Skiffie Worlds – Day 5

QRC U17s take Worlds Bronze!

Day five was a wonderful day for Queensferry Rowing Club as, thanks to the Men’s U17 team, we won our first Worlds medals. In comparison to other days the weather was horrific with winds gusting to 25mph leaving very lumpy water. At the coxes briefing it was revealed that three of the starting buoys had disappeared over night. This meant that we went from lane ten to lane 14 with nothing in between.
There were beachmasters employed to get the boats launched with the first race being the U17 Men’s. The course was from the turning buoys straight down to the finish line. To get to the start line the Crews were asked to row close to the shore as it was heavy going heading out. Our crew was Alex, Diarmuid, Fin and Charlie with Rachel as Cox. Those on shore listening to the vhf were bemused by the umpire’s orders to the crews. They were asked to keep the Bow facing in the wrong direction until they were ready to start. There was an incident between the Queensferry boat the Ullapool boat and a yacht at the start. After the start a message came over the radio commending the Coxing of the Queensferry boat for avoiding a collision at the start. There was even talk of Queensferry receiving assistance in the form of seconds being taken from the crew’s time. This didn’t materialise but wasn’t needed in the end.
If the outward journey was a hard slog, then the homeward journey was seemingly much easier but had its difficulties as well. The spectators on the shore were kept abreast of how the race was progressing with commentary and Queensferry were getting regular mentions. Ullapool and Dundrum were fighting it out for first place with Queensferry on their own in third. As the boats came closer and it was easier to see what was happening we were able to see that Queensferry were rowing magnificently and as we willed them towards the line we knew that they were going to be Bronze medal winners, the third best team in the world.
Ordinarily I would talk about the next race but as there was another medal winning performance, I feel I should write about that first. The crew of the U17 boat plus Olly all Rowed with other crews in the U19 races. Alex Rowed with Killyleagh with Olly Rowing for Strangford and Diarmuid and Fin Rowing for Deveron. However, it was Charlie that claimed the glory, rowing for Strangford. After again rowing in tough conditions he finished one better than the previous race and took home a Silver medal, an absolutely amazing performance.
With conditions still blustery and lumpy it was the turn of the Mixed Open A to head out and try to qualify for the final. The crew was Tracey, Gabe, Dónal and Anne Purcell with Anne Flanery as Cox. It is hard to put in to words how difficult the conditions were but having tracked the time on the water on my Garmin it was discovered that we had climbed 14m. Surely this should not happen on water, it gave us an insight as to how Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean (a Kerryman!) must have felt during their Row from Elephant Island to South Georgia. The start was interesting as they didn’t use the handheld buoys to begin and we were to start as soon as we were level on the line. It was a difficult row to the turning buoy, but it was exhilarating. We had a great turn and were in the top six heading back towards the finish. Rowing with the wind proved to be more difficult than Rowing against it and on several occasions the boat surfed over the waves. It looked as though we were going to make the Repechage but just as we were approaching the line, we were pipped by a storming finish from Killyleagh and lost out by three seconds. It was a great effort from a crew that hadn’t rowed together before.
That was the last race that Ferry Maid was involved in so she was taken out and left back in the compound ready for more racing tomorrow.
The medal ceremony took place at 1615 and it was a proud moment for Queensferry Rowing Club and for the trainers and instigators of the Youth Rowing. Well done to Peter, Louise and Rachel for your hard work and dedication in getting the Youth crews to where they are today. It makes all those cold rows worthwhile.
There is not much to update from Flannery Row tonight apart from the fact that the voles which had their home under Anne’s tent have now left their home to seek shelter under some other large tarpaulin. However, not content with upsetting the resident vole population, Anne is now worried about the worms at her new site which by all accounts are enormous.
For those of you not on Facebook, Mike B will upload some of the photographs for the week on to the Website so everyone can see them. We will send a link when they are done.

Report filed by Donal.