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Vets Head 2019

No disappointing end to Head season for two of the women's groups after all, thanks to generosity of ‘ManHORR’ letting us finish what we started at Wallingford before Christmas. Very pleased in the Richard Ellis 8+ to finish 6th, pipping Headington schoolgirls and Oxford Brookes 2nd/3rd 8 hybrid crew in a fierce race which saw us overtake two crews clashing with one briefly by Harrods. Matt, our cox, kept us pushing and held his line well. The live feed was happily complimentary of our rowing and our line along the moored boats. Sadly we didn't find enough speed to challenge Vesta or Agecroft, but for some of us one Tideway Head in a weekend just isn't enough and both those clubs had WMasters A 8s for us to pitch ourselves against at Vets Head on Sunday.

Totally different conditions on Sunday ­– an almost unrowable headwind at the start and plenty of big waves breaking over us throughout – but we managed to get the rate over 31 for a brief period after Hammersmith. Coxed brilliantly (in general!) by Rich Hill, Caroline, myself and Valentina from our HORR 8 were joined by Lea big guns Amanda Skailes and Lucy Stackpool-Moore, Shelagh Tubby from Yare, Judith Schulz from Tideway Scullers School, and the little known Annamarie Phelps of Thames! Helen Middleton who hatched the plan with me some time ago was injured so sadly had to cheer from the bank.

Despite very un-Lea conditions and three crashes / clashes we were completely unstoppable, winning WMasters C 8+ and clocking the fastest raw time of any women's crew ahead of 2nd fastest (on raw time) Agecroft WA8 by over 10 seconds and masses more on adjusted time. The sweetest moment was catching Vesta who set of 16 places ahead of us on the line. So much fun!

Big thanks to Sam for coaching, to Rich Hill for coaching and coxing, and to everyone who helped unload our 8 so we could stay at Vesta for our prizes!

Bridget Snaith

1 April 2019

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