by Neil Fraser
Preparation for the race hadn’t gone to plan with us only being able to get out into the boat together 3-4 times, but our last paddle together went smoothly and gave us a bit of confidence going into the race.
For all of us this was our first time racing Fours Head so we didn’t have much to lose and went into the race hoping to execute the race plan and come through knowing that we’d given it our best shot.
The paddle up to Chiswick was a bit nervy, but Mario did a great job manoeuvring us around the other boats. Fortunately the weather was improving and the water conditions were better than expected – we just had to keep ourselves warm before we could strip down to race kit and get started.
We went under Chiswick Bridge starting to build and get the hands spinning – the rate went up and we were quickly up to race speed as we crossed the start line. Working towards Barnes Bridge was a reminder of how long this first stretch of the race is, but the shouts from the White Hart were soon heard and we pushed on around the bend.
We seemed to hit a bad patch along the island, but tried our best to keep the rhythm and hold onto the crews just ahead of us. Going under Hammersmith Bridge was a big boost – the Vesta shouts kicked us on to the stretch of the course we know best. Going into the last 500 meters we were battling hard to hold off a crew from Kingston RC and just about managed it.
We were pleased to see the finish line, spin and get off the water – it’s a long way in a 4+. Looking at the results we weren’t as competitive as we would have liked, but we took away a lot of experience from the race which we’ll be looking to build quickly upon as the season progresses.
We’ve all got a lot to work on, but look forward to moving into the 8 as the head season progresses.
Crew: N. Sani (Cox), A. Kung, M. Walsh, L. Turner, N. Fraser