Ray Sweetlove – National Master’s Championship


With a weather report for 18mph head winds we knew we where in for a hellish weekend of racing.

To add insult to injury a realisation that this was not just a Masters regatta but the National Masters Championships, the thoughts of a serious spanking came into view from a lot of fit older guys.

Saturday saw our first race 1000M with a solid 18mph wind as predicted with gusting cross winds, not our favorite distance and still cannot figure out why we even entered it but to our delight we finished in 4th place without falling in.

The remainder of the day saw us cheering on Team mates Gerry Murphy and his Son Darragh, putting in great efforts in the horrendous conditions for their races.

Sunday brought the sunshine which from the comfort of the hotel looked like a great day for our 200m and 500m races.

Unfortunetly although we had sunshine we still had 18mph head winds but at least the sun was shining and the temperature was up from Saturdays racing.

The 200M was our first race, with a strong head wind would we have the stamina at this all out all or nothing race, a straight final, no chance to redeem should anything go wrong, with the thoughts of saturday’s 1000m start where we got blow out of the starting bucket, we where fixed on getting our boat pushed well into the bucket ready for an explosive start, GO! The bucket dropped and we dug in hard off the starting line, boat was up to speed and it was neck and neck for the first 100M’s, out of the corner of my eye i could see the RHS crew begin to creep forward, pain was starting to creep in, breathing beginning to ramp up but if i’m hurting then they are hurting I told myself, keep driving, keep rotating, keep the boat flowing rattle through my mind, in which felt like an eternity and at the same time no time at all the sounder blew as we crossed the line, A beautiful Bronze thanks very much, well chuffed with that.

On a high we entered our final race of the day, the 500M with only an hour recovery our thoughts we still focused on the joy of our 200m performance and as the 200M is our bread and butter the 500M would be a nice race to add if all went well.

Alas another 4th place but oh my word, our bodies ached with every stroke and a welcome sigh to a great weekend coming to a finish.

We had the enjoyment over the weekend of meeting up for great crack and good food with Afton and had the pleasure of being ring side cheering her on during her races with a couple of 3rd places in C1 and C2 in which the later almost ended in a collision with another crew boat as cross winds where so strong.

A beautiful first place finish with on millimeteres between boats for her C4 200m race. Hats off to Afton for some fine performances and a pleasure to catch up with her.

Oh and don’t ask Gerry about his swim allmost a clean victory in all his races for silver places bar the fish got him on his final race.

Well done all, looking forward to the U23’s and open championships in July when we can get a few of our Younger athletes pushing hard for places.

Comments are not currently open on this page.