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Mumbles 30th July 2016

Saturday 30th July 2016

July 30th 2016     Pwll Du 10 mile Challenge Mumbles      Saturday 30th July started well. Weather was good, with just a light breeze and a bit of sunshine. Bananaman became Caroline who unfortunately had to look after her poorly mum and couldn’t make it. So crews were ready….

Nauti Buoy and ROK were made ready and it was to be Nauti Buoy’s inaugural outing which the crew was really looking forward to. Di and Simon did a cracking job of sorting the crews with a guest rower – Lucy, from Llanion (There is no truth in the fact that she was overheard saying “It’s nice to row with some proper athletes”). Thank you Lucy for making yourself available, thus enabling us to get the two boats out.

08.30ish we hitched onto our Gary the Truck and off we went. Arrived at Mumbles an hour or so later, dropped the two boats on the beach and headed for some much needed tea and bacon sarnies, the Mumbles back room crew were very hospitable and looked after us really well.

The Cox’s brief was delivered, the crews finalized and we made ourselves ready.

ROK – Lucy, Jim, Nigel, Rod, Simon.

Nauti Buoy Di, Gary, Libby, Graham, Nick.

It was to be a timed 10 mile challenge race, with each boat starting at 1 minute intervals. ROK was off first, with Jim at Cox, and closely followed a minute later by the gleaming Nauti Buoy with Di at Cox. Conditions were just about perfect, if a little warm.

It began.

Gary at this point appointed himself unofficial starter and started one of the boats about 20 seconds ahead of their true hooter.

“I was trying to help” he was heard to say.

ROK was off and quickly settled into a good pace with Jim at Cox. We thought it was going to be about a two hour race. Nauti Buoy was off a minute later with Di at Cox, urging us to keep in touch with ROK. We were holding our positions well and ROK was making good progress, and at one point were in touch with the lead boats.

Nauti Buoy was still in touch when Neyland Mixed, the eventual winners, went zooming past with their usual elegance (lovely to watch). ROK approached the far end of the course and changed Cox from Jim to Simon, and started digging in for the homeward leg.

Nauti Buoy was still in touch and was really working hard. Our cox change then took place which enabled Libby to have a well-deserved rest (cracking shift) and Di then took over stroking duties.

We actually then started to pull away from the following fleet. ROK and Nauti Buoy were still neck and neck and going through the Mumbles gap there were 33 strokes between them.

Nauti Buoy were beginning to gain little by little on ROK. There was some gentle encouragement going on from the shy and retiring Nick. We could hear the finish hooter and flogged the last 200 metres. Had Nauti Buoy done it or had ROK held them off?

We were a very creditable 4th and 5th in fleet. Nauti Buoy crossed the line shouting “Did we do it?” Jim answered “No you were miles behind – at least two minutes!”

Everybody gave their all and it was a cracking race!

Some really good organisation from Mumbles enabled us to get off the water quickly and we trotted off back to the club house. Bananaman even managed to find two beagles on the way!

We were all still frothing with anticipation at the results as we felt, in Nauti Buoy, it was a tad closer at the finish than Jim had told us.

The food was served -  some of the best pies we have ever tasted -  and a well-deserved pint to wash them down. Little Elvie was keeping us all entertained with her dancing, after having pebble dashed her Mum. LOL.

The results loomed – Dramatic Music!!!

ROK 1-30-55   4th in fleet.

Nauti Buoy 1-31-12   5th in fleet.

17 seconds the difference after an epic tussle over 10 miles. Neyland S/Vets won in 1-21-51. Superb effort.  Well done!!

The Nauti Buoy crew congratulated the ROK crew and nothing more was said about the win. For about two seconds. And then at every available moment for the rest of the day! Poor old Nick had to sit in the car on the way home surrounded by the victors.

We even managed a raffle prize or two. Well done everyone involved. Superb day!!

Big thanks to all at Mumbles for a really good and well run event. Thank you.

If anybody mentions 17 seconds ever again there will be trouble……………………!!