Harker’s Yard Gig Association Winter Series 8 Mar 2023
Burnham boats Willow & Wren raced alongside visiting clubs from Mersea, Maldon, Manningtree, Brightlingsea, Rowhedge, Wivenhoe, Stansgate and St Lawrence. This was the 10th and penultimate round in the series which started back in September 2022.
With boats launched at the Marina and trailers stored, the visiting crews rowed their way along to the RCYC pontoon and to a welcoming (and warm) club house for coffee and bacon rolls.
The event consists of 3 races: Ladies, Men’s and Mixed with an additional prize for each race for the highest placed crew with a combined age of 300+.
The ladies race was first for the off with 15 gigs under the watchful eye of the Corinthian race box and safety boat team. With a clean start it wasn’t long before crews of chilly women racers were nicely warmed up having pulled their way against the tide up to the first mark. The course then took them across the river and back with the tide to the finish line at the Corinthian. The ladies crew in Burnham boat Wren put in a mighty performance taking 1st place, followed in 2nd place by Violette (Brightlingsea UCSC) and Record Reign (Maldon) in a close 3rd. Burnham’s Willow ladies finished in 10th place after a hard fought battle with Velocity and Hunter to the line.
Next came the Men’s race. True to form and with an impressive 1 min 10 sec lead Burnham’s Men’s Wren crew took 1st place, with Defiance (Wivenhoe Corsairs) in 2nd place and Mehalah (Mersea) in 3rd. Men’s Willow team took a season’s best (so far) of 5th place, much to the delight of their crew. There was a bit of argy-bargy in the Men’s race with both Audacity and Tyrant receiving a 1 minute time penalty for being over the start line and Velocity receiving a 2 minute penalty as a result of a protest.
The 3rd race and final race of the day was Mixed. The tide had turned and it’s fair to say conditions had stiffened by the time the crews approached the start line. This was Mehalah’s race (Mersea) pulling home strongly into 1st place, followed by the Burnham Wren team in 2nd and Defiance (Wivenhoe Corsairs) in 3rd. No penalties/protests this time. Burnham’s Willow mixed team took 9th place after a sterling effort.
After the prize giving in the top bar, everyone agreed it had been a great day at the races.
Grateful thanks to all the staff and members of the RCYC for allowing us use of their facilities and for making us all welcome. Also many thanks to the race box team and safety boat crew for making the day possible. Thank you to everyone that came to watch and support us on the day and finally a massive thanks to the supremely capable and well organised Harriet for pulling the whole thing together.