Monmouth Autumn Head of River

It was an early start for the first race of the head season for our Novice Women’s Four of Grace, Maria, Mia and Julia accompanied by cox Meg and me as their new squad captain.

Driving out of Birmingham was tricky due to the traffic diversions from the Birmingham Velo, which attracted hundreds of cyclists heading in to the city. A couple of hours later we arrived in beautiful Monmouth.

The girls quickly rigged the boat as Meg attended the coxes’ briefing and then they were off on the water. No sooner had they disappeared, than an announcement over the tannoy told us that Birmingham were returning back to the landing stages due to a broken steering cable! Disaster! A super nice marshal, Dan from Monmouth Comprehensive School, came to our rescue and quickly fixed the issue, allowing the girls to tag on the end of the division and make it to the start line in time.

The first race went well, the steering held out and the girls came off the water feeling positive. They felt they rowed together with a quick start and a good pace to settle in to. Not bad for the first row of the head season, and the fourth time this crew had sat in a boat together!

Whilst the second division took place, we all had some lunch and were joined by Rich and squad coach Joe. Rich arrived to race in his first single event since joining the club at the start of the year. Joe gave the women’s crew a few pointers based on the short film I’d taken of their final 200m and we helped them all on to the water to race again. The third division was far less dramatic and thankfully the only ‘breakage’ was a lost race number! Both crews finished looking strong and came off the water exhausted but happy.

With just two crews racing the worst part (packing up) was fairly quick and was done just in time for us to check final times and for the girls to collect their race medals, an unexpected bonus of the day, despite having no direct competition!

We left Wales having had a super day and having bonded a little more as a result. I think the crews not only felt a sense of pride at having represented Birmingham but also warm feeling of confidence that this race was under their belt and so it’s ‘game on’ for the rest of the season! Well done team.

  • Written by Eve Vines, Development Squad Captain