4 crews from Tay headed North to Inverness for the Winter Head over the weekend of 4th & 5th March. It’s great to see the club develop and have growing representation at racing events while also being a fun, social gathering for members to get to know each other better too!
A lot of pre-planning went into getting everyone there, so a huge thank you needs to go out to two of our coaches, Heather & Lucy for their continued effort.
So, on to the race reports!
WO4x boat 28…
The Tay Derby
In a year of firsts for Tay Rowing Club, a cold Saturday morning in March at the Inverness Winter Head on the Caledonian canal’s 4.75Km course, saw two TRC coxless quads battle it out in the same category.
We were told to save our competitive jibes for the water but couldn’t help getting into the spirit of the race early on with boat 26 getting their riggers bolted onto Narayan before crew 28 had fully woken up.
We put our jovial wrangles aside to help each other onto the water and each boat set off to meet again at the start. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about TRC crews at the races we’ve entered so far this year it’s that we like to be at the start early! We eagerly awaited our competitors, boat 27, to make their way to the start so we could suss out the filling in the TRC sandwich that was soon to be making its way down the course.
The banter between our two crews continued to bob around as we waited some more until Rachel, putting her faith in her crew to hold the boat steady, stood to get the perfect selfie shot with all 8 of us. After the smiles for the camera it was race faces back on and the fighting talk started again.
Then we were off with boat 27 soon taking the lead. We would expect nothing less from a composite boat made up of the finest Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University novice rowers but we were pleased to have them out of the way; they weren’t involved in this battle – it was boat 26 that my crew wanted. I would love to pinpoint exactly when we met our match but with all focus on those long, strong strokes, holding a steady rate 26, all I know is that it took longer than we’d hoped to catch them.
Heather excelled again with some impeccable steering skills and we later learnt that boat 26 had an unfortunate altercation with a St. Andrew crew who couldn’t find a way past despite Fiona moving out of their way and giving them clear water to navigate. The extra concentration and responsibility that is placed upon our bow rowers to navigate a race course while also putting in the rowing effort should not be underestimated and both Heather and Fiona did a brilliant job.
Unsurprisingly, the composite boat came in first place with crew 28 just over a minute behind with a well-earned time of sub 20 minutes. This was one of the most enjoyable races I have entered, there was lots of laughter and some great rowing from our women’s squad.
Boat 26 – see you at the next one!
26 TayRC Rachel H., Becky, Theresa, Fiona
27 AU/RGU composite
28 TayRC Lucy, Rachel A., Tara, Heather
WO4x boat 26…
A crisp but dry morning at Inverness Rowing Club, the Narayan(spl?) crew were the first on the water to row up-to the start line.
The crew from Tay RC racing in the W4x category; Harper (stroke), Adams(Captain), Edwards and Barrowman (Bow), feeling confident after several successful sessions on the Tay were apprehensive to get the 4.75k race started.
Only three boats in the W4x category, with another crew from Tay RC the club was well represented on the Caledonian canal.
The crew was the first to set off on in the category we set off on a rolling start keeping the stroke rate low. The race motto quickly became long and strong which was the best way for this crew to take advantage of all the power in the boat.
Aware that there was only one boat between us and the other Tay RC crew we used them as a marker to push off of. As they neared to overtake Adams called for a hard push on the legs and the boat lifted on the water with the main goal being to give the other crew a hard time overtaking us.
Finally reaching the last set of overhead wires the crew tired but still remaining strong hugged the right bank in order to yield to faster boats from the categories that set off behind us.
A crew from St Andrew Boat Club were fast approaching causing Harper and Adams to shout for crew ahead that was heard all the way down the bank, St Andrew refusing to change their racing line quick reactions from Barrowman in bow saw us narrowly avoid a collision.
Tay RC Narayan crew thoroughly enjoyed its visit to Inverness setting a goal breaking time of 22 minutes and 23 seconds down the course and this strong crew are looking forward to seeing what they can achieve at the upcoming sprint races
Double the fun
Our two coaches, Lucy and Heather, entered the WNov2x category at Inverness regatta on Sunday morning.
After a quick pit stop on the way up they were race ready at the start. Tay were in the middle of their category with one boat in front and one behind. After the build and passing the start line “Leather” (Lucy & Heather) went straight in with a power 20 and overtook their first crew within the first 30 strokes. From here it was just a matter of widening the distance between chasing crews.
The course passed by and Lucy set the pace from the stroke seat nice and steady, focusing on pushing with the legs.
Another 2 boats were overtaken, a masters pair and a novice four and the middle section of the course allowed them to lengthen out and enjoy the race.
The corner by the white house marked the start of the end, the final section of the course and a series of overtakes meant there were 3 boats abreast at this point- quite a tricky steering situation.Tay were in the middle at this point, overtaking a TGA pair into clear water whilst fending on a St Andrew BC double.
Tay held on and continued to push to the line, coming in with a course time of 20:19 and a first place in the WNov2x!
Thank you to Inverness Rowing Club for hosting such a well organised event and to Becky (from Tay) and Euan from DUBC for stepping in to sub in our 8!
Until the next one!