This weekend we drove down to the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham and found this gorgeous little family paddling along on the rowing lake. The cute little ducklings were having great fun pottering along the bank, rummaging for food, before plopping into the lake, whilst their mummy looked on nervously.
We were here for the Nottingham City Regatta, a 2km rowing race held across six racing lanes. Crews came from all over the country to compete, all hoping to pip their rivals to the post at the finishing line.
This weekend I was coxing the men’s four, consisting of Ollie, Pat, Ben and Sean. We’d changed up our crew since last weekend at Shrewsbury to bring a stronger guy into the team. However as our crew line up only came together this week, we weren’t really expecting to win, as rowers generally need to spend a lot of time training as a crew in order to be able to row together to move the boat most efficiently. But it’s good to get out there and test ourselves to see how we compare to the rest of the field.
When we arrived, we walked over to the river Trent, which is next door to the man-made rowing lake, to go for a training outing.
The river Trent had loads of different people splashing around on it, using all sorts of methods, from canoeists and sailors to swimmers and rowers. Whilst we were training, we passed these little Sea Cadets who were trying to do a bit of rowing themselves, although in a very different type of rowing boat! They seemed get a bit overexcited and ended up crashing into the bank.
After a good training session, it was time for racing.
There were five crews in our race and we knew that we had to come third or better in order to make it into the final.My crew were pumped full of adrenaline off the startline and we had a really good start, getting ahead straight away. After the first few hundred metres we had settled to about second/third and things were looking comfortable. However at round the 1km mark, Derby Rowing Club who had been in fourth, put in a big push and pulled level with us. Around this time my crew started to get a bit tired and made a few mistakes which meant that Derby managed to push their boat about a metre ahead of us. Royal Chester and Bedford Rowing Clubs were in first and second place respectively so it was a battle between ourselves and Derby to try to get third place and make it through to the final. We were neck and neck at 500m to go, and traded push for push all the way to the finish, but unfortunately Derby just made it there before us and beat us by three seconds.
Whilst it was disappointing not to make it through, given that we have only just started training together, it wasn’t an awful result. We will get back in the crew and plan lots of training sessions over the next few weeks so we can improve and hopefully get some wins later on in the season! To perk themselves back up, the boys decided to tie Pat to our boat trailer. Guys are so bizarre sometimes! Luckily for Pat, I went to rescue him so he didn’t have to make the trek back to Manchester on the back of a trailer.Once we had tied our boat onto the trailer ready for the journey home, we went back to the rowing lake to yell ourselves hoarse cheering on the girls crews.
My favourite boat has to be the bright pink boat owned by Churchill College Cambridge!