On Saturday 9th September Stour Sailing Club Rowers took two Claydon Skiffs – Witchoar and Lt. Washington, to take part in the Great River Race. The Race is over a twenty two mile course from Docklands to Ham, along with over three hundred traditional rowing boats. In a Claydon Skiff the row takes around three hours depending on the conditions. We had five Rowers in the crews who were taking part in the race for the first time. So for new rowers – work hard and next year you could be part of a crew!
This year Witchoar took part with a super veteran Men’s Crew (all rowers have to be over 60) and Lt. Washington took part with a veteran Women’s Crew (all rowers have to be over 40 – although it has been rumoured that most of the crew are close to qualifying for the super vets!).
Both crews did brilliantly in really rough and challenging conditions.
Witchoar came home 2nd overall in the Super vets category – in a time of 2.56.05 – leading arch rivals in the Clayudon Skiff class – Gladys – for much of the race despite their gates and cleavers – only to be pipped on the last leg by 1.54. This put Witchoar 3rd in the Claydon Skiff class and 41 overall.
Lt Washington also did really well – in a time of 3.13.31. The veteran women finished fifth overall in the Claydon Skiff category – beating Ken Combes from Walton with their mixed crew. We finished 154 overall but 24 of the women’s boats overall and 13 in the very competewomen’s vets.
And of course the Lt. Washington were the first women’s Claydon Skiff and the first women’s veteran Claydon Skiff!
We had decided to take the Claydon Skiffs which are based on Thames Working Boats rather than William Rose our Club Gig. In the end Witchoar beat all of the Harker’s Yard Gigs in the race, and the women’s crew beat four of the Harker’s Yard Gigs despite them having mixed crews!