“Give me more length” Jen, our coxswain gently urges at about 1000 metres into our coxed fours race at Weybridge Winter Head. At Vet (Masters) F it’s hard enough to keep a strike rate of 32 for 3k but to expect more length just shows the sadistic streak a really good cox needs. And, we all know that with the last 500m to go Jen will call for us to take the rate up to 36 and apply all the leg power we can.
The day started well with an enthusiastic buzz around the Walton Rowing Club Car Park. Walbrook had three eights, a ladies, a IM3 and a Vet F men’s, two men’s fours, a Vet E composite and a Vet F Men’s coxed, a junior coxed Quad, a ladies Quad and a Double, as well as a couple of our ladies in a composite. I was tremendous to have so many Walbrook participants, and to get four wins. The newly formed senior men’s eight had a fine result but just missed the ultimate price by 8 seconds.
“Up two, in two, and full pressure for twenty” Jen called as we entered the Desborough Cut, we were closing, and had been from the start on Maidstone Invicta (Vet E), and passed them in twenty strokes then closed in on Guildford’s Vet D crew (mere youngsters at an average age of 50). Apparently we maintained 32 over the whole course with spurts of 36. It was good to beat the opposition, not on handicap but on water time.
However, Matt Evans, our excellent coach, will not let us rest, for we have to start more serious training for the Molesey Vets Head on the 26th February when we know the competition will be fierce.