Men’s IM1 Coxed four – Max, Scott, Sam, Cornelius and Katherine

Nottingham City regatta was the first proper 2k race of the summer season for Curlew, and it was good to see a strong showing from the Men’s squad.

We had entered a fairly recently-assembled coxed four into the IM1 category, which the regatta was running as a straight final combining IM1 and Elite crews. We were approaching this race without too many expectations, using it as a good starting point for the season and to get some important race experience. The weather had been beautiful all day, but by the time our race came around, there was a strong headwind on the course. We had a good paddle up to the start, throwing in a few practice starts, and were soon assembled on the stake boats.

We got off to an excellent start, probably better than any we had practised over the past few weeks. We had a really solid platform, and wound the rate up to around 45 strokes per minute, before an excellently timed ‘stride’ call from Katherine got us on to our race rhythm of about 34.

We led the IM1 field for the first 500m, holding off Grosvenor and City of Bristol by about a length. However, Grosvenor made a big push and we didn’t quite have the legs to respond. Over the next 1000m, they moved through us slowly, but we put in some excellent efforts to hold them off. In the last 500m, it became a close race between us and City of Bristol. We had gone all-out off the start, and hadn’t quite rehearsed or planned for a big final sprint. As Bristol pushed us, we responded well, with excellent calls from both Sam and Katherine to get us locked-in for a huge final push for the line. We crossed the finish level with Bristol, and had to wait for the results to see that we had held them off, beating them by 0.13 seconds to give us second place in the IM1 category.

Overall, it was an excellent start to the regatta season. To be competitive at IM1 in our first big race and without a solid race plan is very encouraging. Hopefully this will be the start of a successful summer.

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