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Captain’s update 20/08

Hi all

What a weekend for the Bridge!

Saturday we took a trip to Oxford City Regatta and came back with a pyramid of pots!

We had a pretty full trailer with crews entered in IM3+ 4+. IM3 8+, IM1 4x, MasA 2x, Nov 2x, Nov 1x, IM3 1x.

It was operation de-novice for Sarah Tallis who is sadly leaving us to go back to Oz. Morning racing got off to a great start with the the Katys in the 2x getting through to the next round, despite the Masters C crew having a head start. Sarah Lilley got to through two rounds to the final in her Novice single. The Four came through two rounds to win the final in a convincing win over Lincoln College.

Over lunch came the 350m sprints with 2 pint pots on offer. The scratch 8+ did brilliantly, using the first round for a bit of practice beating the Captains local rival HSBC, then went on to win.

Afternoon racing included the Nov double, which displayed some rather unsporting behaviour by the opposing crew – better luck next time Kate and Sharon. Hilary and the Vets quad racing at IM1 were doing brilliantly and were looking sure winners in their first round until the challenging Oxford course decided otherwise.

Finally it was the IM3 8+, with pretty much a scratch crew, beating HSBC (again), local Oxford crew Tethys in the semi, and home crew Oxford City by a canvas in the final. It was the most exciting race as nobody was entirely sure whether we’d won due to the staggered start. See our haul of pots.

Sunday was the much anticipated pre-course Open Day, with the Join in team visiting with special guests.

It was the most surreal of days, we set up shop and waiting for the wannbes to arrive. We were having a great time teaching a few basics on the ergs and in the tank (thanks for loan Ali). It all started getting interesting when Sky News parked their satellite in EMAs car park.

Only a few BBL members were aware that not only John Inverdale, Sharron Davis, Jonathan Edwards and Daley Thompson visiting, but also silver medalist David Florence and Double gold medalist Mo Farah!

Whilst I tried to keep the media publicists happy, a host of volunteers helped with the ladies wanted to learn about rowing.

At 4.30 the celebrity entourage arrived. Each celebrity arrived via the boat house into an eight blade “salute”, John, Jonathan, and Sharron went off for a paddle in Ali BaBa with Dave G expertly coxing. Bev took David out in a Jo Byrne and did a brilliant job coaching David. The PR types tried to convince Mo to take to the water, but he decided his daughter Rhianna would like to have a go.  Katy Own was on hand and I held on to Pat Sly to make sure there were no mishaps as we keep the boat close to dry land.

Mo was called off to speak live to Sky News!

Following the activity awards were presented to BBLRC members. Suzannah Cooper – Inspiration – for overcoming injury, Jas Meier – for promising young sports persons and Dave G – heroic volunteer, more to follow on that soon.

And some local footage of Mo in action on… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZG_xc0kBWQ

Thank you to all the helpers who stepped in during all the madness. It was a brillant day for BBLRC; now most definitely on the map.

If anyone has any newspaper articles (apparently there was one in the Evening Standard) it would be great to have a copy.

Apparently we also made the BBC 10 o’clock news. If anyone accidentally recorded it please let me know.

More will follow on our Get fit and row in the coming weeks.

Phew!

Sarah

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