Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Rock the boat, don’t rock the boat, baby.

The damn “fun” regatta has raised its ugly head again. It’s a charity regatta, we went in it last year and it was fun, mostly. This year I thought it’d be OK to row in it with my crew. After all, we work reasonably well together and we’d have six weeks or so to practice.

That was the plan anyway. On the other hand, this is how it is actually panning out.

Week One Crew – Stella, Ann, Mikaela, and Amanda.

Our coach, who also runs the rowing school, decides that Amanda will row with another crew. Amanda rows twice a week and the other crew has also entered the regatta, so she’s gonna row with them.

Amanda is then replaced by Julie.

Week Two Crew – Stella, Ann, Mikaela, Amanda, and Julie

The only problem is that Julie can’t row with us for practice. Darn. Still, we falter along and keep practicing. In effect what this means is that our coach keeps yelling at our stroke seat person as she’s ‘rushing the slide.’ It is very, very hard not to rush the slide. It is something we are all working on at all times.

We have some practice races against another crew. Coach does her nut roaring at us:
Don’t let them get away from you. You’ve got them now hang on! COME ON! KICK IT UP A GEAR!”

And so on, and so forth.


We practice for a couple of weeks without Julie as she is not available to practice with us. Then after a not-particularly-good row our Stroke, Mikaela, hurts her neck as we are carrying the boat back to the trailer. And pulls out of the regatta.


So we replace her with Jane.

Week Four Crew – Stella, Ann, Julie, Mikaela, and Jane.

Then we have ONE practice row with both Julie and Jane. Julie has bravely volunteered to be Stroke. The problem with being Stroke is that all the pressure is on you to set the pace, the rest of the crew simply have to follow her lead.

The other problem is that our coach acts as if this is the Olympics, but it’s not and we’re just semi-fit middle aged women

Not Olympians. Hell, we’ve all been rowing less than two years.

Anyway, we have a practice row together. And we are crap. The entire time: the boat lists to the left, we’re out of time, we simply can’t “kick it up a gear,” ever, and our racing start looks like we’re all splashing around in a kiddy’s pool.


Anyway, this doesn’t matter because it turns out that Jane cannot row with us in the regatta anyway. So her daughter is going to row instead- we’ll call her Leeanne. (I am running out of names here.)

Week Four Crew – Stella, Ann, Julie, Jane,  and new newbie Leeanne.

Anyway, despite my misgivings and wanting to get out of the damn thing, and despite the fact that we HAVE NEVER ALL ROWED TOGETHER, I’m still in.

The day before the regatta the river is flooded; we have the largest single rainfall in one day in June since records begin etc. So the regatta is cancelled.

“Yay!” I think, but alas, it’s only postponed a fortnight. Instead it’s this Sunday.

Today, Tuesday, Ann texts us to say she has a family commitment on Sunday and she can’t row. Julie offers to find a replacement or just leave it if I don’t want to row either.

Week Six Crew – Stella, Julie, Leeanne, and Ann.

I can’t stand it any longer and admit that I’d like to pike also. I tell Julie I’d be happy to leave it, assuming none of us are rowing now after three members of the original crew are unable to make it. However, Julie agrees to take responsibility of what remains of the crew and find two extra people. (I assume Leeanne is still rowing in the regatta but I have never met her, and as a result never rowed with her either.)

Week Six Crew – Stella, Julie, Leeanne, and Ann.

Several hours later, on reading all the texts, Ann feels bad and texts back, apologises to Julie, and says she will row after all.

Week Six Crew 2 hours later – Stella, Julie, Leeanne, and Ann.

I’m not completely certain of my rowing status as a result.

I believe the last text I sent said I wanted to be replaced. I am thoroughly sick of any mention of the regatta and will be happy if I never hear from any of them again. Ever.

Just sayin’ . . .

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