The first of the double-day regattas for the season arrived and typically the weather was chilly, windy and pretty wet. Not to deter the hardened campers though who arrived on the Friday for an extra night of shivering, others returning home for central heating, log fires and hot showers!
Saturday had the 1000m sprint where two of our younger adults lost their sculling novices to much cheering and celebration. Anna Beck confidently winning the WNov 1x and Tim Ives taking the Nov 1x having beaten Bishop Vesey in an earlier round to take Guildford in the final. Tom Scholefield took home yet another win in his single at Elite status beating Monmouth by a sound two lengths as well as winning in an invitational race against St Ives by half a length. Rob Parks took the IM3 1x easily in the final.
Not to be outshone, the rather more mature members of the club took home a prize when Keith Hudson, Charlie Henry, Andy Martin and Nick Maker expertly coxed by Mike Target comfortably won in a straight final against Worcester in the Mas.D 4+.
Congratulations to others who made it through their first rounds to sadly be knocked out further along including Cathal McNally-Reilly at J14 1x. Rich Donnor successfully took on Hereford in his first heat, but succumbed to Guildford in the final and Emily Senior and Matilda Haines at WJ14 2x had a very close battle with Peterborough losing by only half a canvas. Erica Gummery and Zoe Poyner bravely took on Bewdleys women’s elite crew in their pair and although unsuccessful in their attempt, win the prize for the soggiest crew of the weekend, as they bravely sat at the start for an hour whilst the heavens opened and dumped a week’s worth of rain on them.
Sunday for the 500m sprints had a flurry of wins for Loughborough, especially with the juniors which came one after the other over the finishing line. Both Emily and Matilda confidently won their singles at WJ14 in the A and B events in straight finals, Emily beating Pengwern and Matilda taking Ironbridge. Cathal winning his J14 1x soundly again in a straight final and Alex Henry, having beaten Stourport in the first heat, eventually won the final of the J12 1x by a length against Derwent despite a dramatic re-row due to the first final having a capsized crew blocking the course 100m before the end. This exciting final capped a fabulous afternoon for the youngsters of the club. Oisin McNally-Reilly put up a brave fight in his J15 1x, but having been ahead in a brutal battle to the finish, narrowly missed out on a pot by being pipped at the post by just half a length by his opposition.
For the adults, Rich looking confident had a fabulous win in both his first heat taking on Guildford and then the final against Pengwern to lose his novices by taking the prize for the Nov 1x. The men’s MasD 4+, fielding the same crew as Saturday, had yet another win, this time against Guildford, looking relaxed and together to take home one more pot. Tom and Rob took home the prize for their IM1 2x when they successfully beat Guildford in the semi-final by three lengths and Hereford in the final by two lengths. The WIM3 8+ triumphantly made it through their first heat against Devil’s Elbow, but sadly didn’t quite get that elusive win in the final being beaten by our old friends Bewdley. Kate Henry and Suze Wynne achieved the best steering of the weekend by beautifully parking the WNov 2x on the landing stage fifty meters from the end of the course – during the race. Blame goes to a damaged fin.
Well done to all those that raced – winners, not quite losers and those plucky enough to enter, and a big thank you to anyone who was there to support and braved the bracing weather.