Lockdown racing – it's a family affair

Lockdown has proved challenging for most people but for a 17-year-old who was used to training at the club six days per week it has proved very challenging.

On the upside my erg machine at home has been used more in the past six weeks than ever before, it doesn’t know what has hit it!

I have taken part in a number of virtual races with other clubs over recent weeks which have been good however the anticipation of a Family/Coaches race was palpable. Now who should I pick as a family member to take part? My 50-something year old mother with her dodgy back or my still in her 40’s Aunty who has previously rowed at a competitive level and represented GB at a World Rowing Championship? Wasn’t difficult to answer and so Aunty in Aberdeen was tasked with getting ready for the event!

The draw on the Thursday identified the teams who would compete and although I didn’t know everyone in my team, I was excited at the prospect. Any suggestion of any team fixing was of course completely unfounded!

As the morning approached, I had my usual breakfast of a chocolate muffin and peppermint tea. Aunty in Aberdeen had polished down her erg machine and oiled the joints – on the machine, not her knees! Nerves were running high across London and beyond and as I logged onto zoom, it was great to see the location of the erg machines, many alfresco in sunny gardens.

And so to the race: my race time was 10.40am, 500m done, everyone in my team finished and there didn’t seem to be any causalities! Technology seemed to be an issue for a couple of the older competitors – perhaps us juniors will need to provide an IT lesson when we do get back to the club!

Aunty in Aberdeen finished her 500 metres for her team in a good time and avoided any embarrassment to me or herself!

Okay so my team didn’t get to the final, but it's not about winning it's about taking part!

Who would have thought that within the two teams competing in the final there would have been a married couple? Okay so only one could win, and Mr Cushway and his team won first prize.

A great event – can’t wait for the celebration back at the club, and for the next one!

Arianna Forde, Junior Vice Captain (girls)


Lea Rowing Club

The Boathouse,
Spring Hill,
Hackney, London E5 9BL


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