When I arrived most of the others were there already. My doubles partner of today was disappointed to see me, I was greeted with ‘ah, you’re here. I was hoping you weren’t coming’ she laughed. Seems I wasn’t the only one with first race of the season CBA!
This was just a little local regatta, only four clubs as far as I could tell, Awarua (hosts) Riverton, Waihopai (who’s club house is right next door to ours) and us, Invercargill.
The course here is short, only around 750m between the end of the Island harbour and the harbour access bridge (which doesn’t have much clearance). Masters usually race 1000m and seniors and juniors – 2000m: a nice short one to get the season started.
The wind was cold, and picked up increasingly as the morning went on. We were with the outgoing tide until about midday (just before the last group of races) when the tide began to turn. It’s a sharp turn in and out of the small beach where the boats were launched, and rowing boats aren’t keen on sharp turns!
Our races went ok for the first one: third in the double (of three!). We were first in the women’s quad. (of one!) We were the only boat in the race, so they sent us off with the men’s masters race and gave us a 10 second head start! We came second against the men!
Our last race was the mixed quad. These crews are always thrown together rather than planned and practiced, based on who’s there on the day. In our quad was two women and two men. At the last minute the juniors coach threw a crew together (of youngsters, in masters terms!) – ah!
The start was a bit kinda – erm… ‘GO!’ Which took us by surprise, and the boat of young things didn’t hear it. We had the lead for a while – till they caught, passed us and disappeared!
We finished second, well done crew!
Gosh, it’s been a while since my lungs worked at that intensity!