City of Oxford Regatta - 2013

James and Ella Knight made the trip to Oxford in an attempt to add an Oxford pot to James's collection...

Instead, Ella beat a City of Cambridge girl by 1/2 length in first round, rowing through her in the last 100m and then beat a City of Oxford girl by 5 lengths in the final after losing her on the start and coping well with the bend off the start. Her first victory in a singles event.

James meanwhile didn't get through his first round ;).

So not quite to plan but Ella now has two pots... One from Oxford and one from Cambridge! Is there a complete Russell Group set to be had?

Gloucester/Ross Veterans - 2013

MIRC Chairman Harry Salmon, and his wife and mixed double sculls partner Anne travelled west over the Bank Holiday weekend to race at Gloucester Masters and Junior regatta on Saturday, and then Ross Masters and Junior Regatta on Sunday. 

The trip was more than eventful and started on the Friday with Anne breaking down in the car en route to collect Harry from work. The car had both the boat and blades on the roof! Having called out the AA and established that the car was not going anywhere except to a garage for repair.  Without a long enough vehicle to take the boat and blades, hasty calls were made to try and establish whether the host clubs would lend a boat and blades. Gloucester came up trumps very quickly so the decision was taken to proceed in their somewhat smaller mini! The M25 was by now a ‘car park’ and 7 hours after Anne leaving home they finally arrived in Ross on Wye. 

Here is their report on the races:

On the Saturday morning, Gloucester were very obliging and allowed us to take the boat , a black Janoussek, down the canal for a practice outing. It had the new adjustable shoes in it so we were able to try them out too. We rowed down to the docks, put in a few starts and rowed back. 

When the time came for the race against a younger Mixed Masters C crew from City of Bristol, we stormed off the start, taking full advantage of the four second head start. (Had we been racing earlier in the day it would have been 5 seconds as the umpire was miscalling the handicaps!). City of Bristol then set off and began to slowly eat into the advantage until about half way down the course when they seemed to run out of steam. After being warned for steering, whilst making an adjustment, Anne jammed her blades together and nearly brought the boat to a grinding halt. We just about managed to get back together and scramble over the finish line before the Bristol crew could catch up. Pot number 1 secured (just!) by a length and a half.

After an evening out in Ross on Wye with ex members Di Binley (of Rock the Boat fame) and Mike Howe we arrived at Ross Regatta not entirely sure that we had a boat to row in. After locating the club captain he said that it should be ok but depended on the outcome of his junior boys crews racing at lunchtime. 

It was a long and chilly wait on the river bank. After spending time exploring Ross, watching the umpires aligning at the staggered start, and establishing how the stagger at the finish worked we eventually secured a boat. Unfortunately there was no time for us to take it out for a practice. Our opposition from Evesham came over and we explained what had happened. He replied’ that’s a big boat!’, obviously trying to psyche us out. 

After later exchanging a bit of banter with them in the control commission area we eventually waded into the chilly River Wye to boat. On the way to the start a stray women’s double in a previous race tried their best to take us out by veering off course but we made it there intact apart from noticing too late that one of Harry’s gates had a large spacer washer missing! After having to back down off the start because our opposition struggled to align in the correct lane we came under starters orders. We were in the lane on the outside of the bend so were up by half a length.  

Our opposition also needed to be about a length up at the finish so we knew if we could keep ahead we would win. As we were both Masters D crews we started together this time. We put in our storming start and almost immediately pulled away. The steering was much better today and we took the bend well. Harry had to be reminded that we were far enough ahead that he could afford to relax the rate a little! He was enjoying the experience of being in the lead once again. We clipped one of the centre buoys and it shattered. They had been doing this all day and were gradually diminishing in number. After ensuring we kept well out from the beach area where periodically cows had been wading in for a drink (an interesting obstacle on the course!) we took it home for the finish for victory number 2, this time the verdict was ‘easily’.

It was a lovely weekend at two lovely regattas. Maybe the club could make the trip en masse next year?

Anne Salmon

Sudbury Regatta - 2013

Chaos prevailed in the run up to Sudbury.  Key crew members were on holiday, crews were entered way past our official deadlines.  Our administrators were entering crews while they were on holiday (thank you Charlotte and Anne); trailer towers were not identified until very late in the day, and there was no boat/loading plan.  Toys were thrown out of prams... and then thrown back in again.

Only through dint of persistence on behalf of the few, did the many manage to get to the regatta; race and win...

10 times!!!!

Sudbury, as usual, delivered fair skies, a relaxed ambience, entertaining visits to the notorious banks by novice and experienced alike; and frankly admirable handling of the divisions by the organisers, with enormous levels of flexibility and humour.

There were far too many crews and far too many races to catalogue them all.  So here are the winners.

Peter McLarney and Alex Marlow won the IM3 2- beating St Neots, Broadland and the Lea.

Ben Finch beat Oundle Town and St. Neots in the IM3 1x

Jake Harris beat Kann Belton in an all MIRC straight final in the J18 1x.

Keith Jones beat St Neots in the Masters G/H 1x

Huggy won the Masters D 1x beating Isle of Ely, Peterborough and his doubles partner, Geraint in the final.

Pluto and Dan Hawke won a straight final in the IM2 2x

Ross Porter and Jake Harris beat the Lea in a straight final of the J18 2x.

Mark Tompkins and Sean Bennett beat St Neots in the Masters A Novice 2x - thus losing their novice cherries!

Sue and Roger Mobbs beat Sudbury and Peterborough in the Masters D/G Mixed 2x
Sue having a bad hair day!

Susannah and Kate Povall thrashed Erith in the Womens Masters A/B 2x in a MIRC/ Csepel Evezos Klub composite, thus firmly staking Sudbury regatta as a truly international venue ;) 

Finally, Maidstone Grammar School for Boys came for their first serious regatta under the stewardship of headmaster and MIRC rower, Mark Tompkins, and coxed by Lois Birrell. They fielded 6 crews and won the Mixed IM3 2x and the Novice 2x.  Well done.

A fantastic day's racing everyone.  Well done.

Meanwhile the rowing committee have a few organisational things to sort out...

Other pics...

 Alistair's harem chilling before their first ever race!

Valiant effort by the harem - lost by 2 lengths

   Geraint giving the bank the "evils"

St Neots Regatta - 2013

St Neots was hugely over-subscribed this year, which resulted in a massive hit on entries across the board.  MIRC lost many entries, and a few more quit as those who were left with just one race on one day were put off from traveling up.

So a much smaller than planned contingent went up to do battle, featuring the usual eclectic mix of the hardcore (Lewin and four Juniors), the determined (the Vet D Quad, and Tony Marshall) and the "all this rowing is getting in the way of the beer" types (the BBQ Vets).

The BBQ Masters D 4+ - Thor giving the "evils"

There was a good return on the investment with 4 wins overall for the hardcore and the determined sections and losses ranging from surprisingly close to the unsurprisingly distant for the BBQs.

On Saturday, Our sole senior, Lewin, fought and won in a field comprising solely of Nottingham BC scullers in the Senior 1x category.

The Masters D4x- (Ollie, Geraint, Ray and Huggy) came away undefeated after 5 heats to win on both the Saturday and the sprint Sunday.  Defeated opposition included a Tyne, Milton Keynes and Ancholme (which we learned is in north Lincolnshire).

On Sunday, Tony Marshall shrugged off opposition from Isle of Ely in his heat to beat his old friend and adversary (Boyd) from Tyne in the final of the Masters G1x.

The Juniors had a number of very close heats in various small boat combinations, ultimately resulting in defeat.

The most gutting loss was that of the juniors in the J18 2x (Porter and Harris), who fought their way to the final on Saturday to lose by a bow ball.  Actually it was 1/2 a length to the current Junior National Champions (St Neots).  Really hard lines.  Note: at St Neots, anything under 1 length is referenced by the commentator as "bow ball to bow ball".

The BBQs came closest in the Masters E4+ on Sunday, where they led most of the way, only to be pipped by Oundle Town at the end and lost by 1 length.  Not so close were the two races in the BBQ E8+ against a competent Star crew.

The party on Saturday night did not have quite the sparkle as that of 2011 (due in part to the lower turnout): as before we tried and failed to pick up a hen party (memories of 2009); as before Thor befriended everyone on the dance floor with a giant bear hug (whether they wanted to or not); as before the juniors were embarrassed by the "dance moves" of the veterans; and as before the seniors were nowhere in sight.