OTRC Spring Regatta - Match Report

A recipe for a great day (OTRC Spring Regatta 2015):
  • A touch of competition
  • A friendly bunch of people of all ages
  • A sprinkle of fine weather
  • A generous helping of good food
  • A pinch of hard work
  • A large dollop of OTRC spirit.
  • Mix the friendly people and the healthy competition.  
  • Add the fine weather and fine food.  
  • Finally combine all the ingredients with the hard work and the OTRC spirit.   
OTRC’s Inaugural Spring Regatta took place on Saturday, 25 April 2015.  Master-minded by Simon Murray, to bring all sections of the club together, to introduce some new and junior rowers to competition and to generally have a good time, the day benefitted from unexpectedly good weather and an amazing atmosphere.  
The day started with a tribute to the work and inspiration of John Milborne.  As a founder member and Club Captain, John has worked tirelessly for OTRC for over a decade.  His contribution was recognised with the naming of a boat in his honour.  The new, heavyweight coxless quad is now (unimaginatively but appropriately) called ‘John Milborne’.  He has now stepped down as Club Captain and allowed others to take up the mantle, but will continue to have a huge influence on the club.
After some all-hands-to-the-deck preparation, the racing took us through the morning and into the afternoon. We had:
  • Senior Scratch Mixed Doubles (no chance to practice, although there were a couple of crews who kept the starters waiting with a sneaky row towards the island.  Tut, tut).  This was a knockout event, with a Plate Competition to give everyone a chance of at least 2 rows.  Combining rowers of mixed experience and gender, none of the crews had ever previously rowed in a double together!!
  • Junior Mixed Quads (giving a taste of competition to some and a chance to row with new crewmates to others).  This was a Round Robin event to give plenty of racing opportunities.
  • Explore rowing (of various ages.  Again a chance to experience side-by-side racing).  Everyone in this competition had at least 2 rows – some in quick succession!
  • Squads of helpers ensured smooth operations throughout the day.  Traditional, nay essential, abuse and banter from the Race Commentators kept the crowd informed (?) and the people who worked on the BBQ and refreshments kept everyone pleasantly fed and watered.
  • The wind, the sneaky bends in the course and the inability to steer affected many senior crews, with lots of visits to Charlie Dunn Reeds (why is called that again?), near the finish line.  The poor old barges took a few knocks through the day.  There was the odd encounter with narrow boats and more frequent encounters of the CLOSE kind with the opposition crew.  Becky Smith Jnr was serenaded, while stuck in the reeds, to celebrate her birthday.
Senior Mixed Doubles Competition:  Zoe Smeeth and Charlie Dunn (who will not be fed for at least a week after beating his mother in the final, but we show no sympathy).
Senior Plate Winners: Brian (Barry) Hardwick and Libby Mitchell – who won a PLATE of cakes each instead of the traditional medal.  Much tastier!
Explore Rowing:  Laura Dew and Emily Soans, showing great potential.
Junior Quad Winners: Crew S, comprising of  Imogen Stokes, Olivia Hutchinson, William Berridge,  Sofie Whitemore and cox, Daisy Attley
As John Milborne can be frequently heard to say “A good crew is more than the sum of its parts” and that was definitely true of the OTRC Crew today – from the little people who turned up to support relatives, the families who endlessly turn up to support the juniors, the juniors who are keen to make a contribution and play a part, those regulars who never row but are an essential part of the club, to those seniors who love competing, always row and always do their bit.
Thanks to everyone.  We hope you all enjoyed it and will come back for more next year.