Three Rivers 2010 :: Results

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In the bitterest of east winds and with ice still frozen on the ground, 74 crews and almost 500 rowers lined up under the Tamar bridge this morning for the first gig race of the 2010 season, Three Rivers.

Hosted by Caradon Gig Club this is one of the longest races in the Gig Racing calender at around 6 miles (50 min) long.  The race is given it’s name as it passes through the three rivers of Tamar, Tavy & Lynher.

Gallery :: Three Rivers photos
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Each race was stared under the Tamar bridge into an ebb tide and fresh east wind on the starboard bow, a buoy turn after 1000m was followed by a 500m slog into the wind before three gradual buoy turns faced the crews back down river towards the bridge with the tide and wind beneath them.

As with so many races the first mark is everything and despite the length of this endurance course Three Rivers is no exception and the order after the first mark changed very little from the finish results half an hour later.  There where however some exceptions as crew members begin to suffer from blistered hands, poor fitness, fatigue, broken kit and today, the bitter cold.

The second and longest leg then passed under the bridge and tracked towards a port turn mark at the entrance to the river Lynher which set crews once again into the now stronger wind and chop in the exposed river mouth.  After the final mark crews could focus on the finish line under the bridge and the end of the race.  These final two legs where perhaps the hardest of the day and boat speeds dropped as low as three knots as tired crews pushed a strengthening ebb tide to cross the line.

The ladies first heat saw Falmouth A and Caradon A take an early lead and by the fiftieth stroke both had clear water over the rest of the fleet.  A broken pin in the Falmouth boat and a aggressive push from the home crew then gave Caradon clear water but Falmouth attacked and started to close but it was not enough and by the start of the return leg Caradon still had clear water and used their dominant position to drive of Falmouth and finish one minute and 35 seconds ahead, a complete reversal from last year when Falmouth beat Caradon.  Mounts Bay (again +1:35) then came across in third followed by Falmouth B (+9secs) and Newquay A (+17secs) in fourth and fifth.

The mens race saw a tighter start with the same two clubs Falmouth and Caradon taking an early lead with clear water 50 strokes in.  The home crew then made a controlled push that slowly pulled them ahead of Falmouth and gave them clear water by the first mark which they held until the end finishing 50 seconds ahead.  2008 World Champions Mounts Bay then finished in third behind Falmouth (+35secs) followed by Looe (+6secs), Caradon B (+12secs) and Flushing & Mylor A (+21secs).

Today was the first race outing for Essa, Caradons new Gig and a great start to her racing carer with two wins at her home event.  Once again the Caradon committee and it’s members did a great job running a slick event kicking off the start of the 2010 racing calender.
The Three Rivers is renowned as one of the toughest races on the gig racing circuit.  Not only is it one of the longest but as the first event of the season it is a harsh initiation for the rowers.  Blown forearms, blistered hands and sore gig asses are common complaints on the quay after and for many the sunny summer regattas still seem a long way away.

With Scilly only 8 weeks away the top crews training will now be focused on power and sprinting and for many this will have been the case since Christmas.  Although Three Rivers gives a good indication of what has happened to the ordering over the winter don’t forget a lot can still change and for many who didn’t get the result expected it will be the motivation needed to hit the training hard and do better in Scilly.

Video by Tommy


Download the results as a PDF here

How was it for you? miserable and cold? Add a comment below…

Event Gallery :: Three Rivers by: Paul
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  1. Chris

    Cold, it was bl**dy freezing, but still enjoyed the race and good to be back on the water, looking forward to Scilly. Well done Caradon, well run 😉

  2. Musto

    Yep, many thanks to Caradon. It’s never an easy race but that’s the point, a proper set of challenges be they physical, mental, weather or water conditions (or all four!). And from personal experience when the bowman’s stretcher breaks clean in two about 30 strokes off the line it just adds to the drama.

    Ok, so the starting was always going to be very hard to organise in a strong crosswind and with tide running (balance a perfect line-up against crews freezing and colliding) but other than that top marks.

    First time I’ve finished a race with hands just about as cold as at the start.

  3. Tinks

    Thought for the day: ‘Its hard to feel as fit as a fiddle when you’re shaped like a Celo’.

    Alarm set 4:00 am, meet 5am, temp -5c and the trailer lights not working – having anticipated problems and being good boy scouts as we all no doubt were, between us we had tools and bulbs to get the necessary done! (but note: Number plate light fitting beyond salvage methinks!)

    Arrived at Caradon, Saltash, 8am as planned, to be greeted be a very efficient Caradon club, with members organising parking, trailers, launching etc. – very impressed! We were in the water, tied up round at the jetty, just minutes after arrival….

    Plenty of time then for some early moring tea and bacon sarnies courtesy of our Chaueffer, Tim, and his camping stove, Cheers! – and a good job of towing too, I might add!

    After watching the ladies racers fading into the distance at the top end and again downstream, we set off for a warm up – Although the sun shone all day (beautiful), it was bitterly cold with a biting wind.

    A Hectic start to the Senior men’s race with so many boats, going off in 2 seperate fleets about 1 minute apart. We were in the 2nd phase (but actually managed to overtake 1 crew from the earlier start!). One cold, wet, windy, Very choppy, hour later we were sprinting (lol) for home. 34th out of 35 then, – so ‘Yes’, that was the only boat we passed.

    Excuses corner: Between the 6 of us I think you could probably count the total number of races attened on the fingers of one hand. But the total number of ‘years’ in the boat must have been the highest, despite ‘baby’ Sarah in the boat. And, we did achieve our goal: ‘Don’t come last’.

    A great effort from a hastily put together scratch crew, thanks folks:
    Sarah: Honourary ‘Grumpy old man’ for the day, but not nearly grumpy enough, or old enough, to be a real Vet! – and if there is any blood in the boat, It’s Sarah’s! Can’t fault the commitment here then!
    Andy: having only attended a couple of newbie sessions before, a stirling effort to complete the course. ‘In at the deep end’ or what?
    Nick and Tim, 3 and 4, what can I say? – unflinching – kept us all going… Tim’s 1st race too!
    Matt and myself, stroke pair – Matt, (1st outing outside the harbour) drafted in at the last minute, well done. Me, loosing the plot on the run in – Where is the B*%$@y line anyway?

    Thanks to ‘Cornish’ for managing, and Debs for coxing a difficult course.

    We all then talked an excellent ‘next race’ in the bar afterwards. Roll on the next one. Our efforts, finishing down the race order, well reflected in the fact we were the last club to vacate the bar afterwards (too many rugby players in the crew!). Boat safely delivered back in one peace by 7pm… I suggest the new paint job could include ‘go faster’ stripes!

    So, come on, hopefully we won’t be rushing round to fill the boat next time.


  4. Seals

    Note to self for next year: Not all the marks at 3 Rivers are soft ones. Broke my first ever pin, nearly lost my oar and fell off my seat at the first turn. Felt a right idiot.

    Great event though Caradon. Just make it a bit warmer next year please 😉

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