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March 20, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Schools Head – SHORR – rowing on the Thames

2016-03-17, SHORR, Schools Head rowing (5) 2016-03-17, SHORR, Schools Head rowing (7)

On Thursday, I cycled the Thames tow paths at full pelt to see Sybilla rowing for her school in the Schools Head – SHORR. Fabulously sunny, it was the first time I’d seen her row, so was extra special. Over 330 boats were on the river (start times are staggered & they’re timed). The tow path was littered with rowing coaches cycling as crazily as I was to keep up with their pupils, other parents & pupils cheering on their boats (in vain – too much wind to be heard !), pairs of wellington boots left by crews …The boat numbers were so small, they were rather difficult to see as my bike rattled over the bumpy tow path. I remember reading of a father who went to a cross country event to see his daughter ride & took photos of the wrong horse. It was rather like that – they all look very similar. Gavin (a keen rower himself) had warned me it wasn’t a great spectator sport !

But somehow it is wonderful to watch – it’s so quiet, elegant & graceful & yet also so powerful – there’s a beauty in the rhythm & uniformity of the crew taking each stroke in time. I ‘shared the pain’ in my efforts to keep up – one moment I thought I was 10 boats ahead of them, the next 6 boats behind. Daffodils are out everywhere – it was well worth the 2hrs away from my desk.

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