PAIGNTON REGATTA

An unprecedented three wins for Teign Scullers and well up the points table.

The Mixed four of Barbara, Morag, David and Ian coxed by Mark made an amazing start to the day with a clear win over Torquay and Paignton.

Nic and Patrick followed with a large win in the Senior C double scull

The "older crew" of MarkE, David, Ian, Andy coxed by Barbara had had to enter the Senior C and as such were a little outclassed to be fair.

The Women's Novice of Claire, Denise, Morag and Barbara coxed by Mark performed creditably for a scratch crew in difficult conditions, as did the three doubles of MarkT and Andy, Morag and Barbara (in a borrowed boat) and Denise and Claire.

The Men's Novice four of MarkT, Nic, Patrick and Andy coxed by MarkE were ahead for much of the race and just didn't have the experience to put in the final sprint to stay there - the first time I have seen a TS crew really cross for coming 2nd.

The Vet scull was another first for Teign Scullers of 1st, 2nd and 3rd - although to be fair there wasn't anyone else! MarkE's 20 second start (!) was only just enough to keep him ahead of MarkT with Adam not enjoying the rough water - hey, nor did either Mark for that matter!

TORBAY REGATTA

This was a last minute entry by the men - and if only we had known the rough and rainy conditions we might have thought otherwise!

The two Marks made it through the rollers to oh about 100 metres from the beach, discovered that the competition had scratched and I am afraid rapidly headed back to the beach - just too rough for us. We were a little shamefaced to then watch a 16 year old girl from Dart Totnes cream through the white horses as if it was dead flat!

The Men's Vets had to enter the Novice in a borrowed boat (nice one though) with a frig rig (suited us). They were Ian, Guy, Paul and Mark coxed by Barbara were close to hyperthermia on the start line as we waited in the downpour for the umpire who was late - someone commented that the whole boat shivered! They were competing against, amongst others, our Men's Novice four of MarkT, Nic, Patrick and Andy coxed by Jane. This crew is definitely the fastest we have ever had and they actually crossed the line first (yes, first) but were disqualified for interfering with the neighbouring boat. A shame and certainly not down to Jane as she was asked to cox for the first ever time let alone in a race.

The Mixed four of Jane, Barbara, Ian and Guy also showed good form for a completely scratch crew. We were well behind until Mayflower steered into to Torquay but no restart being called by the umpire who declared a re-row when we got to the finish (in front). Mayflower were disqualified and Torquay rather sportingly agreed to no re-row and gave us the win even though there were clearly gaining on us having had to stop for quite a while. A win is a win!

DARTMOUTH

I am afraid that our enjoyment of this usually favourite end of season regatta was rather spoiled by a wickedly strong headwind, some nasty water made considerably worse by the behaviour of the umpire's boats (despite my written entreaty before the day to the chief umpire). They actually succeeded in hitting Morag and Barbara during their double scull race. I will be taking this further as I feel fairly strongly about the unnecessary harassment of crews not in the lead.

Our Novice four surprised a few on the bank by winning their heat comfortably and leading the Final for much of the race. We were overtaken but were within reach when we had a couple of shipwrecks which meant we had to work hard to keep our place. Given the rough water this was entirely excusable.

Our Vet four (again same names) also had a good race, in particular the first 600 metres holding off a very strong and much younger crew but fitness rather left us, which led to losing our rhythm and technique in the huge wash (well actually two washes) that we had to row through.

We had two boats in the Women's Novice double - Barbara and Morag plus Denise and Claire - with both having difficulty with the conditions and some pretty fast completion.

Barbara, Morag, Ian and Guy were our Mixed crew and had an excellent start - only to be recalled by the umpire because of errant steering elsewhere. Our next start wasn't so good especially as we were not straight and not ready for the umpire's sudden GO. Lesson learnt.

The Women's Novice four of Jules, Morag, Barbara and Kim also struggled in the conditions but a race is a race and they are picking up a lot of learning points.

Last to go were our heroines from Thatcher Rock - Wendy and Sandrine, who had virtually no practice after Sandrine's broken ankle. They were very creditable for their first ever race in a double.

Regatta Summary

I would like to say how proud we should be of the technical improvement of our rowers in their racing which is beginning to really show in terms of boat speed and the ability to race and win races. We are beginning to build a sound bedrock of people who know how to row and what a crew needs to achieve in terms of rhythm, cohesiveness and working together. We have also learned that we need not to be frightened of going out into rough water and learning how to cope with it - let's treat the waves as our friend (we get plenty of them) - and lots of square blading in training - I can hear the groans from here!

Mark