A cloudless sky, mist on the water and some serious thermals being worn started the day for us at 6.30am. Parking duty, bacon rolls and trailer juggling were just the first few items on the day’s agenda for our 3km long distance, upstream Head Race.

With a record number of entries of around 172 having had to be whittled down for manageable divisions of about 43 each, the popularity of the Soar Head has grown year after year. Military precision boating and retrieval back off the water with an army of Boat Club members, both adult and junior, created an efficient flow of crews much to the appreciation of tired rowers. The kitchen produced a non-stop supply of breakfast rolls, chips and chilli for hungry and cold competitors, and the cake stall topped up the sugar levels of all those that needed it. All of this followed days of preparation by a large number of dedicated club members.

Rowing conditions were perfect – flat water with little flow, no wind and cool conditions. Sadly though due to the huge crew entry, no crews could row unless they had competition, so a large number of Loughborough Boat Club entries couldn’t compete despite it being our home event.

However we managed to achieve two wins overall. Firstly with our Junior girls – Beth Henry, Lucy Agar, Emily Senior and Alex Abrahams coxed by James Remer taking the pot at WJ18 4x+ in 14mins 13.2 seconds and secondly Tim Ives and Adam Fairbrother winning the IM2 2x in 12mins 36.6 seconds.

It was an absolutely resounding success of a day, topped off by the presentations in the Boat Club with a fabulous array of winner’s photos organised by our photographers. That pint in the evening after all our guests had packed up their riggers, boats, wellies and soggy kit was well deserved and, with the left over cakes, made a welcome end to an amazing day.