5 Go a Rowing – Gloucester /Ross Experience

Day one- Christchurch show their colours at Gloucester with their first win of the day coming in a Christchurch v Christchurch final in the mixed double of Faye & Robert Standley v Andy Galloway & Rachel Williams, with interclub rivalry brought into the mix both crews come off the start together, giving the crowd an exciting race of side by side racing up to the last 200m when steering came into play (under debate) and the Standley’s double manage to pull away finally winning by 2 lengths (still under debate). Having given the crowd an exciting race Christchurch didn’t stop there, Faye then took to the water in her single against Exeter , this was a re match of 2017 where having first had a dead heat Faye eventually won in the re-row. Exeter came off the start slightly ahead but caught by Faye after a few strokes they raced side by side to again finish in a dead heat! History repeated itself with a re-row win to Faye. Next up heats for the Mens Double with Robert Standley and Andy Galloway v Kingston, a valiant close race Christchurch held on to win through to the semi-final meeting a 2nd Kingston crew and again crossing the line first. The final against Cotswold RC, showed Robert and Andy’s fitness, technical ability and determination as they held the Cotswold crew throughout the race, with 100m to go they gave a final push leaving their opponents standing to take a well deserved win. With two other races of Patrick Hollingworth and Rachel Williams in their respective races putting in solid performances the 5 left Gloucester feeling they had showed the club colours to good effect and keen to add to their trophy collection.

Day 2 at Ross started wet and cold but did not dampen the Christchurch 5’s enthusiasm, the first race of the day for Christchurch was Upton v Xch Patrick Hollingworth, Patrick in his new Carl Douglas boat received his first ever warning for false start in his racing career, this was later disputed by both rowers who were informed the starter was a trainee so assume she needed re start practice! Re- start was set and 2nd time both rowers got away clean with Patrick holding off his opponent, once again giving spectators an exciting race, a win looked set but in the dying strokes Patrick was just piped on the line. Rachel Williams then went against the very experienced Cantabrigian rower Jacklyn, for her second ever single river race, having gained confidence from her first ever race at Gloucester she was determined to show her metal, and proved her ability by steering an exceptional course and putting her opponent under pressure , eventually losing only by 1 boat length. The winning double of Andy and Robert again took to the water and being 2 lengths up looked sure of a win, but as they say anything can happen and this time a buoy decided to upset their plans for a 2nd win losing by just 1 foot. Numbers were strengthened in the afternoon with fellow coastal rowers of Lymington Alan Taylor & Tim Bull joining Robert and Andy in the quad, being a relatively new combination expectations were not high but determination was and this proved to be the winning formula with a win in the semi over Bentham, the final against Worcester saw the Christchurch /Lymington combination take lead from the start ensuring an easy win and another trophy.

Our thanks go out to the Lymington 4 (wives included) for joining us it was a pleasure to spend time with you all and enjoy your company, especially the dry warmth of your mini bus!!

Final the last race of a wet and windy day between Faye and her nemesis from Exeter, once again they raced side by side and it looked like another dead heat but in the last few strokes Faye pulled away to cross the line first, only to then be disqualified for missing the last buoy ( more debate). By then the rain had stopped the sun shone and all were looking forward to day 3 and the last race.

Day 3 started bright even if the 5 were a little less so, but a good Ross breakfast brought back their racing eagerness and at midday Faye, Robert, Rachel and Andy sat on the start line for the mixed quad knowing it was the last chance for a Trophy, next to them sat Runcorn the winners at British Masters, this knowledge made the Christchurch crew more determined, and on go they had a blistering start which took Runcorn by surprise from which they never recovered, leading all the way Christchurch took the win an another trophy sending a message to all those river crews! Don’t mess with the Green gold and Blue!

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