Devils Tails from the Riverbank 2

Nottingham Head of the Trent Race

I’m afraid this has missed the editor’s deadline so my report on our race in Nottingham is going to be old news by the time you read this. We had three boats racing in the Nottingham Head of the Trent race on Sun 24th Feb. Our men’s crews (with mostly men in them, there being one notable exception in our boat) were racing in Division 1, supposed to start at 10 o’ clock but got put back to 11:30 in the end because of the early morning fog making it hard to find the far bank. This left competing crews trying to psyche each other out in the car park for quite some time beforehand. There’s only so much of that you can do though, most people being of a fairly sociable nature.

I think all our crews had a decent row. Our Men’s Masters cox-less 4 (Mas 4- ; stroked by Adam Nickerson at 4 and steered from the bow-seat (1) by our captain Brian Jarvis, with Philip Thompson at 2 and Dan Whittle at 3) rowed over the course in 22:14.8, a final result time of 21:43.0 when adjusted for age and infirmity. They had a run-in with an overtaking crew from Nottingham Rowing Club beneath the Toll Bridge at Wilford which sadly brought them to a stand-still. Without that, I think there’s a good chance they could have knocked 15s off their time and come in under 22:00. Their class winner was a crew from Nottingham which, looking at the results table, may well have been the crew that ran into them, with an adjusted finishing time of 19:50.1.

Ironically enough, in a parallel universe about 2 minutes earlier, our crew had had a similar run-in involving a clash of blades and a verbal exchange, beneath the same bridge with a crew from the other local Nottingham club (Nottingham and Union). We all know that it’s not ‘what you say’ but ‘how you say it’ that really counts. All I can say is that I didn’t like being spoken to like that, something went ‘pop’ in my head and for a split second I was all for mounting a one-man boarding party. Not being Captain Jack Sparrow though, I quickly put that idea back where it belonged and resorted to the spoken word instead, one of which was really quite regrettable (though fairly common in the workplace) and which seemed to hang in the air in a rather disgraceful manner, echoing around the embankments and abutments as we emerged from the bridge, laden as it was with ladies rigged out in their Sunday-best with toddlers, push-chairs, impressionable teenagers and so on. I did put myself on the ‘naughty step’ for two days this week so I’m rather hoping that’s dealt with now, unless somebody videoed it and puts it up on facebook of course, which would be fairly embarrassing.

What? Oh yes, our time. Our Men’s (with the notable exception of Michelle Greenwood at 2) Masters D cox-less quadruple scull (Mas D 4x- ; stroked by Darren Hickman at 4 and steered from the bow-seat by Jim Hawkins with me at seat 3) rowed the course in 22:43.0, with an adjusted time of 21:46.6). The winner of our class was a crew from Bradford with an adjusted finishing time of 20:29.9.

Our ladies rowed in Division 3 in the afternoon as a Women’s Masters D coxed 4 (W Mas D 4+). Holly Kemish in the No. 4 seat set the stroke and Jim Hawkins coxed, with Vicky Nolan at bow, Clare Sedgewick at 2 and Max Kavanagh at 3 providing the rest of the hard work. They didn’t have any competition to row against in their class sadly. They rowed over the course in 25:24.0, with a final adjusted time of 24:21.0. From what I hear (because I’d gone home to put my feet up by that time – sorry ladies for my lack of support) they felt that they had a good solid and satisfying row and overtook two other crews on the way down (which always brings some satisfaction). I think all our crews felt that we’d had a good row and that our crews were something we could all build on. 5.7km is a good long haul and the competition was very strong indeed. There were some very good crews out on the water that day.

I was going to tell you a bit about the day Vikings came marauding up our stretch of river, but I’ve had to put that off for another day because there’s apparently some sort of gagging order in place, swearing us to secrecy. I’ve probably said far too much already. Intrigued? Go on. Admit it. But you’ll not get another word out of me on the subject until we’ve been un-gagged, which won’t be until they know when it’s going to be broadcast, or so I understand.

I’ve got some other things I should have told you about, but I’ve gone on long enough now and I expect you’ll be needing a rest, so I’ll tell you about our Open Day on April 6th and our upcoming Learn-to-Row course, later in April, another time. Did I mention the Trans-Atlantic rowing challenge? No I didn’t. Next time then. Now, I wonder what Disco Dave and his mates down at Stage 1 have been up to . . . . .

Ed Sinfield

Devil’s Elbow Rowing Club – Recreational Captain