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Ramsey Island Sunday 17th Sept 2017

Ramsey Island Sunday 17th Sept 2017

Sunday 17th September 2017

Ramsey Island Challenge                                    Sunday 17th Sept 2017 Finally, on the 4th attempt this year … the race is ON!!!!!

A few last minute crew changes following delay of race from Saturday to Sunday, but two excited crews assembled ready for the challenge ahead

Nauti Buoy Cox Jim, Rod, Rachel, Libby & Gareth

Oarsome Cox Nick, Gabi, Steve, Marja & Mel

Some pre-race nerves were obvious during the cox’s brief as we heard about the challenging ‘bitches’ followed by a tiny gap that makes our Monkstone gap look like the M4 where only one boat can pass at a time!

The boats were unloaded, launched, we warmed up ready for the off, the inevitable ‘get a line’ start …. Back a bit, forward a bit, being pulled sideways by the tide, finally we were off.

Both boats had a great start, by the time we rowed past the bitches, which were virtually underwater so caused us no problems at all, the fleet had separated in half, the two Wisemans boats, Aberaron mixed, Solva mixed and PYC ladies jockeying for position all trying to keep out of Bryony’s way who was racing in Idris.

As we came through the gap the PYC ladies were well ahead, followed by Solva.  Nauti Buoy pulled ahead of Oarsome with the inside line, Aberaron and Oarsome were neck and neck.

Then Nicks epic coxing came to the fore, there was lots of mutterings about 17 seconds and not again!  With some challenging conditions round the back of the island, huge swells and large rock formations he urged, shouted, cagouled and shouted a bit more …. we were back in the game, pulling away from Aberaron, overtaking Nauti Buoy who were working hard with Libby setting an epic stroke rate, Jim working his crew hard.

On and on we rowed …. the outside of this island seems to go on forever?????

PYC ladies were within our reach … Nick got over excited trying to overtake on the inside, with Steve shouting ‘my oars on the rocks’ we pulled back to try and overtake on the ocean side (after all there is plenty of room that side Nick!!!!) and we finally had them, what a satisfying feeling as usually these girls trash us at every event.

By this time, we were not far behind Solva mixed or Bryony in Idris …. Nick has the finish line in sight and would not let us ease up one bit.  Unfortunately, Nauti Buoy got a bad line coming round the back of the Island and veered off course a little which hampered their progress.

Bryony in Idris finished in 1hr 21mins 15 seconds – absolutely fantastic result to keep going alone and navigate difficult waters single handed I have nothing but admiration for you yoler’s!

Oarsome 1hr 21m 17s

Nauti Buoy 1hr 23m 23s

Absolutely fantastic race, really great hosts, not a brilliant turn out but with so many postponements and if’s and maybes with regards to the weather it is not surprising.

Roll on 2018 if it’s held again (YES please!) may the weather be kind as I think Ramsey Island Challenge should be a must do on the rowing calendar