Bedford Head - 2013

Following the BBC’s alleged example, James and his band of mavericks organised a lightning raid on Bedford Small Boats Head using his WJ14 squad as smoke screen…. Travelling light with one coxed quad and one coxless quad aboard the lightweight trailer the raiding party arrived at Bedford sneaking un-noticed into the last parking space on the embankment with just enough time to unload, rig up and boat in Division 2.

The poster had said no under J15s but the organisers had left a back door open with WJ14 events listed on BROE. MIRC HQ had quickly filed the entries before the mistake was spotted but not before 9 other crews had also entered. The girls were there to gain some valuable racing experience and despite their tender ages (most are actually WJ13s) most were set to race the 2,000m course twice each in three different combinations, thankfully aided and abetted by a strong tailwind and good stream. Time to show their coach some mettle…

The first crew of Ella K, Ella M, Maddie and Charlotte were led out on a path finding mission by Louise. The course at Bedford is littered with tricky obstacles such as very low bridges (Duck! Where?), Goose Island (bird variety not the unpleasant surprise… more later) and even a bridge hiding behind a headland plus the danger of quick doubles overtaking. The girls put down a marker for their compatriots of 9:13 but had craftily mapped the course on the way.

The next crew of Charlotte, Molly, Katie, Louise with Ella K steering (all WJ13) set off with a hunger to match the previous time. They shot the Town Bridge with panache coming past Bedford RC with a quicker stroke rate audibly spurred on by their cox and were seemingly on target but once out of sight a boat-stopping crab ended their chances.

The last crew of Molly, Ella M, Maddie and Katie with Louise having seen the results of the other crews  in the event on the rolling result screens and via twitter knew that they had to go hard or go home. Rating low but rowing neatly together they succeeded in the best MIRC time of the day of 9:06 valiantly holding off a double intent on ramming them!

The final times against the other crews showed a way to go yet to catch the frankly scary and large WJ14 girls from St Neots (7.38) who beat the winning crews in the following categories WIM2 2x, WIM3 2x, WNov 2x, WJ16 2x and WNov 4x+! So the girls now face a year of protein shakes, 1hour ergs, and constant squat jumps……

Meanwhile, cannily hiding in the wind shadows the composite of Medway/Maidstone/Monmothians (aka Emineminem) slunk their way past the unsuspecting crews to the start. Positioned as third boat off in Division 2, two keen J18 quads between them and the finish line, the Mas BCD 4x kept their guns wrapped up warm until the last possible moment. Using the shadow of the twin bridges the quad upped the rating and pressure and shot over the start line at a rate of knots. Now the rules if you read them state that Thou Shalt Not Pass Another Crew Before The First Bridge and if you have read them you’d think how likely is that…. so after the MMM quad stopped for a breather and let the youngsters pass through the bridge under fettered, they set to and promptly goosed them as they passed the island and Star RC and despite the spray pressed on and overtook the other quad right in front of the main Bedford clubhouses for good effect before sprinting for the finish line. The cat was out of the bag. The time went up, 6:15, fastest of the day so far easily securing the pots for Mas BCD 4x. OED were now in the process of releasing the new verb “to be codgered” (definition: to be ruthlessly and humiliating overtaken by a bunch of veteran rowers)

Time for a refreshing cup of tea and some figgy biscuits… that’s how Master rowers roll… meanwhile the war machine at Star RC had started rumbling, the conscription papers quickly dispatched to their Henley medallists…..

Last up for the MMM quad was a cheekily foray into IM1 4x territory… again the canny Masters rowers keeping their weapons warm while their younger Maidenhead opposition put on a full gun-show to display their shiny Hudson to full effect (must remember that rack of lamb for the BBQ next weekend). This time the MMM quad were leading off the Division so no worries about full access to the first bridges. Knowing that a St Neots J18 4x had tried to save the collective junior blushes by squeaking out a 6:14 time, and seeing Star’s Sen 4x race earlier but no confirmed time yet, and after seeing Mr Dewhurst’s finest wares behind them, the MMM quad simply went for it. The Maidenhead quad tried a blitzkrieg move but left their supply lines too far behind and died off after 1k gone. The MMM quad roared home in 6:08….. second pot of the day.

Elsewhere as the ink dried on the Bedford-Star Alliance Pact, the times for the Star Sen 4x and IM1 4- (Mulkerrins – sure I’ve seen that name somewhere before?) were released…. 5:44 and 6:00… “fair play, they rowed hard, we will let those pesky outsiders have third place”.

Report by James inspired by the mad ramblings of Lewin

Club Kit Window

is open - details can be found on the noticeboard

Medway Head of the River - 2013

MIRC took four crews to this year's Medway Head.  The weather was extremely kind, and were greeted with flat waters and a clear day - perfect for rowing.

We had 2 entries in a 3 way fight in the Masters C/D Eights, with our D crew, just coming out on top over a very good Medway crew.  It was nip and tuck right down the course, but we were helped when their bowman caught a boat stopping crab on the finishing straight.  The D crew won the event and came second overall in 15.44

A very strange shot of the Vet D 8 medal winners...

The C crew (considering their development status) put in a strong row coming 4th overall with a time of 16.32.

The Vet C8+ in action

Our boys in the novice coxed quad from Maidstone Grammar had their first away event, and did really well in a time of 17.36.  They had no opposition, but only came half a minute or so behind 3 IM3 coxless fours, which bodes well for the future.

Our boys in the novice coxed quad getting ready to go (mid picture)

The biggest shock of the day came when our Masters C4+ picked up an unexpected win against Bewl in 18.20.  In their favour was the fact they were only a couple of years below Masters D; but there are some doubts as to whether their opposition were all of the male gender...  This was Thor's triumphant return to racing after a year's absence.

A perfectly normal shot of the Vet C4+ medal winners

Thor has his uses!

A really fun day out, just a shame there were so few entries.  Hopefully we will be there again next year.

Thanks to Andrea and Catherine Thorfriend for the pics