And so to Bristol. A slightly shorter course than the Wycliffe head earlier in the month at 3500m and with a couple more weeks of practice under our belt and a new 8 to row in, confidence was running high.
Unfortunately things never quite run to plan and the senior men and women's squads were back in the blue 'bath tub' but hopefully for the final time.
The ladies started the day with a new light weight cox, Rich Tyler. A slight change in the bow of the boat saw the return to racing of Wendy Lloyd in the number 3 seat. The race started well and the crew found a good rhythm. Local rivals, City of Bristol, were starting directly behind the crew giving a visual boost when the work was getting tough, and the crew managed a second place behind another another local club, Bristol Ariel in a time of 13.24.
Both the senior men and the ladies novice four were rowing in the second division. Rich Tyler took the helm in the men's crew with a whippy rating as the Australian 'now pro' cox showed his stroking prowess. The race went well, albeit a little scrappy in the final half against a strong head wind, with a slightly different line up of Rich, Mike Glanville, Stu Barron, Charle Jackson, Antonio, Matthew Bone, Ross Watkins and David Connell. Coming third out of four, the crew still struggled against some mighty school boy crews, but the level of improvement and rowing increased as the crew pushes on towards the Head of the River race.
The novice ladies four experienced a last minute substitution due to injury and rowed with a new stroke from City of Bristol. As the crew had only managed one practice outing prior to the race the balance was fantastic as they battled their way along the course. With the finishing line in sight the girls raised their game to a strong finish in front of cheering fans, coming in 4th in a time of 17.46, a massive improvement from Wycliffe.