Flushing & Mylor finish second, holding the lead position to the top mark
Flushing & Mylor Ladies A crew for Three Rivers
Cox – Jeremy Stonehouse, Stroke – Liz Fernie, 5 – Jenny Shipley, 4 – Lena Budd, 3 – Sally Thompson, 2 – Kim Dodge, 1 – me.
We reinforced our club reputation for liking a bit of rough and being strong upwind rowers by leading the boats to the top windward mark and finishing second overall, about 10 strokes behind the home crew, Caradon.
There were 60 odd entries and 4 heats starting a few minutes apart with the Newquay results from last year setting the draw. This year we started alongside the other top crews, Caradon, Mounts Bay, Fowey and Charlestown. Newquay had pulled out before the day. The strong Northerly wind, and a tide against it, made for a rough course with relatively big seas on a significant part of it.
A confusion over where exactly the start line was, led to several boats out of control and being blown down across it as we lined up, and the starter dropped the flag as ‘Winspit’ came broadside straight through our strokeside oars. Despite the obstacle, the crew dropped back in and rowed strongly off the start. Within a minute it was Caradon and Flushing & Mylor neck and neck and the two crews slowly left the rest of the fleet behind. Flushing & Mylor inched ahead of Caradon, for the first time ever in women’s racing, and held it to the first mark despite several challenges from the other crew. The Caradon boat finally pushed up alongside just before the top mark and having the inside line, they sneaked through to take the lead. Charlestown were a few boat lengths behind us and the three boats spread out a little on the downwind but uptide leg. The strong following wind, with water rushing against it, made for some interesting rowing, with breaking waves coming into the boat in the vicinity of the bridge.
We stayed just in touch to the bottom marks and then rounded strongly to build a convincing final leg, increasing the power and rate to bring us back almost in touch with Caradon. Jenny counted 10 strokes between our finishing hooters.
A tough race, Kim and I were soaked before we started, but a convincing performance to really stamp our mark on the rankings in the lead up to Scilly,
Of course this might all be a fantasy, as I was rowing and therefore had very little blood going to my brain.
Thanks from all the crew to the members who sent support before and after, to Penny for coaching and Kirsty Anthony-Johns, the 7th squad member for coming along to cheer. Thanks to Mike Griffin, Sam (Liz’s partner) and Toby and Bonnie Budd for supporting too.
Jeremy and Mike finished the day by cycling home in 4 hours flat!