Competitive Rowers News Section - 2008/9
November head races and a bumper crop of wins First off was the two national standard head races over the full tideway championship course from Mortlake to Putney

Our first crew raced in the Fours head of the river race on Saturday 8th in the senior 2 quad sculls category. The line-up was Richard, Paul, Alex and David Law and for his first time with the rudder Richard steered the tideway very well (well until the black buoy). Conditions were choppy after Hammersmith and the crew struggled a bit down that reach (all crews did to be fair), eventually finishing in 134th place out of the 471 finishers. This was good enough for 31st place in Senior 2 quads and although respectable the crew was a bit disappointed, not to make the top 100 overall.

The next day the veteran quad tackled the same course with less wind making things a bit easier. David Avery, Pete, David Phillips and Jon had a pretty solid row and just hit their target of top fifteen, finishing as the 15th fastest veteran crew.

Having seen how fast the big boys could go, we ended the month at the Burway small boats head on the Thames. Still a good standard event but no, current or former, national squad members to worry about.

With three divisions most of the squad raced twice and all put in good performances, with a couple of very good rows. Before race day, looking at the draw Mostyn had hoped for one or even two wins, but no event looked like an Ardingly banker. So is was very satisfying when at the prize-giving, at the end of a long day, Ardingly members kept going up to collect their pots.

Paul and David Law were The Heads of the River as the fastest crew from all three divisions, also winning senior 2. Pete and Jon had a great race in division three when the eventual junior winners caught them after four minutes, but then the Ardingly veterans held them before pulling away again over the second half, to record the third fastest time of the day and win veteran B. For Pete that was his second win, because earlier in the day sculling with Richard they had won Senior 3 doubles. Paul also got to claim two pots when he won Senior 3 singles, with the next three finishers being within two seconds of Paulís time.

With a sizable junior team racing the prize-giving was capped off when Patrick won J14 singles to bring the club tally to five on the day.
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October head races, including our first win of the new season The competition squad raced twice in October, at head races on the River Thames. A select group of three doubles raced on the tideway in The Pairs head and the following weekend nearly everybody raced at the Weybridge silver sculls.

Despite such an early date in the calender the Pairs head attracts crews form all over Great Britain and it was a sunny and flat tideway that saw nearly 240 double sculls and 120 pairs racing from Chiswick to Hammersmith. The three Ardingly doubles were racing in the Senior 2, Senior 3 and Veteran C categories. David Law and Alex racing in Senior 2 doubles produce a solid race and despite hitting the bandstand buoy !! finished as the 31st fastest double overall and 4th in their category. Richard, despite having not bow steered on the tideway before, took a good line in his Senior 3 double with Paul eventually finishing as the 76th fastest double. The final Ardingly double down the course was David Avery and Jon finishing in the top hundred in 96th place. All three doubles sculled well considering they've only been back in training few weeks, and the finishing positions all in the top hundred are solid, but all felt they should have done just a bit better.

For two of the doubles the chance to improve their performance came the next weekend when they were joined by the rest of the squad, the ladies group and the juniors at Weybridge. The seating order of the senior 2 double had been swapped, so Alex had to steer them through the tricky inside arch of Walton Bridge, as they led the whole race down the course as crew number 1. Looking just a bit more together than the previous weekend and moving away from the doubles behind Alex and David recorded our FIRST WIN, taking the senior 2 category by 5 seconds. Richard and Paul improved also, as the times showed they had cut the gap to 21 seconds and were placed 14th out of the 139 doubles that finished. In the later division for doubles, a different Veteran C double of Pete and David P had their first race of the season and were faster than over 100 doubles as they finished 31st.

In the two singles divisions, Alex and Paul both used the new racing club single, and went well in their second race of the day. Alex finished as the fastest Ardingly sculler, finishing 16th out of the 310 finishers, and an encouraging 3rd in S2. Janet was also 3rd in her division (Womens novice) and Slavo, Mark and Bob all beat opposition in their respective categories.

Two womens novice doubles and four of the J14 and J13 boys raced in a double and two singles, making this a good days racing by all sections of the club. Club-mates, parents and partners gathered to cheer our scullers through Walton Bridge and it was satisfying to claim a top win at this high standard event
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November head races
October head races