Saturday 1 October 2011

My first sculling race

Image0047-the-scull-joy By William, aged Masters C.

Summer is over, the blades have been fresh painted, we've had our AGM (new committee post coming soon) and it is time to return to the river.

It was a lovely day, so after dutifully doing my Waitrose shopping I headed to the river for a little scull. Simon and Meg were out tubbing. But! I was turned back at the Green Dragon bridge, because the Robs small boats regatta was on, 11:30 division. Oh well I thought, shame: I could have entered instead. And then I though: so why not enter the 1 pm division? It is either that or go back home and cut the grass. And I did, for time only, since I was late. Fortunately Katherine and Anna-Rosa were at race control. I just had time for a coffee and baclava at Tishka's, and a nice chat about the financial situation with the old bloke at the table next door, before rushing back to embark and do the traditional rush-up-to-the-start-line-only-to-find-that-plenty-of-other-people-are-ten-minutes-late.

But it was a lovely day - too hot, really: after a bit I drifted over to the shady side; its nice being in a scull, you couldn't do that in a cumbersome VIII - so waiting at the start was fine. As I was a late entry I was at the back, with only a Robs novice girl behind me, who had the benefit of advice shouted from her bank party.

Sculling without having to worry about what might be coming the other way was a joy; I went rather wide around Grassy by accident, but this turned out to be a good thing because there was a narrowboat hugging the inner corner. I flagged a little down the reach, but ended up with an overall split of 2:31 and a time of 13:08 (a minute behind Katherine and Anna-Rosa). A time was what I really wanted: something to be a marker for future improvement, I hope. And to compare to others.

The full results are here (I'm 101, not alas spelt quite as I might desire). Trying to compare my time, I see I am the fastest and indeed the only CRA Open novice scull. So I won; err. But the fastest BR (British Rowing, as in can-row-off-Cam I think; though lots of clearly Cambridge crews entered as BR) time was 10:41; that was the novice time, beating the IM3 time, which in turn beat the IM2 time. How traditional. And those were by CULRC, so that doesn't help me much. Well never mind; there are plenty more regattas coming up.

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