Helford River Race 2015

Several months ago a little blue banner was seen on the club calendar announcing Saturday 10th October  ”The Helford River Race” add your name if you wish to be selected. 7 names were eventually found to be there volunteering to row for 45 minutes up the Helford river from the Ferry boat Inn to Gweek.  Unfortunately one of the volunteers had to pull out so, after a serious and detailed selection process the 6 names still on the calendar became the crew.

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Training was to be a problem with work and home commitments but eventually the Saturday before the event several of the selected crew arrived at the marina to try and discover where they would sit and if there was any chance of co-ordination and timing with their different rowing styles. Tim Edwards battled against all the odds on that first training session and achieved a mini miracle as the crew bonded well in their “Selected” seats, so the stage was set for Helford.

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Helford River Race 2015

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Saturday 10th October a grey overcast day but over 40 boats from Skiffs, to 35 gig boats and 1 dragon boat arrived at the  beach outside the Ferry Bridge Inn at Helford, 2 members of the Bristol crew also put in a late training session in the Inn just to ensure they had timing still! The tide was coming in and all the crews faced the danger of being cut off from their boats unless they left the comfort of the small village and moved to the starting beach, what Roger Taylor of Queen thought of several hundred people passing one of his many houses is not known but everyone got to their boats and so the race was given the go-ahead.

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Starting from a small cove all the boats would cross the start line turn left towards the sea fight towards a small buoy and then continue the race towards Gweek. Our start time was to be 15:37 and 45 seconds!  Gill Rylance, who most of you know kindly volunteered to be the cox, got us on our way with impeccable timing at the start. Into a choppy sea as we left the calm of the cove and down to the turn around the buoy, out manoeuvring several boats as we rounded the buoy with some angry shouts from another boat as we passed them on the inside. Cox and crew were too determined to worry about oars almost clashing it was Gweek or bust.

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The next 40 or so minutes passed with several strong 10’s and some stealth 20’s, boats trying to pass us some successful but others could not match our pace. We were entered as a mixed “B” team so with the limited training we had done together we could not hold off some of the Men’s and women A teams but crossed the line after 43 minutes 16 seconds. Helford River Race 2015

20th out of 35 gig crews and finishing before the A teams from clubs such as Truro, Pendeen , Bude and even 2 Helford boats. A very good day out, the only downside was unfortunately the male crew members  had to drive back to Bristol leaving girls to continue the merriment.

Well done everyone – put my name down for next year !

Thanks to Dave White for the write-up.

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