Race report for
Aberystwyth 22nd July 2012
On the morning of
Sunday, July 22nd, strong winds from the south suggested that the
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
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.
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!