by Krista Davis
A 0500 start from the boathouse saw the team arrive at Huntingdon by 0740, a little chilly, but all ready to rig up and go.
Last year SBC returned for the first time in a while for more racing in the stunning Huntingdon surroundings. This time though, we were able to bring our own trailer and therefore our larger crewed boats. A modest team of 7 entered in to both Division 1 and Division 2, seeing the men boating first. Manuel Marques, Mark Brice and Mark Latymer joined forces with Huntingdon Boat Club to race a Masters 8+ ( a natural continuation from the 8+ sprints we did with them earlier this year at the Sudbury regatta), which also featured rowers from St Ives RC as well as one of the coaches from King’s School Ely.
The boat, stroked by Manuel and steered by experienced Coxswain Alice Ray from HBC, flew down the 3.4km course and produced the 2nd fastest time of the day, winning the Masters 8+ event.
New for this year, Huntingdon also provided a shorter, straighter 2km course which was raced by our Womens 4+. Crewed by Sarah Fry, Krista Davis, Sarah Tyler and Michele Thomas, this was Sarah F’s and Krista’s first time at Huntingdon, and in our David Ravens coxed brilliantly by SBC’s Abbie Latymer, the ladies finished in 11:26.
In Division 2, racing the full 3.4km course, our rowers entered both the sculling and sweep oar events. Our two dynamic duos, Sarah F/Krista and Mark L/Mark B both entered double sculling events.
In the glorious mid morning sunshine, (thermals stripped off along the way!) Sarah F and Krista took Jack for a blast along the much more technical course, with Mark L and Mark B in the V Club 3. Battling a winding course, daytripper and canal boats, and of course….. swans! both pairs finished the course in 19:03 and 18:16 respectively. Slower times than both crews were aiming for, but after minimal training sessions together for the girls and a ‘surprise’ tree catching out both crews (sack the bow seats!)- there’s always next year.
Also up in Division 2 was the Mx4+. Manny took the stroke seat in the David Ravens in a composite crew of Sarah T, Michele and Coach James of King’s Ely. Abbie once again expertly steered the 4+ through the tight bends at the end of the 3.4km course, with the crew finishing in 16:03.
Overall, a great day had by Spitfire BC at Huntingdon. Wafts of bacon butties, tea, coffee and cake from the marquee, alongside friendly faces, and beautiful Autumnal weather made for a lovely atmosphere.
A huge thankyou to all at Huntingdon BC for an impeccably organised event . With no delays to race start times, it meant Spitfire could head back South to be unloading at home before sundown.
Big thanks also to those crew members from St Ives and Kings Ely for featuring in some of our composite crews.
We look forward to Huntingdon HORR 2023!