Sunday September 25th dawned bright and cold as SBC headed off to the River Medway for our first head of the season: Maidstone Small Boats Head.
For many of our rowers, this was their first look at a 2.5 km course with many hazards: moored boats, bridges and “Bow, take a look!” – no, that’s not a half-submerged human – it’s a tree stump wearing a hi-viz gilet. One or two others could probably row it with their eyes shut (Lewin I’m looking at you). The river isn’t without its compensations, though, outside the fury of the race. Marshalling (chilled) beside the superb Allington Castle and finishing (overheated) near the mediaeval Archbishops Palace added interest.
We put out crews across all four divisions, coxed fours, quads, doubles and the particularly intrepid singles; open, women’s and mixed. This year we didn’t bring home the pennant for the fastest crew but everyone had a great day and did us proud. Well done to rowers Amy, Dave, George, Jess, Krista, Lewin, Luke, Manuel, Mark B, Michèle, Sarah F & Tsvetelina and a big shout out to Abbie for superb coxing in some very challenging situations.
A big thank you to Manny for herding the cats and Bricey for getting the boats to and from Maidstone. First-rate organisation from Maidstone Invicta, friendly faces from the rowing community, great sunshine and delicious refreshments made for a great day.
Some photos of our crews racing (courtesy of Clive Harlow from MIRC) below: