Harker’s Yard Winter Series 2018-19

Round 6 – Sunday 20th January 2019 – Burnham on Crouch Coastal Rowing Club – hosted by Royal Burnham Yacht Club

in 2018 the Burnham event was memorable mainly for the horrendous weather conditions with snow, sleet, rain and freezing cold. This year we had a frosty start to the day with the temperature not reaching above minus two degrees as we wended our winding way to Burnham on Crouch. However, in the end the weather was amazing, with bright sunshine that even had some warmth in it.  The facilities at Burnham are the stuff of dreams – but the tide is ferocious and made for tough rowing conditions for the men’s and the mixed races (the women’s race took place mostly at slack water). The racing with mass starts was close, with all fifteen Gigs trying to round the first turning mark in close proximity, and we were side by side with other Gigs for most of the time. We lodged our first ever protest after the men’s crew had their race spoiled by another Gig (normally we just write it off as a ‘racing incident’).  At the end of the day the women’s crew finished in 7th place, the men in 13th and the mixed in 10th putting us 8th overall in the league out of fifteen boats and with three more events to go.

Round 5 – Sunday 6 January 2019 – Wiv Gigs and Corsairs hosted by Wivenhoe Sailing Club

After a longer than usual break it was good to be back for the fifth event of the Harker’s Yard Winter Series at Wivenhoe. The event was time trial format with boats going off at 1 minute intervals over a course of roughly 3k (between 16 and 23 minutes of hard racing).  Unusually the race took place on the tidal side of the barrier with racing up towards Arlesford Creek and back to the Sailing Club (a wise precaution in case high tides forced the closure of the barrier.  Illness meant that we were rowing with some different crew formats so we were not quite sure what to expect. The results in the end were a bit mixed. The women’s crew put in another good turn, finishing 6th. The men’s crew, with a completely new rower on board were a bit disappointed in their performance finishing 12th. The mixed crew had a good row, but finished 11th in close competition. At the end of the day at the mid-point of the series William Rose was placed 5th in the women’s, 9th in the men’s and 10th in the mixed, leaving us 8th overall.

Round 4 – Sunday 9 December – Brightlingsea Coastal Rowing Club

Brightlingsea is always a good event with the option of a mass start and coastal rowing if weather conditions allow, and a more sheltered creek option of single start time trials if conditions are less ideal.

Sadly the forecasts for the weekend meant that even the creek course would not have been safely rowable and the event was cancelled.

Round 3 – Sunday 25 November – Mersea Island Coastal Rowing Club

 Time for the third Harker’s Yard Winter Series race hosted by Mersea Island Coastal Rowing Club.

The conditions were once again challenging, cold and breezy for day of mass starts and rowing round an Island and back. Results for William Rose were mixed with the women coming home 6th in the women’s and 9th in the men’s but only 15th in the mixed after a poor start from well behind the line. Three races in to the season that left William Rose 4th in the women’s, 8th in the men’s and 9th in the mixed.

Round 2 – Sunday 11 November 2018 – Rowhedge Coastal Rowing Club

 The second leg of the 2018-19 Harker’s Yard Winter Series took place on Rememberance Sunday, and on the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice. Rowers were able to attend a Remembrance Service on the Village Green before boats were launched on the tide.

After the rather too exciting conditions of the previous leg the weather was almost summer like, although there was a strong wind the rain of the morning had passed over and conditions were good. Due to the narrowness of the river at Rowhedge the event was on a time trial basis with boats setting off at 1minute intervals – brilliant for spectators on both sides of the river (Rowhedge and Wivenhoe). Time trials are not our favourite format but the Teams did well. At the end of the event the women’s crew came home 6th, the men’s 10th and the mixed 7th, putting us 7th overall on the day and 6th in the league overall after two events.


Round One – Sunday 28th October 2018 – Marconi Sailing Club

The first event of nine in the 2018-19 Harker’s Yard Winter Series took place  at Marconi Sailing Club on Sunday 28th October. After the extended summer winter finally arrived this weekend. The forecast in advance had beenwindy enough for cancellation to be contemplated. The event went ahead but with caution due to the squally north easterly winds from which Marconi offers little shelter.

Each event has three races for women’s, men’s and mixed crews. The conditions for all of the three races were challenging with starts against the wind and the tide meaning that boats were struggling to even hold water for the start. However the conditions for mixed race, the last of the day were truly horrible as a squall blew up before the start which led to boats being blown broadsides on and backwards and a number of clashes and racing incidents.

At the end of the day we finished with a brilliant 2nd in the women’s race, 9th in the men’s and 8th in the mixed – finishing in in 6th place overall. All in all a great start to our third Winter Series as a Club.