On Saturday 7th December, Maile Wedgwood and Sam Bodkin headed to the Tideway to compete in Scullers Head 2019. This event saw over 500 singles boat onto the tideway to race down the 7km course.
Here is what Maile had to say about her time on the Tideway:
‘This was my first Scullers Head, and my first time being on the tideway. We boated from Imperial College Boat House, which is near the finish line of the 7km course. It was very cool seeing more than 500 singles boat at the same time and rowing up to the start line. Although 7km is a long race in the single, because of the tide change and stream it ends a lot quicker than expected. I struggled to find the optimum stream, but hopefully after more experiences on the tideway I’ll be able to race the best line. It was quite nerve racking being on such a wide part of the Thames and the conditions were also quite challenging. It was far wavier and bumpier than what we normally train on at Molesey. Despite this, I enjoyed my experience and I’m happy with my result of 3rd in the U23s. I look forward to competing again next year and potentially win the event.’
Here is what Sam had to say about his Sculler’s Head experience:
‘This was my first Scullers Head race and so going into the head race I was quite anxious to how the race would turn out. From previous races at Eights Head of the River, Schools Head and Fours Head, I was quite accustomed to the course, however I was wary that the conditions would feel very different in a single. I was entered into the champ lightweights category and so was the 16th sculler to cross the start line.
We boated at Imperial Boat Club and rowed 7000m to the start line, I found this very favorable as I could look out for markers for the race on the way up to the start line. Knowing that the stream on the river would have a great affect on my race, I kept checking that I was in the middle of the river during the race to make sure that I would have the greatest chance of placing well.
Setting off 2nd in my category, I could see how fast people were going behind me, however this resulted in being chased the whole way down the course, making me fight to keep my position. The race went a lot quicker than I had expected, seemingly getting to Hammersmith Bridge, my 2000m marker, just minutes after I started. With this I knew that I had a 2000m sprint left and so I pushed on trying to build as much speed as I could towards the finish line.
Overall I came 5th in my category and was happy about the result, will be looking for top three for my next scullers head. The race was enjoyable and would love to compete at it again.’
It looks like it is only onwards and upwards for these two speedy scullers!