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PYC Wreck Race

Sunday 19th April 2015

Originally intended to be held on the 29th March but called off due to (very) high winds the PYC Wreck race had already developed a reputation for being tough thanks to the inaugural race in 2014. Conditions on the rescheduled day however could hardly have been better. The sea looked almost like glass which was very unusual for Gelliswick.

Thanks to the short notice of the new race date we were only able to field 1 ladies team and have our spare man (Jake) infiltrate the Llanion ranks. A field of 14 made up of 4 ladies crews, 9 mixed crews and 1 mens crew.

Once the usual pre-race rituals had been completed (bacon rolls, tea, tape, more tea, getting stuck in the toilet, tea) it was time to head to the water. We had a senior ladies team in Oarsome with Nikki in Stroke, Bryony, Gabi, Di in Bow and our virgin cox making his debut, and saving the day, Gary. The spouses were suitably separated as much as possible in the boat to avoid any domestics (learning from previous experience).

We headed out under the Jetty and in a slight change to last year the start line was just beyond the second Jetty. After waiting a while for the last boat to come out (also the 1st boat to start) it was time to begin. A staggered start for this race starting with the ladies, mixed and mens teams with our ladies crew starting 3rd. A slight cross wind meant that we were against the wind for the first 2 legs. Along the first straight we quickly caught up and overtook the Llanion ladies and by the end of the first straight, at the 3rd buoy we had also overtaken the Aberystwth Ladies. Our aim now was to build that gap. Once we turned back into the Haven and headed past Thorn island the wind that should have been helping us seemed to die off altogether. It was then a long straight pull back towards the Jettys, ignoring the battle between Llanion and Aberystwyth behind us. Some good steady rowing meant we were able to hold our position although it was clear that once Aberystwth completed the cox/stroke swap they were a much more competitive boat and rounding the last buoy turn they were only a boat length behind. A slight oar clatter with PYC mixed gave them the chance to close the gap further. A real battle on the finish and our attempt at a “Sparker finish” meant that we crossed the line 1 second ahead of the Aberystwyth Ladies and thanks to the staggered start we finished 38 seconds ahead in timing. A fantastic effort by the ladies!

Jake, not wanting to blend in with the Llanion Warriors was in one of their 2 mixed boats. Importantly finishing just ahead of the other Llanion mixed boat (by 13 seconds) and coming in 8th Overall.

Oarsome – WiseBirds: Gary (cox), Nikki, Bryony, Gabi, Di. 1st in Class, 11th, 1h 34m 52s

Dragon – Full Steam Ahead: Lisa (cox), Phil, Jake, Sara, Ellie. 7th in Class, 8th Overall, 1h 30m 43s

Congratulations also to Neyland mixed winning overall in a time of 1h 17m 46s

Big thanks as always to the tower (Gary) and cox (Gary).