Despite the extreme weather conditions, W2 arrived enthusiastic, if slightly terrified, to the boathouse. High winds and the fact that it was our first race as a crew meant we didn’t know what to expect!
An eerily quiet row down to the start gave us time to adjust slightly to the wind and rain, expertly guided by our cox Felicity. After a chilly wait for our timeslot and a surprise appearance from our coach Ben, we were off! Immediately it became clear that the wind was much stronger than us, but we weren’t going to give up easily. Barely a minute into the race and Haley of us caught a crab, injuring her arm, but with determination she pushed through the pain like a champ and we picked the pace back up again.
With helpful shouts of encouragement, we fought against the wind and kept going, holding tightly onto the blades that the wind was trying to steal from our hands. At stroke, Fiona kept an amazing pace which we managed to hold for the rest of the course. The whole boat felt really connected, and as a crew we felt more in sync than ever.
After what felt like only a few minutes, we were passing the finish line, exhausted and exhilarated, thoroughly drenched by the splash and the rain. Even with the weather, we’d set a respectable time and come second in our division!
While the race could have been awful, our camaraderie meant we stayed in high spirits throughout, and it was definitely a bonding experience for all of us – bring on Bumps!
Rachel Brown, 6