Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Sunday: Vesta Veterans Head of the River Race 2011

On Sunday morning at 5:15, our alarm went off, and we gathered our things to head from our hotel to Putney for the Vesta Veterans Head of the River Race, in which James was coxing his mens eight. We arrived at 6am, for a meeting time of 6:45, because the taxi company somewhat overestimated how long it would take. Still, better early than late, and we enjoyed seeing the dawn over the river (the extra half-hour of sleep wpuld have ben welcome though!) . 

The rest of the boys soon arrived and got to work rigging the boat for the race. Simon also came down to the race and we formed the 'bank party' to collect wellies, put kit safely in the car and cheer from the bank. After the boys set off we stayed and watched as hordes of other boats pushed off from the river bank. It was quite a spectacle.

Photo: Simon
Photo: Simon
We walked upriver, towards Hammersmith Bridge, which is usually the best spot for watching and cheering. But we had to be back at Putney (the finish line) to help the boys back in and bring their shoes down to the water, so we we'd not have time to get from one to the other. What to do? Simon had the homemade banner he'd used for the Womens' Head, so we got it out and taped it to bridge with gaffer tape, then scooted back to Putney in time to help them in. 

"Row faster, Chesterton, the bar is open!" - Photo: Simon
The crew L-R: Tom, Will D, Ollie, Andy, James, big James,Will C, Chris, Ralph

Photo: Simon
Photo: Simon
 They came 67th, with a time of 21:21, with a very slow stream on the tail end of the tide.
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