A second major win at this weekend’s Mixed & Vets Championships at Caradon. The Men’s Veterans Crew came first overall today at Saltash, beating Caradon and Mounts Bay in the final. Well done to Paul, Mark, Mike, Andy, Jeremy & Paddy. Brilliant effort – especially as they’d all raced, and done so well, on the Saturday as well.
The opening heats of the men’s veterans class saw fairly easy wins for the Flushing & Mylor crew. The final however was going to be a different matter lining up against strong crews from Mounts Bay and Caradon. The FMPGC and Caradon crews both sporting slightly different line-ups compared to the WPGC2013 veterans race which saw Caradon beat the FMPGC men, placing 1st and 2nd respectively.
FMPGC were drawn into lane 3 in the Rame gig Penlee Point with Mounts Bay on the Devon side of them and Caradon in Lantic towards the Cornish side of the river. The tide was ebbing so the first leg was going to be a furious dash into the oncoming strong tidal stream. A good start, then a push put FMPGC ahead by 1/2 a length but half way up the first leg Caradon still had enough of an overlap to claim the rights to the first turning mark. Cue the call from coxswain Tracey to drive on and try to get ahead of Caradon’s inside line. The crew responded well and by the umpire launch the rights to the mark had moved to the FMPGC crew.
The crews turned and went through their restart sequences, FMPGC pulling ahead a bit more. The 2nd turning mark was a tighter turn and FMPGC elected to toss the bow oar. Uncharacteristically Mark missed his pins a couple of times and the Caradon crew, who elected to take a wider line and not toss their bow oar, accelerated and closed the gap dramatically, threatening to establish a good overlap for the crucial 3rd turning mark.
Some proper do-or die rowing between marks 2 and 3 just saw FMPGC hold the gap and rights to the mark. After that it was a relentless sprint back to the finishline with the strong ebb tide shortening the time that Caradon had at their disposal were they to try to overtake. FMPGC held firm, and responded to each Caradon push with equal measure. Both crews crossed the line exhausted and well clear of the 3rd placed Mounts Bay crew. Great race. FMPGC by 1/2 a length of clear water!