With the fierce annual debate raging about the correct pronunciation of the town’s name, and Club members firmly entrenched in two opposing viewpoints even more disparate than Remain and Leave, the LBC travelling roadshow set up camp once again in those halcyon fields otherwise know as the Shrewsbury campsite. As always, the sun shone strongly and the river Severn flowed dark and fast, swollen by particularly heavy rain in the preceding days. Consequently the 1000 metre course was shortened on the Saturday to just 600, much to the relief of those Club members who consider that the shorter the sprint, the purer the art form.
With the lane-marking buoys struggling to hold their position against the stream, Mike unwisely decided to use them as guidance for his course and was deceived into taking a somewhat circuitous route along the already twisty river. Claiming that he steered perfectly just 6 inches inside each buoy, he put up a big fight against his slightly faster opponent from Guildford before succumbing at the staggered finish, with his protest for realignment falling on deaf ears.
Tim’s Open scull event ran much smoother as he worked his way through several rounds of Trent scullers to lead by example and claim the Band 2 trophy. Later joined by the Club’s other winners, Zoe and Erica, he posed for a Formula 1 style podium photo flanked by two young blondes modelling high-end sponsorship logos (Waitrose not Lidl), and he would no doubt have been photographed spraying fizzy prosecco over the crowds if Jen hadn’t already drunk it all.
The Open Coxed Four of Adam, Laurence, and Jonathan continued to compete enthusiastically, and to gain valuable race experience, on this occasion with Walrus as guest rower and Zoe as cox. Most importantly, they continued to develop that confident post-race photo pose that suggests you have just won by a mile.
The Coxless Four of Keith, Walrus and Jerry took a similar approach by inviting Erica into the guest seat but could not quite match a strong but far less eye-catching Stourport crew: as always, Woody’s curved lines and smooth bronzed skin continued to turn heads. Likewise, in the mixed double, Mike and Jen fought fiercely, but had to satisfy themselves with second place against Leicester.
That just left the Womens Masters D Eight to please the crowds with an excellent race late in the day against home club Pengwern, and on the Sunday with an even closer finish against a strong and experienced Bewdley crew. The Men’s Eight repeated the theme on Sunday morning, pulling back a three second handicap against Guildford but failing to overtake by just one foot. Ladies Coxed Four and several quad/double combinations also competed on a leisurely day when it was more than enough enjoyment to soak in some of the best enjoyment that the sport can offer. Sun, beer, banter and bacon butties; what more can one want?