Race Date: Saturday, 4th November 2023
Crew: Racing Snakes
How many people does it take to change a trailer wheel? At least 3 Racing Snakes and a support man and his dog. Luckily, one of the TRC Facilities fairies had left 3 brand new wheels in the container for us, and Rachel had the other tools in her car to do the job. A quick detour to pick up the number plate and a check of the boats & straps and the mechanic-approved ‘tyre kick’ to make sure it was all sound, and we were on our way after a fairly leisurely start. (I felt confident enough in the manoeuvrability of the trailer as we pulled away that I didn’t need to mention the fact that everyone had kicked the wrong tyre).
Given that it was raining at the club, and elsewhere in the country, as we loaded the boat on Saturday morning, it seems unbelievable that it was a nice sunny day in Glasgow of all places! The water was as flat on the Clyde as it had been on the Tay and the canal path was abuzz with trailers, rowers, dog walkers and weekend strollers. A super speedy set up thanks to the quick release riggers on the boat allowed us to take our time admiring Clyde ARCs club house and to boat well ahead of our scheduled time. We had the river to ourselves as we warmed up and waited for the other boats in our division to join us beyond the fallen tree just over 3 km upstream. We realised that it was down to our chief steerer in bow (Heather-8 tries-McKenzie) that we had managed to avoid the tree and other obstacles as we witnessed other crews getting tangled up. This reassurance gave us the clarity we needed to focus on the race ahead and stick to Paige’s race plan of ‘Start hard. Go a bit harder in the middle. Finish hard’. After exactly 10 minutes of solid, fairly uneventful rowing, pushing off the bridges and fighting for as long as possible to keep the Clydesdale crew from overtaking us, we eventually conceded to allow them to have the final winning line and very proudly took 3rd place in our first head race of the season.
Thank you to Clyde ARC for providing the weather and introducing us to coffee bags, as well as a brilliantly organised event.