The World Masters Games were this week on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand. The ERC had six members entered in the races over the week.
Monday started with Connie Lebrun and Cathy Flood in the double posting a 4.49.84 in a strong 39 entry field and had a lot of fun.
Doug Lynass and Frans Slatter followed in the G pair in ideal conditions, with a smooth row down the course, taking turns catching first. The duo did a 4:30.64 which was good enough for fifth, aka second last, but only five seconds out of second. They went out a bit too hot.
Then came the 4 with rent-a-cox Mitch (first name only like Madonna or Prince) – Frans Slatter, Steve Fitzjohn, Kerry Mummery, Doug Lynass. They again pulled off a strong second last in 4:04.53, beating the Latvians by .27 – see the photo finish attached which had the fans on their feet. We would have had them by more but we caught a crab at 800 m.
In the afternoon the 4- of Frans Slatter, Steve Fitzjohn, Kerry Mummery, Doug Lynass set out in perfect conditions. They got a good start, but stroke soon gave up on the race plan 28 spm, and settled for the consensus rate of 30. They again solidly locked up second last place in 3.51.65, beating a crew from Melbourne by .81. The pack was in the 3.30s. Placing 9 of 12 overall, in the fast heat, and would have made the final in the other one!
On Wednesday Steve Fitzjohn rowed the F single to a very respectable 3rd in his heat at 4:59.73. Unfortunately only the top two advanced.
On Thursday Steve Fitzjohn and Kerry Mummery rowed the F pair after a 45 minute fog delay. They finished an excellent 5th in 4:07.46.
On Friday Connie Lebrun, Frans Slatter, Kerry Mummery and Cathy Flood, the “Virgin Quad”, rowed the mixed 4X. This was their first race together after one whole practice. At the last minute they were given a heavyweight hull for extra buoyancy. After a measured start they ran down an Australian crew by five seconds, in 4:06.97.
The final race of the week saw the duo of Steve Fitzjohn (in his fifth race of the week) and Cathy Flood rowed the mixed 2X in 4:30.96. They were 5th in their heat and 34th of 58.
The ERC Six enjoyed a beautiful course, 9 days of excellent weather, and the best organized regatta you could imagine. It was a great week and not a bad way to start the season after 5 months off.