Chester: Race Time

In this household, we take our rowing very seriously. In fact, we will be keen for anything that we can be competitive in if we think we stand a good chance of winning! Having not raced in a while, we were keen to get out on the water and back into battle, so our coach signed us up for the Dee Head race in the beautiful Chester.River Dee Chester greenery River Dee Chester River Dee Chester boatsIMG_3401 IMG_3403I adore Chester, and would love to have a little house here on the side of the river where I could sit and watch the world go by. IMG_3419However there was no time to sit around. I was busy directing my crew left right and centre, getting them organised, checking that all of the nuts and bolts on the boat were done up tightly, advising new coxes on the best way to steer the racing course, umming and ahhing about how many layers to wear etc. Sorting out eight big men who inevitably wander off, and over-seeing the assembly of a 17.6 metre long boat (we have to take the boats apart into multiple sections and then reassemble them every time we travel with them) are all part of the challenges of life as a rowing cox.IMG_3438The race was run in a time-trial format, and I was racing twice; once in the morning division against my boyfriend Darren’s crew, and then in a different crew later on in the afternoon division which Darren was part of.Dee Head rowingWhen I cox I turn from a very softly spoken quiet girl into a very aggressive demanding little demon. It’s all very good fun. Rowing cox coxswain new northernerHowever, it’s not quite so much fun for the boys who are putting themselves into significantly increasing levels of pain and fatigue as I push them harder and harder. So hard that they couldn’t row a single stroke more once we cross the finish line. When you’re winning, the pain seems worth it, but when you’re not, it’s just miserable. Chester Dee Head Rowing RaceWhilst I love winning, I don’t find quite the same satisfaction if in order to win, I must be in a crew that beats Darren. It somehow takes the shine away.

In our first race, we pipped Darren’s crew to the post, and whilst I was thrilled to win, it did make me a tiny bit sad that Darren hadn’t won as well!

We’re all viciously competitive whilst on the water, but as soon as the race is over, we’re back to being friends again, although perhaps with a few cheeky jibes thrown in!

It was a little bit nippy, so we headed over to the beautiful black and white boat house for lunch to stay warm.IMG_3409Inside, I was thrilled to find a little cart filled to the brim with jars of sweeties. Even better, they were provided free to all competitors. If you mention free food to a bunch of hungry rowers, it’s going to go down very well. There were some very happy faces!Candy Buffet Cart IMG_3393 IMG_3394 IMG_3392Soon enough, it was time to race again. This time with Darren in my boat. By this point the wind had picked up and the stream was flowing really fast so quite a few boats had difficultly in getting into position at the start line so we had to wait quite a while. Luckily my stroke man Ollie kept me amused.WP_20131102_002

Whilst the level of competition in the afternoon wasn’t quite so high, we were still chuffed with our performance and it was another win for us. Woohoo! Rowing River Dee ChesterAs you can see, some people were thrilled with their medals!IMG_3415Brilliantly, even our club’s girls crew won their event as well, so it was smiles all round and a successful day’s racing.Dee Head womenAnd a good win must of course be followed by a good night out.

We started off at Lal Quila on the Curry Mile – my first ever Curry Mile experience…Lal Quila Curry Mile Rusholme Manchester…before meeting up with the girls to party in the teepees at Oast House. Oast House Manchester teepeesIMG_3462 IMG_3461 Decked out with lights and a disco ball ready for a party, and complete with a little log fire and tankards of warm cider, it was the perfect place for a good old gossip and a little bit of boogieing. IMG_3454Warm cider on a cold autumn night is just the best. I felt like I was clutching a little hot water bottle!IMG_3456 A great way to end a successful day.IMG_3458

You can follow me on: BloglovinTwitterGoogle Plus 🙂
This entry was posted in Manchester, Rowing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chester: Race Time

  1. Sofie says:

    Oh Lucy, I love reading about your cox adventures so much! It seems like such a pleasant sport. I wish that one day I could experience it in real life. Congratulations on winning twice!
    Chester looks so beautiful! Living on the side of the river there must be wonderful.

    Sofie x
    Little green Sofie

  2. Laura says:

    I love Chester so much, I always love strolling along the river… well maybe in summer! Congratulations on your win! 🙂 Looks like you had a fantastic celebratory night as well! 🙂 x
    Heroine In Heels

  3. I’ve just stumbled across your blog, it’s lovely! When I was younger I spent a lot of time in Manchester, so it’s lovely to see the life of someone living there now! I’m far to tall to be a cox but I’ve always thought I’d like to give rowing a go – such a good way to keep fit. Well done on your win!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s