The Great River Race passed without a hitch this year, once actually on the water. There had been some panic the day before, when the Cutter’s rudder was found not to be in the boat. It never leaves the boat, but appeared to have been used as a template to make another rudder and then promptly lost. Visons of a non start began to loom, but luckily at the eleventh hour, it materialised and all was well with the world again. Note to self. Never let anything out of our sight!
We started well, but with a crew which had not rowed together before. Our man mountain, Dick Blanchard was not able to take part this year and we also had a new member of the cutter crew, Paul Cole.
This year saw a very noticable head wind for most of the race, but despite this we put in a very respectable 3hr time (the exact times are still to be published). However we were not able to repeat last year’s success over the Tallow Chandlers, as they had their very own 6’8″ monster of a rower, known as Stretch.
The atmosphere was wonderful and enhanced by Simon OLeary cheering and taking photos and by Brind Waldron, who was shouting so loud, that when he was on Tower Bridge, I would not have been surprised if they could have heard some commotion at Ham! Brind then cycled the route bellowing at us all the way. It brought smiles to the rowers’ faces, when one would normally have expected grimaces.
Overall, a sterling effort by the crew made up of David Brown, Paul Cole, David Lee, Doug Johnson-Poensgen and Paul Clarke, while stroke was shared between John Deverill and myself. We were also very ably coxed by Oliver Lee, who at the tender age of 15, has just taken part in his fifth Great River Race. A future oarsman in the making we hope.