Furnival Sculling Club

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

Race report: Marlow Spring Regatta

Monday, 6th May 2013

The first warm day of the summer brought four of the men’s senior crew (David, Dan, Jonathan and Rod - pictured right), under the watchful eye of their talented cox Scot, to the banks of the Upper Thames at Marlow for the Marlow Spring Regatta. A remarkably uneventful drive to Marlow (no loops via Heathrow Terminal 3 this time…) boded well.  However, hubris played her hand and the rowing gods were not happy; a dodgy old-school Furnivall trestle was unable to cope with the weight of the Waggy and collapsed during rigging, resulting in a hole in the shell.  Nothing that gaffer tape could not solve, however, and the crew and cox took to the water feeling confident. In the IM3 4+ race, the crew made a good start and by halfway down the course were a canvas ahead. However, the exertion was too much that early in the morning and a number of crabs were caught. This allowed the opposing crew to steal a march and claim both the pots and the points.

Furnivall were not deterred however, and after some soul-searching they took to the water again in a straight masters' 4+ final. Since the crew comprised such fresh-faced youngsters, the Furnivall boat started with a two second handicap. On their “go!” they rowed immediately through one crew and chased the other up the course. The final whistles were milliseconds apart and the crew waited with baited breath to hear who had sneaked the advantage. Cheers (from Furnivall) and a round of rather muter “hurrahs” (from the opposition) answered the question. Gold medals all round for the crew and cox!

The glorious sunshine of the May bank holiday Monday also saw one of our novice women's IVs (Tania, Jess H, Meri P and Roma, pictured left with cox Ben) get their first ever taste of side-by-side racing..... and three lanes at that!

In their first heat, our girls pulled ahead immediately. Unfortunately the two opposition crews had other ideas and crashed into each other, causing the race to be restarted. Those few seconds of racing weren't nearly enough to get rid of some searing adrenaline, but they tried to take comfort from their previously solid start as they took their place in the queue for the restart.

The second time round, they were down off the start and knew they had their work cut out if they wanted a place in the final. FSC rowed through one crew without trouble and at around the 400 m mark the second opposition caught an almighty crab. The next time our girls looked up, the opposition were perpendicular to the course; a gift! Knowing that simply to not "mess" up [S. Albrecht, 2013] would get them into the final, they duly had a tidy row down the course.

The final proved to be just as eventful as the heat, as Jess explains: "As we practised a start, a marshal called an emergency stop to inform us that this was the women's final, not the men's. Bemused, we politely informed him that we were in fact four ladies. As we were granted permission to pull up to the start line, we caused further confusion to the race umpire who announced over his megaphone that he also had a problem: this was the ladies final, not the men's. Following much blushing (on all sides) and many apologies, we began our race against the crew from the host club. An impressive start saw Marlow up from the beginning and we just couldn't reign them in. However, we left with our heads held high after a tidy row and great race experience all round."

Many thanks to Jonathan and Jess H for the race reports.



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