This weekend saw 6 curlew crews race the Tideway, and the results speak for themselves. Our women’s first VIII did something no other Curlew VIII has ever done before, they won a pennant. Curlew RC are the proud owners of the Medium Club Pennant, a fantastic achievement for our Captain Jess and Coach Fred. It was also the first time the club had ever entered 3 women’s VIII before, and just shows the strength in depth of our squad. 

Captain, Jess Phillips, and Rebecca Jackson collect the Medium Club Pennant

Emily Wilsher raced in the Women’s 1st VIII:

After a long winter of training, cancelled head races, snow, and seat racing in waves I’m sure Vikings encountered when discovering America, it was finally that weekend in March. It was WeHoRR. A few days before the race we’d put two holes into our first boat, which increased our nervousness. But the weather was good, and the excitement built in our three boats, as old members returned to race for Curlew, and new members braced for their first WeHoRR.  

Boating at 97 meant we weren’t near the start, and felt calm as we waited. We turned and started to build for our start, hitting Chiswick Bridge at full speed. As we pushed through the start, Zoe called for us to find the rhythm. But our adrenaline had kicked in, and we needed a second call before we relaxed. Coming under Barnes Bridge, we heard the Curlew crowd and knew Fred would be there. “Make it look good”, we told ourselves. Zoe hit a perfect line under the bridge as we started to catch the boats in front. At Hammersmith I started to have my usual doubts. Can I finish this? Can I keep my head up? But Zoe made the calls and kept us going. We built our pace and, as we hit Fulham, we knew we were close. It took every last drop of our energy to cross that finish line. Relief.  

On the return to Barnes Bridge I had a burning pain in my legs, but I tried to one-arm row and help myself to jelly babies, and cheer on the second crew as they came racing past. A great day to be out on the water with so many Curlew Women. Later we got the news: Medium Club pennant winners. Worth every painful minute.

Not to be out done by the women, Sunday saw the turn of the boys. . . and what a performance the boys turned in. Going off in 49th due to the new points system saw Curlew in very unfamiliar territory, never before have we started so high, all  the boy needed to do was to hold their position. Our best position was 74th in 1938, and 76th in 2012, but Fred was adamant that this year was going to be the year we crack the top 75. The did it in style coming in 63rd. The best ever result for Curlew Rowing Club in 90 years of racing the competition.

A huge thank you to both the Captains Jess and Eoghan for their leadership and perseverance during the long winter months. Inspired by our results and want to join our squads, please contact our captains and we will be more than happy to get you on the water. We are a very friendly and fun club with the right mixture work/rowing life balance.  

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