On the 10th November, Upper Boats and Colts decamped on mass to Kingston to race in both Divisions of Kingston Small Boats Head. In the first division, Upper boats entered four 4+’s into J18 4+ with two in each band (Etn-Power and Burgess-Watson in Band One and Etn-Slack and Bishop in Band Two) as well as four 2-‘s in J18 2- (Etn-van Steenis, Lucas, Clarke and Jain). In the J18 4+ Band 1 category, ECBC triumphed with a 1,2 with Etn-Burgess-Watson taking top honours, beating the next fastest boat by 15 seconds and coming in as the 6th fastest overall boat in the morning division. Etn-Slack took 1st place in Band 2. In the J18 2- category, Etn-Clarke were fastest in Band 2, only 0.3 seconds faster than Etn-Jain who placed second in the same division.
In the afternoon division, the Colts made their first competitive appearance of the year fielding an impressive five 4+’s in the J16 4+ category and made sure that it was a debut to remember with Etn-A (stroked by W.Ferguson (NCWS)) taking the win, completing the 5.2km in 18.53.8 (22 seconds faster than the next best crew) and making themselves the 5th fastest crew in the afternoon division.
Not to be outdone, Upper Boats fielded a 4-,Etn-Power, in Op 4-, eight 2x‘s (Etn-Clarke-2, Wahl, Jain-2, van Steenis-2, Cowley, Bishop-2, Slack and Trew) and six 1x’s (Etn- Watson-Gandy, Nunayon, Pearson, Pooley, Burgess-Watson-2 and Swidler). The 4- lead off the afternoon division and proceeded to become the fastest crew of the afternoon and to win the Op 4- category. The 2x’s raced valiantly against stiff opposition however were pipped to the post on all occasions. The 1x’s were a very different story with Etn-Watson-Gandy winning the J18 1x category by nearly 40 seconds.
While there was no known Viking representation, our own Dr Pooley raced for Crabtree RC and not only won his category (Mas D-E 1x) but also was the fastest sculler of the head beating the next best man by 28 seconds.
Finally, we must thank the PSG for once again pulling out all the stops and enduring the torrential downpour that ended the day to ensure that all of the boys were fighting fit.
When all is added up, ECBC were the biggest entry by number of athletes with 49 rowers and coxes racing in what were sometimes less than pleasant conditions and picking up a total of eight band and five divisional wins.