The 2014 Head of the Soar race on our home stretch of water between Hathern and Kegworth proved to be a great success yet again.
Oversubscribed, with 135 crews racing on the day, it was a master feat of logistics that enabled the crews to boat and return smoothly. With free tea and coffee, and a constantly running kitchen led by Sandra Martin feeding the hungry rowers, it was all hands on deck to keep the day running like clockwork. Volunteers from Loughborough Boat Club also manned the landing stage, the safety launches and safety marshalled all along the race stretch of the river as well as having the ever important job of timing the rowers.
An ordinarily gentle stretch of river was swollen with the large amounts of rain that we had received in the week previously, so the relatively easy 3km race upstream became quite a hard battle for tired arms and legs, despite the correspondingly effortless row up to the start.
Nearby crews from clubs came to race from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Burton as well as those further away from Boston, Peterborough, Bewdley, Stourport, Bridgenorth, Trentham and Northwich. We had singles racing, doubles, pairs, quads and fours all competing for the china pots that we award to the winners. This year we had 43 winning categories in total ranging from the younger juniors through to the veterans of old in the masters races, all presented by Club President, Don Wix.
Wins for Loughborough came via the Women’s IM1 quad of Cathy and Annie Beaumont, Erica Gummery and Lizzie Hill who beat a second Loughborough crew of Bethan Henry, Alex Abrahams, Lottie Gardner and Lucy Agar by a mere nine seconds in 13 minutes and 54 seconds. A great effort by both crews rowing at a high level. A second win was had by Loughborough with Tom Schofield rowing in a composite double at elite status with Trent. They won in a very fast time of 12 minutes and fourteen seconds. Our final LBC win was in the mixed IM1 double with Andrea Bundon and Dave McCaughan beating their opposition by a huge forty-five second margin in 13 minutes and 19 seconds.
A very big thank you to club Captain, Keith Hudson and the army of Loughborough Boat Club members that helped to make the day the success that it was.