And we’re back! Marlow Town Regatta hosted the first outdoor adaptive racing for nearly 2 years! The event brought most of the top adaptive clubs of Southern England – Guildford, Marlow, Stourport, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sudbury.
Due to COVID restrictions, the event was dramatically scaled back with fewer races to facilitate social distancing in the boating and general numbers. Furthermore, the usual cheering crowds were nowhere to be seen as the normally accompanying festival event was also cancelled due to restrictions and supporters were encouraged not to attend. But none of that dampened the thrill of so many of the area’s adaptive community coming together after what seemed like an eternity.
The event was not without its glitches. Getting the athletes registered on BROE was delayed as many had expired British Rowing racing licenses and we had to get them renewed (but race organizer Helen Thompson of Marlow endured patiently). Coaches forgot various things being out of practice in the logistics of a regatta decampment (but everyone chipped in and left whatever was needed to fellow squads). Umpires confused a few finer points of the adaptive racing protocols (eg. start position, time handicap process) themselves being a bit out of practice (lesson learned to join the umpire briefing before the event).
Without the luxury of the Phyllis Court Time Trials (cancelled this year due to COVID), the time handicaps had more estimation and guesswork than usual (and after 2 years without competition, previous time records weren’t much more useful), but still they seemed to work quite well with a number of close races.
Congratulations to the race winners:
- PR3/AR3 1x – Chris Boys, Guildford
- W Adaptive 1x – Gerry Brierley, Guildford
- W FS Supported Adaptive 2x – Hattie Throssell and Sofia Ward, Stratford-upon-Avon
- Mixed Adaptive 2x – Jake Blatcher and Lissie Simpson, Stratford-upon-Avon
- W PR3 Supported Adaptive 2x – Susannah Barnett and Jane Ryman, Stourport
- Mx PR3-LD – Ian Ward and Paola Ward, Stratford-upon-Avon
- Supported Ada 2x – Sebastian Johnson and Ton Stanton-Ketley, Marlow