Our Novice 8+, like last year, started the HoRR in the penultimate starting position of #310. Whilst this meant a prolonged wait on the water, the finest weather seen at Head of the River in years allowed the crew to bask in the rarely seen March sunshine in preparation to bask in the glory of our race performance; our crew was in the highest of spirits as they set off for only their second race together. With only a sole boat behind, the early race aim was to increase the gap to the race’s final boat from the City of Bristol before trying to take aim at the boat ahead from Furnivall.
A punishing rate 31 began to be felt throughout the boat as we approached Hammersmith, but as the roars of “Come on, the Town!” drove us on, it was the sight of coach Julie that enabled the final push for the line. However, disaster struck our bowman as his seat came loose just as we passed through Hammersmith Bridge; the fact his static strokes went unnoticed by the cox and crew speaks volumes for his composure and rescuing of the situation. As luck would have it, Craven Cottage’s assembled crowd bellowed its support for a swift Fulham counter just as we passed and it was the encouragement we all needed to finish 289th overall and 5th in the Club Beginner category.
The crew’s joy at finishing was swiftly tempered by having to row the entirety of the course back to the club, whereupon, restorative Malbec, scotch, and ale were enjoyed by all.