by Mike ‘Plodders’ Walsh
We set off in to the mist from Putney with hope in our hearts and fiery determination in our eyes…..and also a Carson in our Cox seat.
Our crew had two fresh faced debutants within it, Alan “AH HA” Hunton in the 6 seat and summer signing from Cygnet Rob Alexander at 2 seat.
Boating was fairly challenging for the coxes in the lead up to the start line, navigating between 60 odd boats in fog thicker than Carson’s Saturday morning porridge proved hairy on more than one occasion. A Kingston Vets crew may have almost been decapitated by us. May have been! They weren’t actually decapitated. They were a bit angry though.
We knew we were setting off just behind the Staines first boat, and we set our sights fully on them. Well, Carson did. The rest of us couldn’t actually see them, obviously. They were behind us. JC had raced for Staines previously and reliably informed us they were “not terrible, but beatable.” It turned out he was right!
We set up a good pace from the start line and managed to catch the Staines crew by St Pauls. As we came level to their bow man they called a power ten, but it was no use! We kept our heads matched them stroke for stroke before pushing away from them towards Hammersmith.
Unfortunately as Staines disappeared in to the fog behind us we found ourselves in a slight vacuum and lost some of our initial intensity.
When we got to the mile post, however, we rallied and set up for a speedy finish.
Once we had crossed that line our thoughts very quickly went to the bottles of port Luca had stashed in his locker to be shared out in the showers. Rightfully so….It was totally delicious and set up our festive celebrations for the rest of the day perfectly.