Masters National Championships - May 2014

Maidstone Veterans achieved their best results to date in the Masters National Championships with a tally of 2 Golds and 2 Silvers.

All medals came from the young vets, while the older vets put up strong performances in the face of some of the sternest competition we have seen in this event.

We were greeted for the second year in a row by a Holme Pierrepont course bathed in sunshine and with fairly placid conditions; although a continual crosswind plagued the boats in lanes 4, 5 and 6, and it was noticeable that a lot more wins came from lanes 1, 2 and 3 over the course of the day.

Brian Humphris and Richard Ridgway got gold in the Novice B2x Final with a comfortable 7 second victory.

Brian then went on to get silver in the Novice C1x event.

Lewin Hynes dominated his B1x event going through the heats easily and wining the final by 6 seconds.

Finally Lewin continued his longstanding doubles partnership with James Knight, winning silver in the B2x event, missing out on gold by just 1.5 seconds.

The rest of the 16 man squad put in some sterling performances, notably the G4x and B4x just missing out on medals.

Yet again, a very long and very tiring, but very satisfying day for the Vets.

Bedford Small Boats Head - April 2014

MIRC achieved it's first victory of 2014 at the Bedford Small Boats Head this year with the Vet G4x (lovingly known as the "OAPs" with an average age c65) just winning a handicapped race by 1 second in a field of 5 crews, with an actual time of 7.32 over the 2k course.

However, note, this was in the Vet DEF4x category, so there was plenty spare in the tank if they actually had G competition.  Well done lads, and the bladework looks pretty good too.  Great start to the year.

MIRC fielded 4 other crews.  The Vet D 4+ took a break from their hectic weight training schedule to actually race and did superbly, only just coming second in their field of 5 with an actual time of 7.36, losing to a C crew from St. Neots by just 2 seconds. 

The Vet E4+ (who have yet to acquire a nickname) came 4th out of 5 in 7.52 in the E/F competition.

The Women's Novice 4+ (universally known as the "Harem") are showing slow but sure improvement, finishing 11th out of 15 with a time of 8.37.  Nice bladework ladies.

Finally Helen Taylor came 5th out of 6 with a time of 9.39 in the Women's masters A single sculls.  No picture yet.

Head of the River & Veterans Head of the River - 2014

A weekend of disappointments for MIRC, due to the full range of reasons: poor weather, poor race organisation and poor results.

The Head of the River was abandoned mid race this year due to extreme wind over tide conditions around Hammersmith, leading to multiple sinkings.

Our IM2 crew did get some racing in before the abandonment.

The next day, the Vets Head was held in much calmer conditions, however, and I am not totally sure what happened here, the race was badly mistimed.  The lead boats went off while the stream was still ebbing - ie INTO the stream.  It turned at some point around the setting off of the D category boats.

The impact on results was stunning; with clear discrepancies in timing as the tide got faster and faster with the older male Vets and ladies categories getting the most benefit. The consequence in times, made analysis of the results difficult: for example, a ladies 8 came 2nd overall!, and our F crew beat the C crew by a minute (compared to the Quintin Head, where the timings were correctly reversed). Consequently times and positions for the crew are not very credible.

That said, it was a very pleasant day, with good hard racing, so all was not lost.

 The Vet C crew.

The Vet F crew.

Thanks to our ever suffering coxes, Jo, Liz and Tui, and our small but very vocal band of supporters.

Quintin Head - Jan 2014

There has barely been any rowing at the club so far this year due to the ongoing flooding and continual fast stream warnings.  So, most of us have been in the guym, and grabbing what water time we can on foreign waters - Rochester, Bewl Reservoir and even 500m of Mote Park for the desperate!

Our thanks go to our friends at Medway RC and Bewl Bridge RC for being so accommodating.

Despite all this, two very rusty Veteran crews went to the Tideway and were lucky that the rains held off just long enough for them to race on a stream that was just raceable.

I don't think we have done the Quintin Head before, but we really should seriously consider it as a standing engagement at this time of the season.  It is 4,600m long, from Chiswick to Harrods Despository, so can be viewed as an excellent training ground for the Eights Heads in March.  The quality of the opposition was exceptional, and some of us old 'uns looked on in awe as the first elite crews took off at 36, and looked blindingly fast (although the fast stream probably helped that illusion).

Our Vet C eight (avg age 45) has had a very difficult birth to say the least, with an inconsistent crew line up and no permanent cox.  They came 3rd in a small field of 3.  Their time was 12.40.2 and was about 30 seconds off the pace.  Not disgraceful, it was a strong row at a steady 30-32.  The competition, Tyrian/Thames and London/Elizabethan were clearly well drilled and presumably Open compared to our chaps IM3 status. There is immense power sitting in that crew.  It needs to be harnessed properly and above all it needs water time, which we are not getting.

The Vet F eight (avg age 61) is far more settled, and almost always a balanced platform with real beef in the middle and technically capable guys at both ends.  All have been doing decent amounts of land training, but the lack of water time resulted in a very tentative start.  The crew led off a field of 5 rating 27, and it took time to (ever so slowly) crank it up over the course.  By Barnes they were at 28 - by Hammersmith 30, and the last 500 hundred was at 32. However it was too little too late, though, as a Tideway Scullers crew with some pedigree fought it's way through the field to win by 19 seconds.  The 'F's' came second with 13.10.0, comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack.  A good start to the campaign.

Thanks to the coxes: Tui and Jo.  Next stop for the Veterans: Molesey Veterans Head - that is if the weather gives us a break.

Acknowledgement -