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 - rowingphotography.co.uk