SSRC, yet again, got the weather we ordered, and pulled off another fantastic Regatta here in Swanage. The town was full of holidaymakers enjoying the end of their half term, and we put on quite a spectacle for them, with our colourful boats and 300 rowers milling around.
We were visited by 9 competing crews, ranging from as far as Exmouth in the west , Langstone in the east and Combwich, our newest visitors, in the north.
The racing was close , and there were a number of exciting buoy turns and close finishes. We were so pleased to be able to field a crew of U14’s and U16’s in the junior races They have trained all winter to get themselves in shape for this seasons regattas. Our ladies C crew did fantastically, winning their race, and a sterling effort also was put in again by our men’s supervets and men’s C crew. The day though belonged to the overall winners Bridport, who were very closely followed by Lyme Regis.
Behind the scenes, there is so much work to be done to put on a regatta. We have to get the correct permissions from the Council who are always so supportive of our events, the course needs measured and set and put out on the water, the wooden gigs need checked and maintained, the visiting teams need good communication on arrival logistics and registration, food & drink needs ordered, medals need ordered, marquees are erected, signage is put out and traffic management teams are needed to get the gates open and closed along the front to guide the 32 foot long gigs to the drop off points, marshals are on the roads and helping park the empty trailers. A crew of strong people offload/reload the gigs and get them down to the water, an army of folk bake cakes, make sandwiches and serve teas, coffees and cook burgers all day. Timers and spotters are needed to log the results, vhf radio’s need located and charged, the raffle needs administered, safety boats are on the water with first aiders, starters and umpires and amongst all this, we then have to ROW!! We fielded strong crews in all races, organised by our hardworking captains with excellent coxes who we couldn’t do much without. And while the presentations are being awarded, the boats bring the course back in after the event which is heavy duty stuff, and it ends with a final litter pick of the field. Those with any energy left go to the pub. All in all a fantastic effort by everyone in the club.
What is the point in all this? Well, we love rowing. Most of us started out our adventure by seeing some gigs rowing in the bay. We went along to see what it was about. We found out that SSRC is a rowing charity, open to all, with the primary objective of promoting rowing to the community of Swanage. Some of us row for fun, some row to compete. Events like this raise the profile of our sport, increase the interest in our club and help raise funds needed to keep us on the water. If you want to join in or just learn more, we are holding an open day on Saturday 22nd June, so come down and have a go, and see what we are all about.