The first Saturday in August is traditionally the day of the Sudbury Rowing Club Regatta and yes this year it was the 134th anniversary. Having competed in rowing regattas and head of river races during the late 80’s and early 90’s it was good to see others toiling for perfection on a difficult course. I wonder whether if, back in 1880, the river was straight.
The club is going from strength to strength even having a crew at Henley this year. My involvement with Sudbury Rowing Club really began at the end of the 80’s – when we decided to move Alton Blades Rowing Club from Alton Water in Stutton. The reservoir was a lovely tract of water but the management at the time totally favoured wind powered craft. We were not allowed on the water without their safety boat which meant that when the conditions were best – at the beginning and of the day – we could only look at the still water. I understand that the new Alton Rowing Club has much more freedom and I wish it luck.
Rowing is perhaps the purest team sport – you use most of the muscles in your body and you have to be totally in time and coordinated with the rest of your crew. Unlike football, rugby, cricket, etc there is no time for ‘taking a breather’. Imagine a 400 metre track race where all of the runners had to keep level – even round the bends.
The photos are of an eights sprint, using just the straighter bits of the river! You haven’t lived until you feel the power of 8 people in sync.
The contact details are: www.sudburyrowingclub.org.uk and www.altonrowingclub.com
I also rowed in the late 1980’s with Dave Busby at Alton Water. It was my first experience at rowing and I’ve been hooked ever since, rowing at various clubs over the past 30 years since.