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City Of Oxford Rowing Club

Don’t Blame the Boat! Mastering the Tideway

“Basking in the pre-Orphelian heat wave, in skins, is a good way to start a head race on the Tideway, especially when you are number 371. (Though early in our warm-up we were reduced to “3” when a junior crew spun into us breaking off the number in the empacher slot – will take this as luck in future!) Typically bumpy until all crews reached their marshalling stations, the conditions for the race were great – relatively flat water with a light tail wind.

We set off in our Falcon Wintech, with full confidence in our Tideway-proof breakwater, improvised from a piece of old pipe insulation and plenty of duct tape, a soon-to-be-patented invention 😉 Abingdon stroke, Bev Ashton, settled at a strong 28 spm and about 2 minutes into the race we were overtaking our first crew, one of 5 or 6 passed in the course of race. GPS speeds gave a clear indication of the race line, with Stroke calling Bow back onto course when on a number of occasions speed dropped as the boat strayed out of the stream. Otherwise we steered a fair course with a good line out of the bridges, and set for the final 250m sprint from Hammersmith.

After a relatively comfortable first half of the race, glutes and quads were feeling the burn approaching Hammersmith bridge, but we managed a final push, overtaking a further crew just before the line at Harrod’s Depository. We span and set off on the long slow heave back to Chiswick and Barnes Bridge Ladies RC, very happy with our first race together as a 2x. Learning much later of our win in Masters B/C was quite unexpected icing on the cake!

Mary Murray
City of Oxford & Falcon Rowing Clubs”

More information on the event and details for next season can be found on the Barnes Bridge Ladies Rowing Club


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