This weekend we headed down to Shrewsbury for our first rowing regatta of the season. I have been a rowing cox (the little one who shouts, coaches and steers rowing boats) ever since I started at university (rowing is quite big in Cambridge!) and I kept up the hobby when I moved to Manchester. I really enjoy it as it’s a great way to make new friends, continually learn and improve at something, as well as getting out your competitive side. I’d never been to Shrewsbury before but it was a really lovely part of the world to visit. Beautiful green countryside…
When we arrived we took a sneaky peak at the top trophies to give us that extra bit of inspiration.
It was a very busy regatta with over 300 races taking place during the day. All of the races were run over a 1000m course, with two crews racing side by side, all taking it in turns to battle it out in a knock-out style competition until the overall winners of each boat category could be crowned.
The banks of the river were rammed full of rowers and boats. With competitors ranging from tiny school children to wizened old veterans in their 70s, there was a constant buzz of competitive energy. The crowds cheered on their home clubs and the winners whooped with delight!
We ended up having a whole mixture of weather throughout the day – glorious sunshine, relentless rain, painful hail as well as some thunder and lightning. Luckily I was wearing sensible footwear. For once!
I was competing in three events – the Men’s Four, Men’s Eight and Women’s Four. I wear a headset with a microphone which transmits my voice throughout the boat so I can tell the crew what to do and I have steering handles attached to the rudder so I can steer the boat down the course.
Here is my view in the Eight waiting near the start line.
It’s a shame that some of them pull silly faces and insist on wearing embarrassing hats whenever a photo opportunity arises!
So, how did we do?
Well, our Men’s Four got knocked out in the first round, the Men’s Eight came second in our event and the Women’s Four won their division! And winning means prizes. Unfortunately we didn’t win one of the events that came with a massive shiny trophy, but we did all win our very own beautiful tankards.