The conditions were almost perfect for the semi final morning race against Evesham, there was a slight breeze but nothing to hinder the Womens Masters C coxed 4 crew of Kim Martyn Smith, Jean Main, Jane Chiswell and Helen Hugo coxed by Kat Carlyle. The race went according to plan and Bewdley won by 3.5 lengths to cruise through to the final against Milton Keynes, who also won their semi final by the same margin. Both crews met each other at the National Masters Championships only a month ago where on this occasion Bewdley came away with the silver medal by finishing 1 length behind. This time round was a different story; cometh the hour; the stage was set for the final a head to head race with Milton Keynes.
By late afternoon the wind had got up and there were gusts of a cross head wind to contend with. Both crews made their way to the stake boats, upon where it was proving difficult to get attached. Once ready to go the call was made; they were off…. but not for long! Milton Keynes came off their station straight towards Bewdley, both crews clashed blades and the race was over before it had begun to unfold. The crews attempted to make their ways back to the stake boats, but it soon came to light Milton Keynes steering cable had snapped. The crews were to get off the water and reschedule their race for later in the day.
Final take two, dejavu! with the nervous of the previous hour still fresh in the memory, the crew got back on the stake boat to do it all again, but this time with no mishaps! So yet again the roll call was made and both crews powered away from their stations and the final got underway. The crews were neck and neck, with Bewdley marginally being in front up to and just past half way down the 1000m famous Henley straight course. Going into the middle third of the race Bewdley put in a push and moved away from Milton Keynes a lead they had worked extremely hard for and one they were not going to give back. They held it together, relaxed and rowed longer and harder for the last 250m of the race to win by 2/3rds of a length. A day the crew will remember forever and a gold medal to treasure too.
“An excellent win for Bewdley Rowing Club and a huge achievement for the crew coached by Jo Atkinson, goes to show the hard work and massive effort they put in to make up the margin and go some more over Milton Keynes in just 4 weeks is a credit to the fantastic coaching and the attitude of the ladies involved” Captain Kat Carlyle.