Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Avon County Head

The beginning of March saw the head race season come back to our stretch of water for a 3250m race. Being on home ground Minerva was very well represented in all divisions.

The women's 8, with a special appearance from Nicolette Hayward in place of the injured Daz Harding, managed to post the fastest women's 8 time of the day, holding off some strong competition, finishing in a time of 12.36. The ladies now head off to the Head of the River race up in London in a weeks time.

The first division also saw entries from two junior double sculls, with Frazier Christie and Oliver Williams rowing in the J17 category and Max Higgins and Charlie Falkus rowing in the J16 age group. The J17's managed to come in a very respectable 3rd place in a time of 13.40.6. Unfortunately the J16 pair ended up in the water after becoming tangled with another boat under the half way bridge. This was a blow for the pair who were trying for selection for the junior inter-regionals.

The second division had a good turn out by the single scullers, with the second Minerva win of the day going to Tim Birtwistle, in a time of 12.55. As if this wasn't quite enough Tim then went on to run the Bath half marathon the following day finishing in a time of 1.29.57 - all in a weekend's work!

Stu Barron continues to improve in his scull, coming second in his category, only 12 seconds behind Tim. Arnold Cooke also managed a second place in his Vet category, coming in only 0.9seconds behind the winner, in a time of 13.49.0. A following win came from the Vet men's 8 with the crew of Brett Hardy, Ian Burdis, Mike Ashman, Mark Smith, Neil Billett, Andy Hoyes, David Searby and Andy Ursell. Their first head race of the season and a positive row. They were aiming to challenge the men's crew who rowed in the third division, unfortunately due to a slight collision with the mid way bridge we will never know the true outcome of that race.

The novice girls were back in action and back to their original line up, with Verity Strudwick stroking. It was a gutsy performance by the girls, who had to put up with a lot of shouting from their cox and they managed to come in third place in a time of15.45, only narrowly missing out on the second place spot by a few seconds.

The third division saw finals performances from the senior men's 8 and the J17 quad. The quad was made up of Higgins, Christie, Williams and Falkus who put in an excellent performance to come away with second place, behind Monmouth school, in a time of 11.59.5. The senior men's 8, posting another new line up, managed to secure Minerva's final win of the day. The crews first race in the Vespoli created a very good foundation for the Head of the River race on the 28th March.

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