Monday 8 July 2013

Rovers Return

We decided to walk to KGSVBC rather than terrorise the unfortunate rowers from Tardis Two as previously planned  because experience had shown mooring space near the clubhouse and, more importantly, at The Swan pub, were in extremely short supply. We arrived in good time, ascertained some brave souls were out on the water(sweaty old trainers lining the pontoon) and broke into the compound to await their return. Two quads and an eight materialised from the heat haze and a heartfelt reunion ensued, helped by copious amounts of cheesy chips and alcohol at the Swan.
I had many good years and times at KGSVBC where my rowing skills were greatly enhanced by Martin, Peter, Mark and others, although skills and rowing are not normally mentioned in the same sentence as my name.john Thompson and I both rowed (?) at Molesey but like frustrated vultures waiting for something to die we both wished to compete in some rowing competition before we died.
In sheer frustration we badgered someone into entering us in a pairs event at Walton on Thames. We trained and trained and trained until, shortly before the event we got Ted Bates, a coach with a dry sense of humour to watch us and assess our chances of success. Having watched us his only comment was that our many individual faults complimented each others and we may make a "surprise package". The surprise was that we avoided hitting Walton bridge and completed the course.  In what position we finished was never queried or confirmed but we were happy to have taken part and survived.
Shortly after this success we both transferred from Molesey to KGSVBC, but it has to be said the vast transfer fees reported at the time were false, although the taxman strangely never got in touch. During the transfer and with a foot in each camp I won a ninth share of a grand wall plaque, my only rowing trophy, in a combination, mixed eight at Molesey vets head. The handicap system was obviously very complicated as it took hours to decide the result and apparently included rower heights, weights, hat sizes and inside leg measurements, together with Lycra quality and design criteria. But win we did. I have never seen the plaque since. Many more events were entered during my KGSVBC days but the small section of plaque remains my sole rowing glory, but what fun we had. 
Special thanks to all concerned tonight and to Sarah Searle for the lift home.

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