St. Neots 2011

MIRC picked up 6 wins at St. Neots this year: a much more respectable tally than last year's "Maidstone Turkey Shoot."  Even for those crews that lost, there were plenty of examples of extremely close and competitive races.

Saturday belonged to the double of Steve Slade and Lewin Hynes, who won both the IM3 and Novice categories totally convincingly, and retired gracefully from Sunday's racing.

The girls Junior 15 double of Lauren Gilchrist and Lucy Maunsell also won their hard fought competition.  The remaining juniors: Ross Porter, Jack Grace, Andrew Collins at J15 and Anneka Terry at J13, all put up very strong performances.  Pictures of the Juniors will be put up as soon as Will send them to me.

The Veterans had a tough day of it, with the Fours and Eights managing to beat most of their opposition except when finally facing a totally dominant Peterborough squad.  We got sick of the sight of blue and yellow by the end of the weekend.

Sunday was the turn of the Veteran small boats.  Ollie and Gerraint finally popped their novice sculling cherries, and washed away the humiliation they suffered at the hands of Huggins and Abraham last year ;)

Our old stalwarts of Tony Marshall and Robin Chapman won the F2x Sprints for the second year running.

Tony then doubled up his pot count with a win in the F1x event.

The Vet Fours and Eights continued to manfully win their heats only to be taken out by Peterborough  the eventual winners; sometimes by painfully close distances: the Vet D4+ stroked by Simon de Maria lost by just 4 ft.  the Vet D8+ by 1/3 length.


In an all Maidstone heat, the Es defeated their younger, D scratch opponents, chosen as a 'just Beast it' crew... with a little help from their 3 second head start.

A great, fun, if tiring weekend.  No doubt the outrageous behaviour of the Veterans on Saturday night will be well catalogued on facebook, and possibly a Blog entry...

Henley Masters Regatta - 2011

Raining? - Check.
Cold? - Check.
Blowing a gale? - Check.

That will be standard conditions for the Masters regatta season so far then.  The worst aspect was a steady 20 knot headwind, which was slowing down crews by 20 to 30 seconds, and making for choppy conditions.

We took 2 crews to the Henley.  Messers Chapman and Marshall in the F2x and the Vet D 8+ - the only changes from Nottingham being Rob Kenway replacing Harry (who was umpiring and, despite ugly threats, was refusing to accept bribes) and Lois coxing.

The double were first off against Cincinnati.  These guys were terrifyingly good, combined with the rough water not suiting our lightweight(ish) double, they were 4 lengths up by the 500m mark.  They went on to win the event easily.

The Eight had a bye into the quarters, where they met Nottingham BC, who had beaten Stourport.  Notts have a strong reputation, and had come 3rd at the Masters Champs last year, but had not been seen on the calendar this year.  They must have been rusty, as we beat them by 1.75 lengths in a headwind which made it difficult for both crews to obtain full length.  Despite the slow time (like everybody elses) - 3.47 minutes, we are calling that one a scalp!

On Sunday (with more benign if not perfect conditions), the Eight were more confident in our clash with Marlow in the semis, who we have beaten before (just).  We put absolutely everything into it at the start, taking a 1/3 length by the 500m mark.  But with all credit to them, they slowly clawed their way back, and we had nothing left to hold them off, eventually losing by 4 miserable feet in a time of 3.27 :(. 

We were gutted, but will come out of it stronger, I am sure.  Marlow, then went on to lose easily to Crabtree (Cambridge Alumni) in the Final, who are in a league of their own in this event.

Watch this great video of the epic tussle:

Henley Royal Regatta - 2011

With the senior IM2 Eight only just failing to qualify for the Thames Challenge Cup by a measly 5 seconds (hard luck lads), the hopes of MIRC lay on our top coxless four in the Wyfolds, who had pre-qualified with distinction (winning at the Metropolitan).

IM2 8 just failing to make the cut, but looking very neat (from 7.20 in the video).

The crew of Mat Nicholls, Stuart Hampshire, Chris Mollison and Tim Grant did exceptionally well, making it to the quarter finals of the Wyfolds with relative ease by beating Abingdon and Banks RC (Aus) both by 3 lengths.  Unfortunately that is when the met the ultimate winners - London RC (A), losing in the fastest heat of the event.

 Our boys very comfortably beating the Aussies in the second round (5.03 into the clip).

We are all especially proud of the guys, who once again, have done Maidstone proud!