Aberystwyth races - Sunday, July 22nd
read report from Ian Andrews....

Race report for Aberystwyth 22nd July 2012 

On the morning of Sunday, July 22nd, strong winds from the south suggested that the www.christopherswartz.com races were in the balance of going ahead or not.

Amid a fair swell and white caps they went ahead.

 First up were the ladies - Aberdyfi being represented by Kara Chesworth, Toni Francis, Beth Parry and Catrin Owen coxed by Alun Stedman

 The 17 boats seemed to take an age to get lined up on the start line as the last boat left the harbour some 15 minutes after the first. When the race started it became clear that the first leg into the head wind and waves favoured pure power. The biggest crews took the lead with our girls getting to the first turn in 4th place with a large gap between themselves and 3rd place.

 The conditions stalled the boat and upset their timing, however as they turned across the wind and waves and on the next leg down wind and with the waves, their technique improved dramatically and they were as fast, if not faster, than the eventual winners Ynys Mon. Alas the gap was too big to overtake 3rd place Llangwm.

The men's race occurred after high water, which meant the tide started to clash with the wind creating bigger waves!

 We had 2 crews -  Afon with Ian Andrews, Paul Chesworth, Dylan Evans and Paul Cruickshank  with Beth Parry as cox and this crew seemed to have brute strength in abundance needed to tackle the waves and head wind.   Clychau, with Nigel Pearson,  Dave Chapman, Dave Seabourne and Tim Chesworth coxed by Alun Stedman, lacked the other boat’s power but were well balanced and looked like they would go really well.

 Once the race started it became clear things were not well for Afon.

 Arguably the most powerful crew on the water they were struggling to get boat speed as instead of powering over the waves they were bashing right through them. This filled the boat with a constant deluge of water rarely dropping below a foot of water in the bottom of the boat causing Beth at cox to bail constantly for the whole race.

Despite this extra weight Afon got to the first turn in equal 3rd place with Ynys mon, with Llangwm and Aberporth ahead by only half a length.

Then it all went wrong! Ynys Mon said they got side-swiped by a wave but the result was they crashed into Afon on the turn jamming us against the buoy and stopping our forward progress for 10 strokes giving the 2 leading boats the chance to get away. We eventually chased after them and as the amount of water in our boat reduced and as the sea turned more behind us we picked up speed and closed right down on 2nd place Aberporth but were unable to get past before the final turn which meant we were only able to overtake them a few hundred meters before the finish. By this time we had run out of race to overhaul Llangwm who won the race and are now equal points with Aberdyfi at the top of the joint league.

This means the rearranged Aberaeron Joint league event planned for 20th September is the final decider for top spot in Wales. Our other crew had a slow start but once they found their rhythm they maintained a cracking speed that took them past several boats eventually finishing an impressive 7th out of 20 boats.

The waves continued to build throughout the day and the enthusiasm for the mixed race in the Aberdyfi ranks dwindled. Eventually, there were only 5 prepared to take on the conditions and opposition to represent the club – Kara Chesworth, Ian Andrews, Tim Chesworth and Catrin Owen with Beth Parry as cox.

We started relatively slowly, hitting the first turn in 6th place with Llangwm just ahead of us. As soon as we passed that turn we got the wind on our side, which stopped the need to power our way into the waves. We then took off and quickly passed one Llangwm crew. When we turned again and the waves and wind were behind us we left them easily, overtaking another Llangwm crew to eventually finish in 4th place out of 19 boats.


A special mention should go to Catrin and Tim who although still of Junior age rowed like seasoned seniors in quite hostile & intimidating conditions. Well done to both of you!


Posted: 11:39:55 - 31/07/2012

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