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.