Star Club started their campaign at the National Masters Regatta in the Championship Mixed D quads with a straight four boat final.
Conditions were fair (for Nottingham) with a stiff head to cross wind but the water quite flat. The quad of A.Thompson, L. Boggis, D. Sogan and R. Armstrong got off to a strong start and were a ¾ of a length up at the 250m mark. By 500m they had clear water and were moving away from the field. They continued to lengthen their lead eventually winning Gold by an emphatic 10 seconds.
Next up were A. Lynn, D. Hawes, D, Gowing, A. Crook and cox K. Morrell in the final of Non-championship D-F 4+. They were about ½ length down on the leaders at half way but well up on the rest of the field. Despite several pushes they were up able to break the leaders and eventually finished a strong second to Monmouth.
By the afternoon conditions had worsened considerably with strong gusting head/cross winds and very choppy water.
First into the maelstrom were J. French, E. Appleton, L. Taylor, J. Clarke and cox E. Pearl in band 1 of the Non Championship Women’s D-F4+ event. The gusting crosswind made it impossible for them to get attached which unfortunately led to Star having a difficult free start, starting slightly behind the other crews. Despite this they rowed very well in very tough conditions, eventually finishing in third place.
Lester Waugh had to endure even worse conditions in his F singles heat. Lester rowed incredibly bravely through the atrocious, almost unrowable conditions but fell back to fourth place by 750mc. As conditions improved in the last 250m he made a late charge on the field and was just pipped for a place in the final.
Next up were D. Sogan and R. Armstrong in their heat of Championship Mixed D2x. They managed to navigate their way through the rough water to eke out a lead by 500m and as conditions improved they pulled away to win their heat by 3 lengths. They had the second fastest qualifying time just behind the other heat winners.
Star’s next contribution was in the Non-championship band 1 D-F8+ represented by A. Lynn, M. Fulford, I. Blackley, M. Mitxchell, P. Mills, D. Gowing, A. Crook and Cox K.Morrell.
Star had a good start and coped well with the rough conditions and at 500m were neck and neck with a Tyne/Teeside composite, both of which had moved clear of the rest of the field. In the third quarter, Star dropped back a quarter of a length and despite really attacking in the final quarter were beaten by a second.
Last action of the day was for D. Sogan and R. Armstrong in the final of the Championship Mixed 2X. Conditions had improved slightly from mid-afternoon. Star were in lane 3 next to Minerva Bath who had a faster qualifying time. Star got off to a strong start and gradually moved up on Minerva. A strong push between 250m and 500m saw them move two lengths clear. A threat then came from Bradford Avon who had the best of the conditions in lane 1. Star continued to pile on the pressure and despite a series of strong gusts of wind hitting in the final 250m eventually won Gold by 10 seconds.
Sunday’s weather forecast was even worse than for Saturday and it proved to be accurate. There were white cap waves at the start and a horrendous gusting wind.
First up were S. Russell and E. Appleton in the Championship level WD2- final. This crew was technically a non Championship level crew which had been forced to compete in the higher level category on Sunday due to racing clashes and lack of competition on the Saturday. To row a pair at all in those conditions was extremely brave. Rowing in lane 5, they even had to contend with Runcorn in lane 4 veering into their lane off the start. After the ensuing blade clash, they put in a very decent row given the appalling conditions, and finished in 4th place beating Loughborough.
Next up were D. Taylor, T Barton, S. Lamb, C. Hunt in the Championship F4+. Unfortunately they were in lane 6 which was getting the worst of the weather. Due to the wind, the stake boats had been abandoned and a free start was used. Star had a bad start (partly due to not hearing the starter) and at the half way point were back in 5th place. As conditioned evened out they picked up their pace came back strongly in the final quarter eventually moving through to pick up a bronze medal.
Callow also picked up a silver medal in the championship B4x in a Peterborough, Leicester, Star composite.
Later on in the day the event was called off due to the increasingly high winds. This was very unfortunate for S. Russell and E. Appleton who were already up at the start and raring to race again, this time in the Championship WC2- event. This also meant that the Non Championship WE2x of K. Taylor and S. Lamb and the Championship E8+ were sadly unable to race.
In summary two championship golds, a share of a championship silver and a championship bronze as well as several other excellent performances and near misses.
Not a bad day at the office.