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Return Of The Cleddau

Saturday 11th April 2015

H’West to Neyland 14 miles

With this being the first race meeting of the 2015 calendar, as expected it was well attended, even though it clashed with a Northern challenge race “The Madog Dash” , which was also a 14mile open sea race being hosted by Porthmadog rowing club. Wiseman’s captains were able to assemble a ladies crew and a men’s crew for the Return Of The Cleddau, and there was also enough interest to send a mixed crew North on missionary work to take part in the Madog Dash. So, with logistics and crews sorted all we needed was a weather window and some Vaseline.

As always with “Return Of The Cleddau” it was a timed race with staggered starts at 30 second intervals. Launching the boats carefully down the muddy, grassy banks alongside Pembrokeshire County Council offices in Haverfordwest, our Wisebirds and Wiseguys were ready for the 12 mile race to Neyland.
An impressive 34 boats had assembled ready for this opening race of 2015 season. An excellent addition this year being 5 yoles amongst the fleet of 28 Celtics and 1 solitary Pembrokeshire Longboat..

Our Wisebird’s starting 6th off the line were under the watchful eye of Bunty at cox for the duration of this long, tough 1st race of the season. The ladies kept it long and strong enjoying the scenery until going into the final 2 miles underneath the Cleddau Bridge, when wind over tide provided some challenging rowing, but together they managed to pull over the line in 2hr 5minute 54 seconds. Excellent rowing ladies..

Wisebirds in “Oarsome 32” – 7th in category – (2:05:54) 30th overall out of 34 boats
Winning Ladies, Solva – 1hr 54minutes 25 seconds
Bunty (Cox) – Tash (Stroke), Bryony, Diane, Judy (Bow)

The Wiseguys in their Pembrokeshire Bathtub “Dirty Dick” , due to an administrative error started last, making the first 5 miles a very lonely experience for the men. Thankfully by “Blacktar Llangwm” our Wiseguys started catching the tail end Celtic boats. As with our Ladies the last 2 miles had become a tortuous slog through heavy water and wind, but with Towy ladies providing the men with a sprint finish “Dirty Dick” took the flag ahead of Towy with some clashing of oars to add to an exciting finish.

Wiseguys in “Dirty Dick” – 1st in category – (1:52:54) 17th overall out of 34 boats
Winning Mens, Mumbles – 1hr 38minutes 14 seconds
Simo/JD (Cox) – Simo/JD (Stroke), Rodders, Gary, Dan (Palm Tree)

As always thanks to Tow crew and supporters who make the race days possible.