Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Explore group member Emma Drinkwater has succeeded in quenching the competitive spirits of those Explore group members who wanted to row a little faster!
I think it is fair to say, it’s been a cracking season for the Explore Group in their racing ambitions.
From putting a few crews into races last season, this year, the group has fielded crews in every single Regatta that was offered to us. As part of the Thames Rec Rowing League we are surrounded by clubs with similar outlooks – trying to build strong communities of recreational rowing, whilst trying to have a competitive offering to those who are interested in rowing a little faster! But racing isn’t everything and alongside our regattas we’ve experienced a Jubilee row with the Gloriana, Explore members rowing with the Gloriana at The Boat Race, an outing in an eight, coastal rowing, trips to Henley Royal Regatta and socials with local clubs. It’s been a busy year painting it black and fitting all this in.
Molesey Vets Head
Our season kicked off with the Vets Head. Not usually a race for Explore crews, but we showed that we could hold our own with both crews doing extremely well over the course against fine boats. No medals (we didn’t really expect to beat the 8s!) but Molesey crews did the group proud and had a lot of fun.
Goring Gap Mad Dash
Timed course of around 3km with Molesey fielding two solid crews and Gwyn getting extra brownie points for coxing both crews. Some confusion reigned over the results, but once settled, there was just over 2 minutes between the 2 Molesey crews, with one crew taking a well-earned second place overall.
Only Explore crews get to compete in the Reading Regatta, a 500m side by side race, which gives it an extra special atmosphere. Setting off from the pontoon, there was little time to warm up, but Molesey managed to come third overall against some strong crews with experienced rec rowers. There was some indecision about whether chocolate bunnies made up for the lack of pots.
The very first Molesey Marathon was held on 7 May with 10 crews fighting for the fastest time over the 8km time trial. The wintery conditions had no impact on times, and the fastest crew stormed to finish in a time that would impress a fine boat crew.
30.41 is the time to beat next year if you’re interested! A true test of endurance with Molesey holding the first AND second fastest times. A cracking day on the river. Roll on next year!
Desborough Island Challenge
The wacky races of the season! Molesey’s second attempt as a club at Desborough and it never disappoints. We had two crews (one novice and one open) this year and the novice crew were crowned Champions with a hugely impressive time.
A favourite local derby, so Molesey had 3 crews entered this year. Unfortunately, the dreaded covid struck, but Molesey still put forward an experienced and novice crew, one for each category. Our experienced crew romped home to win an exciting long side by side 1km course race, and the novice crew had to contend with a much younger crew but put up a good fight, nevertheless.
Staines Amateur Regatta
The Molesey crew had some demons to lay to rest after the carnage of last year; but the crew got off to a great start, winning their first heat comfortably, which resulted in being drawn against a strong Broxbourne crew in the final. It was a close race, neck and neck, until the final third of the 500m as Molesey held their nerve and came through to win by more than a length.
Last race of the season and the Molesey crew’s day ended on a high, coming in first, to win our last and final pot of the season. The crew had a substantial delayed start due to crew composition penalty (more men in our line-up) but that did not stop them coming through the opposition to win comfortably by 1.5 lengths!
Season stats (for the geeks amongst us)
Regattas entered: 8
Crews entered: 12
Number of people entered: 24
Pots won: 5
Here's to more events, pots and fun with the Explore group this season.