Loughborough Boat Club entered 15 events at Stourport Summer Regatta. The weather on the Friday night for the campers was atrocious, rain poured down and one unlucky lady Cox was flooded out and had to sleep in another tent borrowing a sleeping bag. The weather followed suit on the Saturdays days racing and crews got very wet and cold. This included the Ladies Eight, who went to race the 1100m course and ended up being out in the rain for 2 hours when the opposition, Curlew Rowing Club, had a calamity and their rudder fell off. They had to be towed back to the start and borrow a men’s boat. Despite this they still wanted to compete and although Loughborough were very cold and  wet, both crews set of with a magnificent start. Loughborough took the lead but after 100m the crews were side by side and Curlew came into Loughborough’s water and touched blades, three quarters the way down the course the blades clashed with Curlews blades again and one of Loughborough’s crew was knocked back into the boat by the oar and another jarred, they were only slightly hurt and after 10 or so strokes managed to pick up the blades and carry on in time with the rest of the crew. This did however upset the timing and speed of the boat and allowed Curlew to pull ahead slightly and slip across the finish line slightly ahead. Both crews managed a fantastic race despite adversity and it was unfortunate for Loughborough on this occasion.

Jonny Day (18) and Tom Scholefield (16) who have been winning regularly for Loughborough in the Junior 18 Double Scull won their semi final against Gloucester by half a boat length after level pegging at the start. Loughborough had great hopes for the final but found they were up against National Championship silver medalists who took the lead after Loughborough’s poor start and then won by one and a half lengths. Tom also made an error in this race by not wearing his kit properly in the heat of the moment and left a lump rolled around his waist, this affected this stroke so that he couldn’t get his hands down and away quick enough. An unusual problem, but one that perhaps cost them tankard.

The Masters D Eight consisted of Shane Frear, Andy Hill, Keith Hudson, Nick Maker, Andy Martin, Mark Meacham, Dev Tailor, Mike Targett, coxed by Vicky Cheevers. The crewed raced against Bradford on Avon in a straight final and took the lead early on with a strong start, soon after their was clear water between the crews, in the last half of the race Loughborough’s strength and experience allowed the crew to pull away to win by five lengths.

Saturday was brightened by the presence of Sir Steve Redgrave, his son was racing in the junior events and our Captain asked him to sign the winning Masters D Eight photograph which will be put proudly in the Clubhouse.

On Sunday the weather was glorious, sunshine all day and instead of umbrellas and wellies, it was sun cream and bottles of water. The first race of the day was new mum Julie Paillin (29) and Nicola Cheesman (33) who have been training together for the IM3 ladies double. They won their semi final against Warwick with a verdict of easily. In the final they took on Ross Rowing Club, Loughborough took the lead from the start, but half way down the course both crews were fighting for the faster water in the middle of the river and clashed oars sufficiently to have to stop the race. The umpires, a witness said, were not watching, and it normal for a crew to be disqualified for encroaching over into the other crews water, however the officials decided to send both crews back to the start and start the race again. This time the Ross ladies took the lead slightly and Loughborough slipped back, with little energy left after the semi final and the previous half race they finished 3 lengths behind Ross. However they showed promise and with further coaching and training hope to take a tankard at the last regatta of the season, York Sprint on 18th September.

Tom Scholefield raced in Junior 16 single against Upper Thames in the semi final, he was ahead by one length until the last 100m when a slight steering error into a navigational channel buoy cost him the race. Tom said that this was the best race he had ever done and so it was very unlucky to have had mishap with the buoy.

The ladies coxed IM3 Four consisting of Nicola Cheesman, Heather Nicol, Zoe Poyner and Hannah Evans coxed by Vicky Cheevers raced the 500m against the Bridgnorth crew. The Loughborough crew pulled away quickly then dominated the race and they and won by three and half lengths. In the final against they were neck and neck all the way to half way mark, 50m from the finish the opposition led by a foot, then they won by three a half feet.

The Masters D four set off with a bang….literally. During the first 20 powerful strokes our crew veered off course dramatically into the opposition Ross, breaking the nose completely off our boat “Terry Higgins”. The crew were disqualified and limped back to the landing stage with the aid of the rescue boat, taking on water all the way. After getting the waterlogged boat out of the river the opposition Ross came into the landing stage to get their boat out. No one aided the crew in getting out and some how they managed to tip the boat over with full compliment of crew taking an unlikely dip in the River Severn. A good job it was a sunny day.

A wonderful but eventful weekend was had by Loughborough Boat Club.

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