Race Report

29 May 2016

After managing to pick up paddlers from varying crews, Secklow made it to Stockton for the first time in a few years!

The day had this year’s usual Round Robin format but with an additional distance to contend with – 200m, 500m and 2000m races!


Race 1 had Secklow pitted against Wraysbury and Henley, after a positive start beating both teams off the line we got reeled back in crossing the line 3rd but posting a respectable time.

Race 2 – and up against Amathus for the first time this year. Our start slightly misfired, but we are comparing it to Amathus who previously would have been a boat length in front at this point! The remainder of the race we tried to play catch up, but couldn’t quite match their pace to get over the line 1st. we crossed the line 2nd beating Thames!

Race 3 – Major Plate final – We went into the 4 boat race 4th quickest. With nothing to lose we sat on the start line relaxed, hit our first 6 aggressively and transitioned through our start with relative ease, Secklow at the point leading the race. Our lack of team practice with the thrown together crew showed and we got pulled back in by the other crews, finishing the race a respectable 3rd in the plate.


Race 1 – a slight re-jig of paddlers and we made our way down to the warm up area, and carried out a couple of drills to make sure the people who don’t normally paddle with us knew what our 500ms are all about.

On the start line we met rage and powerhouse, two crews aiming for a spot in the cup major final (us next year). Our start again showing rage just how much we have improved in this area the year, leaving them well down on our boat.

By the time we got to the bridge however we have been overtaken but were hanging on! Again our thrown together crew couldn’t dig deep enough to come back, but a valiant effort!

Race 2 – Time to shine, we have a point to prove in this race and needed to go a massive 3.5 seconds quicker to get into the Major Plate final. Three River Serpents and Thames in our race, Thames 3 seconds quicker than us in our first race.

Off the start line, a bit slower than our usual speedy start for the day but level with Thames. Then it all came together, I called leg drive, we drove on! I called reach, and we found that extra stroke length. At the bridge, 200ms from the finish, we were ½ a boat length up on Thames something ordinarily we would be very pleased with, however at that moment in that race not enough! The calls kept coming, the rate went up and we responded, the call for sequence came and we crossed the line in 2nd a full 3 seconds quicker than Thames.

Race 3 – Minor Plate final – after totting up the times we missed out on the Major final by 0.3 of a second, absolutely liberty I know but we still had a job to do!

We faced Notts in the final, and crucially we stuck to task. Off the line quickly, into our stride smoothly and a leg drive before the bridge was enough to seem them off. The final 200ms of the race we maintained our length, kept the pressure on ourselves to perform and crossed the line 1st. A fitting send off for the Purple Warrior guys whose efforts all day deserved a win!

The 2K!

Down to 16 in the boat and tired, but certainly not out. Never a question of if we would do the race, more of who would step up and have a spare seat in front! Barry and Dan sat in Seat 4 with 3 vacant, Myself (I will never ask anyone to do more than I’m willing to do myself) and Sam in 8 with seat 7 empty. The attitude change I’ve been looking for came, I asked for the impossible at the start line, which was to make 30s up on Notts by the corner! Although everyone in the boat knew this was almost certainly never going to happen, we gave it a real go!

Captains checklist on the 2Ks:-

Commitment to a fast start – Tick

Response to calls – Tick

Effort from everyone – Tick

Commitment to our turn – Tick

Strong finish – Tick

I was very pleased with our efforts here, after a long days racing crossing the line second and feeling strong we a top effort and something to be proud of. Well done Secklow!

Shout Outs:-

Derek – A rock this weekend, towing the boats, leading the loading and unloads of boats, sorting out the Marquee and Helming every race! The clubs lucky to have him, but let’s try and help him out a little more the rest of the year please. Thanks Del

Vince – first race event on Stroke all day, really stepped up and performed

Yas – Some crucial (unprompted) calls, really developing into the drummer role left vacant by Reece! We needed you and you delivered! (Other crews now pinching you for their races!!)

Typhoon/Linda – Thanks to the guys that joined us from other crew, it meant we could attend an event we have missed recently

Purple Warriors – I’ve sent these guys a separate note to thank them, 2 of them had only picked up a paddle for the first time on Saturday and the other the once before that! A great set of guys and I'm sure a force to be reckoned with once up and running!


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