On the morning of 24/4/21 Champs joined the Chesterton Head of the River race- the first race since lockdown- with great joy and excitement. The weather was perfect and it was a great morning. A combination of 8s, quads, doubles and singles were entered. Winners were the ladies quad Quadrangle who won Masters E (11.35) convincingly. Carole Mills and Louise Affleck won in their double (12.00/ 11.26 adjusted) and Carole in her Masters E single (12.54/12.00 adjusted). All the ergs, circuits and yoga by zoom as well as cycling, running and anything else we could think of have kept us fit but nothing can quite prepare you for those pre race nerves and the lactic acid kicking in after the first few minutes! We are all hopeful for a good summer on the river but every day feels like a bonus at the moment. Thanks Chesterton for organising a great event.
From Tim Seru of the Argo Dreads:
Despite a doubtful start; worry about us getting in and out of the water safely, we had a thoroughly enjoyable race. There was some confusions and searching for numbers which ended with us shouting our number (123) to anyone wearing hi-vis vests, including some confused walkers. Spotting the marshall, the gorgeous weather conditions and the joy of getting out on the river made for a great time. Our race was rowed solidly with the rating kept low – in in the main -and our time was respectable even beating a masters D squad. Upon our return to Logans Way, getting out of the water was a tricky effort, involving wellied bank helpers and number 4 jumping out of the boat to hold the boat to ensure no damage to the boat rudder; those of the crew without Sealskinz or wellies hopefully have not got any long term ailments resulting from paddling in the Cam but towels were on hand and shivering was kept to a minimum. Mince pies from Jeremy were a much welcomed infusion of calories and after a carefully spaced out crew photo we split up.
Samuel Venn: Men’s Captain
After 5 years as Safety Officer, Sam became Senior Men’s captain in 2020. In 2018, Sam stroked a Champs IV+ around the 100k Ringvaart regatta in the Netherlands. Sam became a father in 2019, and is looking forward to the day when his son can join in rowing as well! Please contact Sam if you have any questions about senior men’s rowing.
Samantha Hulston: Women’s Captain Senior Boats:
Sam used to live in Quebec where the temperatures got to -40 in the winter, so walks outside led to your eyelashes freezing! Sam’s first BR race was the Ouse half marathon in a 4+ where they won their category.
Sarah Corcoran: Women’s Captain Intermediate Squad (Sarah on the left)
Tim Seru: Men’s Captain Intermediate Squad
Tim will continue to support Sam with organising the men’s crews. Little known fact about Tim, (unless you are Fijian) is that his middle name (Turagalialia) means ‘mad gentleman of the moon”.
Carole Mills: Sculling Captain
Carole was already VET D when she took up sculling but she has always spent as much time as she can on or in the river, starting with childhood holidays on an island in the Thames at Henley which was where she learned to swim and to love messing around in boats.
British Rowing have now confirmed that all club sporting facilities (including club-owned landing stages) should be closed during the lockdown.
Therefore, there can be no rowing, sculling or any use of Clare or CRA boathouses until further notice.
Naturally we hope to get things going again as soon as possible. In the meantime, see you at the AGM on 12 November on Zoom!
A Champs working group has been extremely busy interpreting the new British Rowing safety guidelines and adapting to our new ways of working. With new risk assessments and cleaning protocols in place, crew bubbles have been formed and received safety briefings, and the first sweep rowing crews are back on the water.