This video is the whole race from a SportsCam attached to the hull of the boat.
The real story of this race
They say history is written by the victors. We won this race, but there’s a story about our squad hidden in the result that only the participants know! I could write a race report banging on about how well we won, but we didn’t win well and we weren’t the stars of this race.
Our race went like this. We had a blisteringly fast first 250m, a good second 250m but then we lost our mojo a bit. We prevailed, but only just. That’s it.
If you watch the video, at about the 1:53 mark, you’ll see us row through the crew beside us. That crew is another Bedford Star combo and was entered in this race as an F category (average age 60) so had a seven second head start. In actual fact, they had entered the regatta as a G category boat (average age 65) but were refused that status for lack of competition. They elected to row as Fs and in so doing they gave up their second seven second handicap. By rights, they should have had a 14 second head start.
So, while our crew took home the silverware, year-for-year we were not the fastest crew. The G boat was. But, they were denied victory by the handicappers.
Why am I telling you this? Simple. If you’re sitting at the start of a G4+ or G4- race and you’re facing off against a Bedford Star crew… be sore afraid. These boys are fast… seriously fast. You have been warned.
Below is the data feed from Garmin showing race stats. It took me a little while to turn the watch off at the end!
Dominic Hawes-Fairley learned to row and Magdalen College School in Oxford in the 1980’s. After bombing out of the J18 2- at the Junior National Championships in 1985, he got out of the boat and didn’t get back in until a short spell at Leicester Rowing Club in 2014. He joined Star in 2016 on moving to Bedford and in 2018 won gold in MasE4- and MasE4+ at British Rowing National Masters Championships, Gold in MasE8 at Henley Masters, Gold in MasF8 at the European Masters Regatta in Munich and E4+ in the Vets 4s Head.