After a nearly two year wait, Inverness Rowing Club returned to racing in a club regatta! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic competitive racing across the country has been hampered so it was with eager anticipation that the club gathered for a day of friendly side by side racing on the Caledonian canal.
Two teams were organised, red and green. To include everyone crews were formed from a mixture of our recent learn to row cohort, juniors and our more experieced members allowing racing in singles, doubles, quads, eights as well as coxed tub doubles for the beginners. Races were run over sprint courses of 250 and 500 meters.
It was a closely fought battle but after the initial races both teams were equal with five points apiece. The final race was a head to head “meeting of the VIIIs”, where the reds and the greens met in a side-by-side spectacle with three separate events of 250m, 250m and 500m courses. To say the final race was eventful would be an understatement! Both teams had significant set backs including near collisions, steering issues and catching crabs; but after determined efforts from both sides the final result was called a draw.
It was fantastic to see so many faces, both new and experienced, on the canal banks and the day brought everyone together after such a long time away. Many thanks to Dave Rothwell for his meticulous planning and also to my fellow team captain, Heather Gordon, for her fantastic organisation on the day.
We’ve not been back in crew boats long but with the various lockdowns there has been a steady stream of enquiries about joining the club from both experienced rowers and complete novices. This has seen us run introductory sessions for 6 potential new members and our first taster session attracting 11 people entirely new to rowing. Hopefully we will see those that attended move on to our 6 week learn to row program. They couldn’t have been provided better conditions to give it a go!
That’s our IRC Intra-Club ‘Virtual’ Head completed! We had 21 entries from 16 members, a great response. Well done everyone who entered a time!
We plan to run another Intra-Club Virtual Head in February to give you target to train towards, and a chance to improve on the times submitted. Hopefully we will also see a few more members returing to the water.
Here are the results (feel free to rank by any metric you choose):
Thanks to everyone that took part and a special mention to thoose that took the opportunity to race the head course for the first time or in a new crew. Great effort!!
Former IRC member Dick Ruane, with the help of Jim Flood, has donated his oars to Lake Victoria Athletic Club, which is predominantly a rowing club, based in Kisumu, Kenya. Adam Cartier, who co-founded the club in 2011 passes on a huge thank you as they are in great need of equipment and these blades will be well used by the members of the club and the Kisumu community.
November is when we would usually welcome clubs from throughout Scotland, and the UK, to our Fours and Small Boats Head. However, under current restrictions it has not been possibe to run this event. However, with the prospect of no racing for the foreseeable future we thought we would organise an Intra-Club ‘Virtual’ Head.
This will run throughout November, during which you can submit your head course time here. Club members can enter in as many different crew configurations/categories as they want and for those less keen to get back on the water, the head course can be completed on the erg or you could run the course.
Setting a base level time can be a great way to gauge if your training and drills are working and as such, we plan to run a similar event in February so as we can compete against ourselves and see what improvements we have managed. There may even be a prize for most improved.
The course can be found on Strava, which provides a really simple way record your time.
Of course a wide range of prizes will be available for the different categories such as the adulation of your peers, tremendous sense of satisfaction and achievement, etc, etc 🙂
We look forward to receiving your times which will be collated and posted to the members area as they come in. Good luck and enjoy your race!
Safety points: you should remember that even after the canal is closed to cruisers (7th Nov.), occasional boats will be coming upstream and so you should stick to your side of the canal, and not take the racing line. If you are not confident with your steering you could consider asking someone to bank party.