Falmouth Ladies strike again
After a season dogged by bad weather and cancellations, crews arrived at Newquay last weekend having raced only a handful of times throughout the summer.
The weather was favourable, with sunshine and low winds making for fast and flat conditions. With 90 crews, round one took seven hours to complete – crews taking between 17 and 22 minutes each to row the course.
By the second round, the competition was down to 48 crews, with some speculation over whether boats were as even as they could be. At Newquay, the boats are drawn out of a hat – in banks picked to be as comparable as possible.
Day two saw the final 24 complete the quarter finals. Here the top crews started to draw each other, with Mounts Bay meeting favourites Falmouth for the first time. Credit should go to Swanage Rowing Club, based in Dorset – with three crews in the quarter finals.
By the semi finals, the second leg was becoming increasingly tricky – still relatively flat for Newquay – but this started to affect some crews.
The semis saw some very close racing, with Mounts Bay once again drawing Falmouth and the second semi-final seeing Caradon draw Newquay.
There were no huge surprises for the final, with Falmouth B crew clinching the 6th spot to become the guaranteed top placed B crew.
Close racing up the first leg saw Falmouth pull away after the first 4 minutes, followed by a strong Mounts Bay crew.
The next three crews fought hard to gain an advantageous position at the first mark, with Newquay inching in front and rounding the buoy in third. Caradon turned in fourth, Charlestown fifth and Falmouth B in sixth.
With crews attempting to make attacks on the boats in front, the positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race.
Falmouth A crossed the line several lengths clear to cement their reputation as the top Ladies crew. Team GBs Mark Hunter presented the medals to a packed Newquay Harbour, impressed with how the top crews complete 5 rounds of races each lasting 18 minutes.
The men descend on the harbour in a week’s time to contest their equivalent, with special guest Helen Glover presenting the medals.
Report by Rhiannon Halliday. Check out the October Rowing & Regatta magazine for Rhiannon’s account of the fiercely-contested 2012 Championship.