Exeter 2005

Last years heroic loss at Exeter and the shattered dreams of christening our new boat with a win was obviously well forgotten as Thursday's training session took place in the Maharaja Tandoori, Ricky High Street. It was here the cunning plan was conceived to win back the Exeter gold. During the meal silence fell over the whole restaurant as everybody heard (whether they wanted to or not) as the plan unfolded not only for Exeter but The Albert Docks as well... it's incredible what a few beers and a Madras can do. These training sessions are highly recommended.

9.00 am Sunday the boat was on the water, the base camp set up and the temperature soaring. It was going to be hot in the city of Exeter today, we were fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. This plan was cunning and only a few us knew. It was in this fifteen minutes I could reflect on the night before and try and figure out how a quiet meal in Topsham turned into "The Secret Policeman's Ball", the Rocket man was right, these Senior GB Ladies certainly now how to enjoy themselves.

On to the 200's, if you won your first race you were the in final [not quite, actually, but we'll let it go], Batchworth were up against Henley & Notts Anaconda.

In the final we were up against Amathus and Kingston. Two weeks earlier Amathus pipped us at the post and that was with all our big guns in the boat, this time we had three new faces and a fast blast from the past - were we going to gel or fall apart? As it happened we had a great start and managed to stay ahead and take first place. This was followed by a quick stretch (not a chance of a warm down in that heat) and then back into the shadows to apply more sun cream for all but Nick who seemed to be using butter, he must be out of his brilliant mind.

The program for the 500's appeared to be a little different than normal, it seemed to cause all manner of problems for our cunning plan with race times deciding what heat or semi final you ended up in. It's all too much for me on a hot racing day.
As this is being written up long after the event I can only remember that the semi final had to be won in the fastest time to guarantee we were not in lane one. As it happened our time had the desirable effect and we ended up in lane two for the final.

The final saw Amathus in lane One, Us in Two and Thames in lane Three. All day Amathus had been looking good, were they keeping something back for the grand finale to reduce our lead to one? Likewise could Thames pull something out of the bag and gain their second win for the season? Only time will tell, as we all sat on the start line the temperature seemed to rise. Down and ready all crews focused on the finish line. Go said the Starter, and we had a cracking start and by the halfway increased our lead which proved vital in the finishing stages, in the last 70 metres a call went out from our helm to give a little bit more as Amathus had clawed our lead back and begun their final push. Simultaneously Thames were very quietly making up ground on our left, all boats crossed the finish line within 2 seconds. Luckily for us the Evil Empire proved too powerful and in a blaze of glory we won (this bit is for Batchworth members only so we are laying it on a bit thick, I'm sure you'll understand). Looks like the Maharaja session did the trick.

This just about winds it up so I'd just like to say a big thank you to John, Ian, Kin for their first competition with us and to Rebecca for coming back to the fold. Hope you all enjoyed it, I know the rest of the crew appreciated your help. Also a another big one to all the officials for another fantastic day and guaranteeing the weather.

Some of you may have noticed that there were a few song titles in the above drivel, I think there are at least fifteen, there may be a prize for the first person to name all the titles and artists/bands. There are st least two where you need two artists.