Sunday 20th May was a beautiful day in King’s Lynn. The sun glinted off the water to celebrate the welcome return of the Hanseatic Royal Regatta. The first rowing races to take place on the River Great Ouse in over 100 years as part of the Hanse Festival, celebrating the medieval trade links of King’s Lynn with the other Hanseatic Ports in Europe.
First race off at 0945 was the Ladies Race in which we were taking part representing our home club, The King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club. With extra volunteer crew member and ‘BrOARd for the Day’ Catherine and press ganged volunteer Cox – Julian in charge.
It’s fair to say we didn’t have the greatest of starts. While the two boats from Blakeney had a perfect racing start, we started the race beam on to the river, facing the wrong way, not actually knowing the race had started as our VHF had kindly decided it fancied a day off so we didn’t hear the signals. Our actual indicator the race had started was our Chairman Bob in the safety boat, yelling at us and gesticulating wildly in the direction we were supposed to be rowing!
We were playing catch up but Helen as stroke, set us off at a cracking pace after those Blakeney Boats. It was a circular 2 mile course down river to the first bridge and back up against the tide to the finish line.
It felt a very long trip back up again! The waterfront seemed to pass very very slowly. It was an epic battle, the cheers of the home crowd really kept us going. We threw everything we had at it with Julian yelling loudly at us and banging the boat to keep us concentrating on our stroke. Hopefully it was as thrilling to watch as it felt from the boat, we crossed the line 4 seconds in front!
Huge thanks to Catherine & Julian, to the Blakeney rowers for making us work so hard and to Bob and all the organisers of the Regatta. We had a fabulous day, even if it nearly killed us at the time!