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Bedford Small Boats Head - October 12th, 2014

Bedford Small Boats Head is the first bench mark for the new senior combinations and is the first race for the juniors as they go up an age category. This is a much higher level event than the invitation events of the last few months, so this is always an important event for the club to measure ourselves against some quality opposition. In the junior categories there was the usual mix of public school crews and clubs (such as Star club) with high performance sections to their clubs. The event this year was significantly over subscribed and there were no events for juniors at J14 or J13, also entries were suspended two weeks before, as the event was full. Many of our usual rivals in the senior section didn’t get an entry so this year there was a bigger Junior than Vet competition.
The junior section of the club was competitive in their events, with a stand out performance from the girls J18 quad competing in the W Nov 4X- rowing very well and dominating the event. The boys J15 squad had no opposition so were bumped up into the adult Novice category where they raced older school crews but where in no way outclassed despite their tender years. The boys J15 double were just 5sec behind John & Philip (the club’s most successful senior rower) in their pair, so well done juniors.
OTRC prides itself on the supportive nature of club members, family and friends and once again this support was hugely evident. This was not just demonstrated by the vocal support for each crew but the help the crews received with boating, collecting shoes, rigging and trailer loading. Thanks very much to all those who helped and supported on the day.
“Man of the Match” goes to Simon for a huge effort in helping crews throughout the whole day. He also raced twice and won twice surpassing Philip, on this occasion, as the club’s most successful rower.

Vet E 4X: Simon, Alan Bob, Barry Brian, John M, - time 7:27 (adjusted from 07:39) WINNERS

Overall very enjoyable row - many thanks to Alan for being unwell (get well soon).
Didn't realise I should have borrowed Rhona's poncho as protection from spray...  Given that each splash represents the brakes being applied a fraction- I wonder how much faster the time would have been without. 
Still - despite the splashes, beat the rest, so a good win.
And the 20th fastest time overall.  Well done chaps.

Vet D 2X: Hugh, Philip - time  07:47 WINNERS

J 152X: Rohan, Connor – time 08:34

Our first 2km race and first time racing in a double. We are proud of our result. A 2km race was very tiring. We kept a good pace but still slowed at some points. However if we had had more time to practice at 2km we could have performed better. We finished 44 seconds behind the winners.

Nov 4X+: Joe, Will B, Jordan, Alfie, cox: Rohan

Time: 08:03
Place: 5th

W Nov 2X: Keely, Bec- time 09:04

Jelly and I had not managed to have any training sessions since our race at MK, so we were hoping the Jelly Babies were going to do their work!!
We had a good comfortable strong row, with Jelly setting a good rhythm and rate.
We were beaten by our opposition by four seconds, the extra weight of carrying the jelly babies has to go!!

W J 16 2X: Rochelle, Becky – time 09:08 

We had a speedy and successful start, which meant that we quickly caught up with an older boys (probably j18) pair, but they wouldn't move to let us pass, instead they practically took up the whole width of the river, which was frustrating. And then we had an older girls double trying to overtake us about halfway down the course but me and Becky weren't going to let them pass us. So we pushed on, hoping the finish would appear soon. And when it did we successfully managed to stay ahead of the double and still pushing at the boys pair as we crossed the finish line with a time of 9:08.

W J18 1X: Lel – time  09:50

Although my time was not great, for the first head race of the season, I was focussing on maintaining a good technique that can be worked upon in the future races. So, overall, for a poor time I had a relatively enjoyable row.

Nov 4+: Ian, Richard, Adam, Charlie D, cox: Rhona – time 8:17

Didn't win.
Great first race as a crew and we've set a good benchmark time for races to come. 

Vet D 2-: Philip, John M, (Div. 3) 8:29, 3rd (Bronze medalists)

This was the second outing of the day for both rowers, and although they didn’t know it at the time, they would both go on to win pots for their respective first outings.
Sadly, despite John steering a good course, they were unable to maintain their winning streaks and came in last a creditable 3rd to two crews who were still in short trousers. 

Mxd Vet E 2X: Simon, Claire – time 9:04 (08:41 adjusted) winners

May be a little too far away from the festive season for this type of report, but not to be outdone by the retail is an attempt at a little bit of Christmas cheer! 
On the twelfth of October my Bowman [Simon] said to me [Claire] :-
Twelve weeks of training (in the right boat, wrong one on the day)
Eleven coaching tips (thank you John)
Ten supporters cheering (well it seemed like ten)
Nine minutes rowed in Celia 'admin issue' oversight? (adjusted to 8.41 on handicap)
Eight bridges perfectly navigated (one, thoroughly / carefully inspected for a couple of seconds though) 
Seven swans a-swimming (it's in the song! so could not resist this bit)
Six helpers helping (with boat rigging, oar carrying etc.)
Five times 50 strokes rowed (almost) I am better at counting than writing match reports!
Four detached foot-screws :-(
Three frightened ducks [one catapulted off the end of an oar]
Two loyal spotters (thanks to Jennie etc...)
And a medal as the winner's trophy! [yeh:-)) ]

W Vet C 2X: Vicky, Jo – time 09:00 adjusted to 08:50

We boated early, as per the captains instructions, and were almost the first boat to arrive at the start. We had a lovely chat with the Marshall, who kindly described us as 'girls' despite all evidence to the contrary and with plenty of proper teenage examples all around us. We got off to a swift start and settled quickly into a nice rhythm. Despite having to row round some of the said teenage girls, Vicky steered a good line, and we finished happy with our effort. We were holding first place for most of the day, until the last vet women's double (Vet B, Bedford) rowed in division 7, and cruelly snatched victory from our clammy menopausal hands. Despite the small 10 second handicap we were permitted, it seemed that youth triumphed over age and cunning, on this occasion.

W J18 4X-: Lel, Sophie, Ellie T, Emily – time 08:34 WINNERS

This was our first race together as a crew, and our first outing together in a long time! Emily set a good pace and during the race the timing really came together. Lel steered us through the course well, leaving Ellie and Sophie the easy job of just rowing! We chased down our opposition, so much that we crashed into them when they stopped ON the finish line! A really good race all round, well done girls!

W Vet C 4+:Vicky, Jo, Smithy, Jennie, cox: Rhona – time 09:02

Back in Bedford once again. After getting hideously lost on my own when I last came to watch my son row, this time I bought a crew of Aunty Angela, Jennie and Anthony to ensure I made it to the right place. Road works threw us slightly but we arrived just in time to see Division Three coming down so were able to shout for the Oundle crews. "Come on Oundle!!"
After a bit of a wait it was time to go. A quick crew wee and we boated and began our row up to the start. Light pressure Rhona and unfortunately it was all a bit wobbly and uncomfortable. A good call for medium soon rectified this and by the time we were on the start we had switched on and were ready. Our new girl at bow had her role explained to her - top adjuster (don't want any labels showing for the photos) and windbreak. Vicky was complaining that she was still wet from her last row ...moan, moan, moan. Time to spin and we were off. The first third of the race went really well. Nice and comfortable and powerful. We could see our opponents drifting off into the distance. We were passed by a quad full of young men (the ones the young OTRC girls were admiring on the start!) at about half way and had some dirty water but we managed to hold our form and made it to the finish feeling pretty pleased with our row. Looking at the results we saw we had the fastest time by 5 seconds but unfortunately once the times had been adjusted for the oldies we were down by 8 seconds. Oh well. Not too bad considering we have only had a few outings and this was our first race in the new combination. Onwards and upwards!!

W J15 4X+: Beatrice, Olivia M, Louise, Ellie N, cox: Becky (Jr) – time 09:27

Vet E 2X: Bob, John M – time08:27 adjusted to  08:15

A good solid start, only to get through the first 2 bridges to be met with a head wind.
Where did that come from? All day it's been perfect rowing weather. Still....
The noble steers person had plenty of practice during the day, and took a perfect Line around the outside of the bend by the wall.
Felt like a good row.  Congratulations to Hugh and Phil for proving us wrong!

W Vet C 4X-: Keely, Angela, Bec, Claire – time 09:03

We have had the luxury of training together for a while, so knew where our strengths and weaknesses lay. 
Once again the metronome Jelly set a good rhythm and rate, and we had a really good solid row.
Our opposition were our very young juniors, who looked so effortless as they rowed past the finish line.  Surely our wisdom and strength would prevail?!
Sadly not, but the Juniors deserved their win, well, this time!