Following a typically early start for the Ynys Mon race on the North Eastern tip
of Anglesey, 8 men from Aberdyfi Rowing Club travelled in sun shine and light
winds, to arrive at the venue as the clouds started to appear.
The venue, one of
the most beautiful inlets on the Welsh coast, unfortunately provides little
shelter if it rains. Fortunately the rain remained sporadic and light.
arrived and unloaded the boats we went on the scrounge for coxes and at one
point we had 6 ready to cox us, eventually settling on 2 ladies from
Aberystwyth. We decided to enter a vets team which made crew choice fairly
straight forward with our 2 under 40 yr olds Ed Moss and Tim Chesworth supported
by Dylan Evans and Ian Andrews in the Senior crew and Nigel Pearson, Lindsay
Parry, Paul Chesworth and Dave Rice in our Vets crew.
The race consisted
of a 2 mile pull against the current and slight head wind heading north up the
rocky coastline around a buoy near the old cement works and a blast back with
the current and wind to the inlet and finish. The sea looked calm but looks can
be deceiving, especially at sea.
And so it proved, the presence of back eddies,
rocky outcrops and strong tides made an unpredictable sea, which often upset the
balance of the boat, encouraging caught oar blades and inefficient technique.
The men's race consisted of about 12 crews with the local boats lining up on the
inside closest to the shore. Our Vets muscled their way into the middle of the
start line and our seniors, late to the line due to a warm up, were forced to
the outside. This was telling in the first leg as it soon became clear that
there was an advantage closest to the rocks due to a back eddy travelling in the
opposite direction to the main flow.
After 5 minutes 4 boats led side by side -
Ynys Mon closest to the shore, our vets crew, then NewQuay and then our Seniors
on the outside. After 10mins NewQuay dropped off the lead bunch which allowed
our Senior crew to cut in towards the shore and get closer to the advantageous
current. Still inside them and matching them were our Vets team and Ynys Mon. 15
minutes in, our Vets dropped 2 boat lengths and our Seniors 1 boat length behind
Ynys Mon who hugged the favourable current expertly. The Senior crew then made a
move into the shore side water but could only follow Ynys Mon who held their
lead to the buoy turn. The two leading boats made the turn and immediately sped
away from the rest of the fleet as the main sea current blasted them back to the
finish. After the turn Ynys Mon were about 3 boat lengths ahead of our Senior
crew who tried firstly lengthening the stroke and lastly upping the tempo to
close the gap. This worked to some extent, bringing the gap down to a length at
one point. But despite a full blown "nothing left in the boat" type effort from
the whole crew that kept it close right to the end, Ynys Mon on home water were
not to be denied and were worthy winners.
Our Vets meanwhile had their
own battle with NewQuay Seniors. Our boat went wide at the buoy turn, NewQuay
not needing a second invitation cut inside and made up ground at one point
getting on level terms. Our Vets dug in and pulled away again, finishing an
excellent 3rd overall some 40 seconds behind our Senior team. This secured them
the Vets title and trophy!
As always Ynys Mon were great hosts. They are
a very likeable and friendly club, it felt good to travel the distance and