The start of the new year in Hull brought a lot of cold and ice to East Park, making the lake unrowable, but undeterred the club carried on where it had started last year and kept up its racing schedule.
This time took them North – far North – up to Gateshead/Newcastle and a race on the Tyne! Hull Kingston Rowing Club had entered Tyne United’s New Years Head – a 5.5km race on the River Tyne.
Club Chairman Gav had worked and raced at the club so knew the club and river well and the club decided to go all out and field three quads for the event. For the first time the club was entering a mens and two womens quads. This meant a very early start with a 6.30am drive up from Hull to Gateshead in not the best of weather!
The run up to the racing was not without a bit of drama with a last-minute crew change (Rob had to become an honourary girl for the Womens IM3 coxless quad event!), Gav losing his voice the week before he was due to cox and a blizzard on the way up the A1 meaning we had about 20 minutes to grab our boats and get on the water.
Division One saw the Womens Novice Coxed Quad of Alice, Katy, Bella and Amy with Gav (voice just about working) coxing and the Womens Intermediate Three Coxless Quad of Charlotte (steering), Olivia, Jodie and Rob (honourary girl) competing.
It was a solid row from the quad – with Olivia and Charlotte growing in confidence under the guidance of Charlotte and Rob developing his sculling technique. They came away satisfied, but still itching to get a full womens crew racing soon.
The Women’s Novice Coxed Quad of Alice, Katy, Amy and Bella had an impressive row – Club Chairman Gav who was coxing noted that the girls had some fantastic spells of sculling as a crew and was quite excited for future potential come regatta season. While the girls came off a little disappointed, Club Chairman Gav came off far from it and was really pleased with their performance.
The last crew of the day to race was the Mens Novice Coxed Quad of Gav, Sunil, Rob and Kev with Charlotte coxing. Deciding to row in the Mens Novice category and not Masters B as they could have done this was the first time the club had put out a ‘senior’ mens crew in to race.
What the guys lacked in style and finesse they definitely put into effort in the race – even Club Chairman Gav who muttered ‘last time I raced was four years ago in a scratch crew on this river and im doing it again’ enjoyed himself and while the time wasn’t what they wanted, that racing spark had been ignited for all of the guys.
The last thing the club members got to do on the day was to get a tour of the Tyne United Rowing Club facilities from Gav, including their indoor rowing tank and indoor rowing machine room. A future training camp location had been confirmed in the minds of the club members!
A huge thanks to Sunil for driving the minibus that got the club members up to Newcastle and a massive thank you to Tyne United Rowing Club for the loan of the quads and the blades and their hospitality on race day. We’ll be back again next year.