily exercise)

Posted by Stephen Walker at 03:45 PM

July 09, 2008

Henley Veterans' Regatta

I'll be going down to Henley again this Friday but this time to race. I'll be competing for my club, Grosvenor Rowing Club, in a quad scull. We've entered a D crew (over 50) and an E crew (over 55, one of whom has had his body rebuilt follwing a motorcycle crash two years ago and another of whom had a heart attack last year and has had a rebore). I'll be steering (with my foot) from the bow seat. I've flourescent yellow blades so I'm easy to spot and less likely to get run into!

If you look at the draw you'll see that in the E4x we face Bewl Bridge RC from Kent at 10.04 on Saturday and if we win then we'll race the winner of Hornets BC and Worcester at 15.36 in the final.

We have a straight final in the D4x at 16.56 against Tideway Scullers School from London, one of the most highly regarded clubs in the world so we have our work cut out!

Posted by Stephen Walker at 03:12 PM

July 08, 2008

Turbo II Wing available in Ireland

There is a new Turbo II Wing with a nice pair of composite oars in the South of Ireland ready and waiting for some lucky person to buy at a special 10% discount. Call me on +44 (0) 7985 043 981 to buy this boat.

Posted by Stephen Walker at 02:15 PM

July 03, 2008

Belle Ile Rowing Tour in Yoles

A picture saves a thousand words.

And that is only day one!

I'm off to Henley Royal Regatta now and hope to have time to post some more pictures of Belle Ile upon my return.

Posted by Stephen Walker at 10:43 AM