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Lincoln Head 2012

The pot that never was!

The pot that never was!

Loughborough Boat Club Masters D VIII (Masters D crew has an average age between 50 and 55!) knew that they had a tough challenge from Nottingham Boat Club/Nottingham Union crew at Lincoln Head of the River Race – which was contested over 5500m of the River Witham at Lincoln last Sunday. Loughborough’s Winter training had not gone well, with several injuries and key personnel taking holidays, and the actual crew had never been out together in that exact form until the day. But in the last training outing on Saturday, the crew (still without Captain Keith who was away supporting the LBC juniors at the Regional Trails at Nottingham) the crew had “clicked” and so optimism was high in the beautiful Spring weather which graced the event at Lincoln.


The Head Race format is against the clock and the Nottingham crew started some 20 seconds behind Loughborough, and were always in sight of the key tactician Keith in the stroke seat of the Loughborough Boat. He knew he had to drive his men especially hard at the start and Loughborough pulled away in the first 1000m; but then half way into the race Nottingham were pressed by a faster Doncaster Schools crew in a different event coming up behind them, and the competition to keep ahead allowed Nottingham to regain the deficit on Loughborough who were rowing well above their training rate. There was a fear that this speed could not be sustained over the entire gruelling 20 minutes or more of the race. After 10 minutes sinews were busting and lungs were bursting as the Nottingham crew, pressed by Doncaster Schools remained stubbornly in sight. But the Loughborough cox, O’Shean, managed the pace well and inspired the Loughborough men to further effort. Eventually the Doncaster crew overtook the Nottingham crew who then faded towards the end of the gruelling race, and the pressure came on the Loughborough “geriatrics” to stave off the Doncaster Schoolboys. The last 1000m of the race was in a red mist, according to several of the Loughborough men – from the the eldest, 61 year old Nick, to the youngest, 45 year old Andy. Eventually the cox called for the last 20 strokes and the Loughborough crew started to pull away again from the Doncaster boys, before collapsing – fully spent – at the finish line.


Loughborough had a total of 5 crews of various sizes and status entered. When the times were published LBC’s Tom Scholefield had won the Senior Sculls, and the Loughborough Master’s VIII had beaten the Nottingham crew by 9 seconds. But knowing that the Nottingham crew had a higher average age, a “handicap” would be applied to the relative times – giving the trophy to Nottingham. The Loughborough VIII were therefore very surprised when they were called out at the prize ceremony to receive their trophies – individual cut glass brandy glasses engraved with the Lincoln Imp to match similar trophies several members of the crew had won in 2011. In celebration the photos were taken and preparations made to depart, before the Race Officials agreed that “the pot that never was” had been wrongly awarded and the trophies had to be re-wrapped and given back, to be finally given to Nottingham. Knowing they were not entitled to them, Loughborough did this in good grace and without rancour.


For several of the Loughborough crew, this is the third dubious happening against a Nottingham crew. At the Ironbridge regatta in 2011, Loughborough beat Nottingham in the knock-out semi-final, but the regatta was called off before the final when excessive driftwood coming down from Shrewsbury made the river dangerous. Later the same year, at Stourport regatta, a Stourport VIII was forced to retire from the final when one of their crew suffered a heart attack, and a scratch crew from Bewdley and Loughborough was rapidly assembled to “give them a race” – but Nottingham won by 1 1/2 lengths.


With this history, the next time Loughborough and Nottingham local rivals meet on the river, the memory of these events, and the “pot that never was” will make the race very special!

LBC Squad selected for Junior Inter-Regional Regatta

On Saturday 10th March, five members of the LBC Junior squad attended the East Midlands Division trials, and competed for selection for the Junior Inter Regional Regatta. With resounding success, all five juniors have been selected to represent East Midlands and will compete at Holme Pierrepont on 28th April.


Daniel Walder and Charlie Macnamee have been selected to compete in two crews J15 4X+ and J15 4+.  Both Lucy Agar and Bethan Henry will be part of the WJ16 8 crew, and Scott Boardman won selection in the J16 4+ category.


The winter training and hard work has paid off. Coaches Steward Ward, Keith Hudson and Jonathan Day are delighted and are now focusing on preparation for the event.


Good luck Guys!!

Loughborough Ladies Tackle the Tideway!

This year the WEHORR was represented by two LBC crews, it is more than a decade since this has occurred. One key member, whose vision and constant positive attitude, not to mention dedication and belief, made this possible. No prizes for guessing, of course I am referring to Ladies Captain Zoe Poyner.


On the morning of 3rd March 2012, sixteen nervous rowers and two willing coxes prepared to take to the water on the banks of theThames. Along with the other 2574 competitors racing in 288 craft, LBC crew numbers 227 and 274 battled for both position and water within the congested river. This was merely the task of rowing to the start, and I can tell you there were some shocking and questionable manoeuvres by other ‘advanced’ crews.  However, coxswains Tim Ives and Mike Targett, both first time tideway boys, were equal in competence, composure and professionalism.


Despite a shower of rain before racing commenced, the clouds parted to allow the sun to shine. And as the 11 o’clock chimes rang out, the bank-side cheers began, closely followed by the thundering sound of the elite crews blades as they fought their way towards the finish line.


Perfect spectator seats were lost as the two LBC crews were marshalled from the band stand towards Mortlake and the Starting position. No time for nerves now, as boat after boat peeled off to catch the tide.  First of the LBC boats past the start of the Ship Pub were crew 227 WIM3.8+. Followed a few minutes later by W.NOV8+ crew 274.


Determination, pain, aggression, pain, concentration, pain, control, pain, perseverance and pain! These were just a few of the emotions experienced by the ladies as they powered their way along the course. Both crews held a good rhythm; however their skills were tested when after Hammersmith Bridge the river direction change made conditions choppy.


By Fulham Football ground, the boats were focused again, and fighting to the end. Putney Pier was indeed a sight for sore backs. Sixteen very exhausted rowers made their way back to Barn Elms Boathouse and found the strength to carry boats back to base.


Congratulations to the three junior members Bethan Henry, Lucy Agar and Rachel Grewcock who experienced the first of hopefully many Tideway adventures. Thanks go to Keith Hudson, Andy Skinner and Charlie Henry whose help and support throughout the day was both much needed and appreciated.


Crew 227 IM3.8+ of Lindsey Skinner, Erica Gummery, Lucy Agar, Zoe Poyner, Megan Devlin, Laura Livesey, Rachel Grewcock and Bethan Henry. Cox Tim Ives. Finished in position 250, in a time of  24.56.23.


Crew 274 WNOV.8+ of Jenny Smith, Emma Heygate, Carol Cunningham, Gill Hepworth, Kate Henry, Hazel Bickerstaff, Sandra Martin and Di Hope-Cokayne. Cox Mike Targett. Finished in position 280, in a time of 26.21.26.


Winning crew number 12ThamesRC A finished in a time of 20.10.92. Well girls we have some work to do but who knows, this time next year! Watch this space.

Nottingham Trent Head 2012

Four boats and twenty nine competitors enjoyed unusually balmy temperatures and glorious sunshine yesterday at the Nottingham Trent head.


The early division saw the WMasB/C 8+ crew of Jen Smith, Emma Heygate, Carol Cunningham, Gill Hepworth, Kate Henry, Hazel Bickerstaff, Sandra Martin and Di Hope-Cokayne take to the water. Coxed by Mike Targett the crew put in a solid performance over the 6km course, perfect training for the upcoming WHORR. This Ladies eight is becoming more polished every outing, impressive enough for their crew photo to grace the pages of the Nottingham Post!


There were no LBC crews in the shorter middle division, but thankfully the weather held and the sun remained for the final division. Lucky crew number 7, the new IM3.4x- combination of Andrew Martin, Jonny Frear, Adam Fairbrother and Simon Gee were the first and the fastest of the LBC boats to tackle the 6km stretch of the Trent.


Jonathan Day, Chris Smith, Shane Frear and David McCaughan with cox Tim Ives finished a respectable mid table in the IM3.4+. The 6km course must have felt short for these guys, who are also crew members of the LBC Boston Marathon Eight. Together with Adam Fairbrother, Simon Gee, Henry Simpkin and Scott Boardman they will compete over the 31mile course in the rescheduled 2011 Marathon on 1st April.


Finally the W.IM3.8+ crew of Lindsey Skinner, Erica Gummery, Lucy Agar, Zoe Poyner, Megan Devlin, Laura Livesey, Helen Fairbrother and Bethan Henry coxed by Captain Keith Hudson put in what was described as a ‘spunky’ performance over the 6km course despite damaging their rudder approaching the start. Both Ladies eights crews will be competing at the WHORR, here’s hoping the sun continues to shine for all the Loughborough Ladies who will be rowing the Tideway on 3rd March.


Good luck Girls!!

ADT support LBC’s Boston Marathon Attempt

Local Taxi Firm, Ashley David Taxis (ADT) are supporting LBC’s Boston Marathon attempt, in aid of local children’s charity STEPS, by supplying transport to LBC’s Marathon Crew for the event.


ADT have kindly offered a minibus to support with the transportation of LBC crew to the Boston Rowing Marathon on the 1st April 2012. This has resulted in the 9 man crew being able to travel as a crew to and from the rowing challenge and will no longer have to drive back to Loughborough after rowing the 50.2km (31 miles), to which they are rowing to raise funds for local children’s charity, STEPS!


LBC would like to thank ADT for their generous offer in the current economic climate and for their support LBC’s charity fundraising efforts.


To find out more about ADT click here.

LBC’S Boston Marathon 2012 in aid of STEPS

On Sunday 1st April  9 crew members from Loughborough Boat Club will be rowing a 50.2km (31 mile) rowing marathon in aid of local children’s charity, Steps.

The non stop Boston rowing marathon, held between Lincoln and Boston, will take several hours to complete by the 9 man crew but will be well worth it to raise deserved funds for LBC’s chosen local charity.

The IM3 8 that are due to take up their oars and row the course are: Adam Fairbrother, Chris Smith, Shane Frear, Jonathan Day, Simon Gee, Zoe Poyner, Henry Simkin, David McCaughan and coxed by Timothy Ives.

The crew are due to increase their training schedule over the upcoming weeks to ensure that they are ready for the challenge with plenty of off and on water training activities planned for the weeks to come.


The crew hope that you would be able to make a donation to the cause and help us to raise as much as possible.


Thank you for your support.


To find out more about STEPS click here to find out more.