Womens_MastersC8_York_2014

Success at the Yorkshire Head of the River

Following a week of blue skies, we were sadly met on our journey up to York with cloud and a stiff breeze. Keeping our fingers crossed that it would be a tail wind, all the entering crews went through their pre race preparations having finally found parking spaces in York city centre.

Those in Division one rigged up and took to the water. Zoe Hudson and Erica Gummery racing for the first time as a double in ‘Therapy’ and Linda Nielson very bravely taking on the 5000m course in a single – her first ever single race. With a good forty-five minute warm up to the top, both ladies crews were ready to race. Manouvering a single in the wind with a hundred other boats proved quite challenging, however Linda remained dry as did Zoe and Erica despite having had a swim the week before in training.

Zoe and Erica set forth and attained a very respectable second place in a time of 22mins 11 seconds which is a fabulous feat for their first race as a double. Linda also bravely battled down the course, 5km of wind, other crews and waves and accomplished a tremendous personal achievement by completing such a long and difficult race in a single.

Division two brought three more Loughborough crews, two mens elite pairs and the women’s masters eight. Racing against each other were Rob Parks and Tom Schofield in one double and Jonny Day and Dave McCaughan in the other. Again there was a warm up row to the start, followed by half an hour of trying to find and then manouvre into the correct waiting slot which Jerry Heygate, coxing the women’s eight did masterfully despite the wind and pull of the river.

With the two men’s crews being the only ones in their category, it sadly meant that only one of our crews could win and that prize was taken by Rob and Tom in a time of 18mins and 36seconds.

The WMas.C 8+ with, from stroke; Vicky Haines, Heidi Janicke, Emily Quinton, Gill Kershaw, Kate Henry, Di Hope-Cokayne, Jen Smith and Emma Heygate and coxed by Jerry set out in front of their competition with a strong and steady pace, rating 29. As the race progressed and the chasing crew drew further and further into the distance, spirits and energy soared and the ladies pulled their way into a winning position. On a day when everything went right and felt right and with Jerry’s decisive and competitive coxing, the ladies went over the finishing line safe in the knowledge that they would be taking a medal home. They achieved a winning time of 21mins and 21 seconds, 1min and 16 seconds ahead of their competition.A wonderful end to their last Head race before the regatta season.