No happy ending for us tonight alas. We had a good start, and not one but two whistles on Tabs into Grassy, and all of that was the plan, but we lacked the oomph to close down the last half length plus the overlap. Which was the bit that wasn’t under our control. We also got a rather wide line round Grassy which shows up clearly in the video; and rowed down Plough Reach in Tab’s puddles which slowed us down (ah, you can even see it in the GPS trace) (um, or do I have to take that back? Perhaps we were just tired? See Jo’s video), unlike Press who picked the other side and gained noticeably: from being merely on station into Grassy they gained to nearly half a length at Ditton. From there its a long way to top finish and we only made it halfway down the Reach. So much for our dreams.
Tactically, we could have rowed a different race: accepted we weren’t fast enough to get Tabs, and backed off. Rowed a more even pace, saved ourselves their puddles, and left Press with ours, whilst leaving ourselves enough margin to keep pushing them away (but looking at Jo’s video, that doesn’t seem to be how things were. It certainly felt like we were in their puddles, though. In Jo’s video it just looks like Press surge from nowhere just before Ditton). In retrospect, that would have been wiser. But less glorious.
Well, I got out, watched the other boats row by – we’d just passed Robs 2, who had caught City 1, something of a turn up for the books and leading to the amusing prospect of City 2 chasing their first boat tomorrow – and shook hands with Andrew, Roy and Silvia. And then it was time to go home.
* Jo Crissall’s video as she cycled.