Furnival Sculling Club

Furnivall Sculling ClubRowing club based in Hammersmith, London. Established 1896

Pairs Head race report

Wednesday, 15th October 2014

Meri & Jess working hard 

In the first Tideway head race of the season on Saturday 4 October, it was the turn of the pairs and the doubles in the Pairs Head.

Furnivall had a solid showing of four crews entered. From the men's squad, Dan and Jonathan  in the IM2 2- category. The women's squad fielded three crews: Jess H and Meri P in the W.IM2 2- category, Jenny and Fiona for W.IM3 2x and Rachael and Sarah also in the W.IM3 2x category.

Our crews claimed some excellent results - notably Jenny and Fiona being placed 5th out of 28 crews and Jess and Meri coming 5th out of 15. Rachael and Sarah also gained a solid result of 14th out of 28. The girls would like to thank Mark Ruscoe and Steve Rooke for generously sparing their time for some coaching sessions in the run-up to the race. Thanks also to Mark for some excellent photos which can be found in the Gallery.

Jess offers us her view of the day, from the stroke seat of the girls' 2-:

"The Pairs Head only offered women's pairs events at IM2 level and above, so Meri and I set ourselves the respectable goal of ‘not coming last’. We were a scratch crew so we had one month in which to learn to row and race a pair together. And not come last.

In our month of training we caught some crabs, had a handful of near and not-so-near misses with buoys, bridges, doubles (sorry Sarah and Rachael, Fiona and Jenny!) and the occasional very large boat. However, we were also lucky to have very generous coaches, nice water, sunshine and to our surprise, some quite nice rowing.

After a reasonable start on race day, we settled into a comfortable rhythm. Although without a stroke coach, we had no idea what the rate was but it was working for us. Meri expertly guided us through the mêlée and neither of us let obstructive crews or clashing blades affect our rhythm.

The same Barnes Bridge Ladies crew that Furnivall had a close encounter with last year were unable to pass us and we used them to push off down the whole course. As we passed our neighbours near Chiswick Eyot, we realised that our plan was coming to fruition. The enormous Furnivall cheers and vuvuzela roar coincided with our final push for the finish line and was such a huge lift for us. Not coming last somehow turned into 5th place and a well deserved drink in the sun (when the rain finally stopped) was waiting for us back at the club."

A great start to the season and we look forward to more head races in the coming months. Next stop: Fours Head!

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