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Aberdyfi League Race Day

Sunday 24th May 2015

Sunday 24th was the turn of Aberdovey to host their league race. Bryony, Mo, Brian (Nicky), Sian and Capt Mark setting up camp alongside our friends from Towey on Saturday evening, excitedly chatting and planning the after race party. Within a few minutes we were already in trouble, Brian refusing food and having to take to her bed with a mystery illness, it looked as though we were down to four rowers.

The following morning, poor Brian was in a worse state, so sadly we left her reclined in her tent and made our way to the harbour to register and hopefully pick up some surplus rowers to make up our numbers. Luckily Helen from Llangrannog took Brian’s place in the ladies and with a stiff wind blowing with the flood tide we knew we were in for a tough race.

Capt Mark positioned the boat on the start line as close to the beach on the far side of the river risking running aground but hoping to avoid the worst of the in-coming tide and the race was underway. Rather than push too hard against wind and tide the ladies dug in at a respectable pace, in contention but towards the back of the pack. At the first buoy turn it was obvious that several of the other competitors had shot their bolt on the first leg and were already suffering, then the Wisemans team put on a massive spurt and moved away with the leading pack of boats. With a scratch team, it was unlikely we were going to win, but the team battled hard completing the race at the rear of the winning pack.

The next time the team saw action was in the mixed race, with the three girls and Captain Mark rowing, Jane from Towey coxing we thought our chances of doing well were slim. Due to the rough sea conditions the race was shortened to two laps of a short rectangular course. With a short first leg and a field of twenty seven boats the first buoy turn became a mêlée after two boats got jammed together at the buoy and others ploughed into them and each other. Luckily with Helens calm instructions and a lot of pushing and shoving the boat freed itself and attempted to chase the leading teams. Several boats had avoided the clashes at the turn and were well ahead, but our team piled on the pressure, having a real ding dong over the last half mile chasing a PYC boat and resisting a strong challenge from Moby Dick of Fishguard.
Although tired from a hectic days racing, the team quickly scrubbed up and headed to the Pig Roast where they were easily the best in all classes in the dance off!

Thanks to Bryony for towing, Nicola from Towey for looking after us and commiserations to Brian, hope you are better soon. Also a big thank you to Helen from Llangrannog making up our numbers in the ladies and Jane from Towey for magnificent coxing in the mixed. Not forgetting Lowri and Lotti for their help with the trailers and being our slaves when we were knackered.

Natalie in Oarsome's engine room joined 3 of Towy's girls to brave the worst coxing a Celtic longboat has ever seen. Nic (Towy) steered them to a spectacular grounding on the far shore sandbank. After pushing, pulling, hurdling oars and wetting her panties, Nic finally got the boat afloat once more and the girls were off, chasing down the pack. The girls rowed brilliantly and their timing was immaculate. They pulled together long and hard in tough waters. Finishing 7 overall and second in class(under 18 girls). Fantastic rowing display, shame about the coxing!

Ladies race 13th out of 22 boats.

Mixed 17th out of 27 boats.

Ladies: Bryony, Mo, Sian, Helen (Llangrannog), Cox Capt Mark.

Mixed: Bryony, Capt Mark, Mo, Sian, Cox Jane (Towy)