BDA Number 2, after a successful weekend at Liverpool, we were hoping to do the same thing and proved that we deserved to be at the top quarter of the premier league.
As usual the weather reports were wrong and instead of a expected washout it was rather pleasant and sunny... Most of the London Teams gathered together under the large barn shelter in case of rain but that never happened during the day, it only started raining when the day's racing was over... Kind of refreshing since there was no shower facilities.
The narrow lanes racing course proved to be difficult and there was an early clash between RD and Bristol Empire in their first race, we knew that we had to avoid making any mistakes to avoid the reps and head straight into the 200m semis. In our first race we were up against BA and the newly rebranded WAM - Wraysbury Dragons, we knew that it was going to be tough against BA but we managed to hold our composure and racing line to cross the finish line first, half a second faster than BA.
Since the format of the race was based on fastest time and not heat winners, we managed to qualify for the next heat against Henley, and Worcester Dragons. We knew that Henley wanted revenge as the last time we were here in Exeter last year we raced each other almost every race and every race was won by us by the slightest mini-seconds... We knew how strong Henley was and just prepared ourselves for the race as we needed as least the 4th fastest time to make it to the Major Finals of the 200m...
The race started and as expected Henley was fast on our tail, after 55.77 seconds we crossed the finish line with Henley in tow just a 1.12 seconds slower... It proved that racing in the Premiership was no easy task against teams of these caliber.
Due to the format of the racing, it was position and then time based on who makes the minor/major finals of the 200m, even though we won all our races we were placed into the minor finals with the 4th fastest time, just narrowly missing out on our first major 200m finals by 1 second. We were against a surprised Amathus and Bristol Empire... Down the course of the race all three boats were neck and neck, with nothing separating each boat as this was the 200m, pure power and determination was needed to power the boat through the water. As we heard the hooters sounded all in sequence of one another we knew that we were in for a tight result.
Amathus took 1st place with us taking 2nd and Bristol 3rd, there was just less than one second separating all three boats... Lunchtime, then it was time for the 500m.
In our first race we were against Notts Anaconda and Kingston Pretender, we knew that we would do well and wanted to blitz it as the competition was based on fastest time rather than placing. We were meant to be racing 500m but in actual fact the course was more like a 400m. This meant that we could put more power into our strokes and not die out quickly towards the last stage of the race, boy do we love racing shorter distances. We managed to come in more than 7 seconds to those of the other team which mean that we qualified for the Cup finals and up against Henley again and our fellow London team Raging Dragons. The format of this race meant that the race winners would qualify for the 400m Cup Semis with the next three fastest runner up.
Up on the start line we waited patiently, Rage attempted to psych us out by doing their call as we were lining up, this just added more fuel to the fire and we were ready to do battle... RD was in the middle lane and once again we were in lane 1. The start was called and we powered through the 10's and then transition into our reach, we were ahead!! But we were being pushed from our racing line closer and closer to the dock wall... it seems that RD had decided to go surfing and at the last 30m gained enough momentum from riding our wash that they just pulled out and slingshot into the lead... by then it was too late as we were heading towards the finish line and also towards the peddle boats... We had to do a immediate full stop in order to prevent crashing into the boats... Tired and upset we just waited to see the results as Henley was in the same race, we we qualify as one of the fastest runner ups? Only time would tell...
It seems that RD just beat us by 0.3 of a second and Henley was behind us with a time of 1:54.76... We didn't even make it to the Minor Finals as Kingston, BA and Thames Taniwhais managed to grab those 3 fastest losers places... Ah well, we were in for a long lunch break until our first ever Tail Race competition.
400m Tail Race Photo Story
After failing to make the minor finals for the 400m we were determined to not give up and provide a performance to prove that we didn't deserve to be there. We were against Henley and Bristol Empire, both teams recording similar times to ours, we knew that it was going to be a battle that anyone of us could take and grab those precious BDA premiership points. After a long, long did I say long? rest, we were ready to race once more. We knew what we had to do, forget the past and move on with the present... At the starting line we awaiting the call, with Jo drumming for us we were off!!! Down the course of the race we held our line and it was a battle once again between all three boats, we needed to dig in deeper to win this and with an extra effort from the whole team the boat just shifted forwards and forwards, soon the finish call was yelled and although our body were broken our minds was not, we knew what we had to do. Dig deeper, load that front leg and kick the boat forwards with each stroke! We crossed the line first with a time of 1:53.97, with Bristol behind us with 1:54.51 and Henley with a time of 1:55.13.
Summary of the Day
All in all our 2nd BDA of 2008 was a success... Due to the format of the races we didn't reach a major final but won all our races apart from two races again Amathus in the 200m Minor Final and against Raging Dragons in the first heat of the 400m cup competition... We should hold our heads up high after all, we did record the 2nd fastest 500m time of that of teams in both the Major or Minor 400m Finals.
Combined classes - 200m Finals
(6th) Bristol --> 56.21
(5th) Typhoon Tigers --> 55.98
(4th) Amathus --> 55.16
(3rd) BA Hurricanes --> 55.34
(2nd) Batchworth --> 55.12
(1st) Kingston R --> 54.47
Cup Final Races - 400m
(9th) Henley --> 1.55.13
(8th) Bristol --> 1.54.51
(7th) Typhoon Tigers --> 1.53.97 (NB. 2nd fastest time on Cup Final races)
Cup Minor finals:
(6th) Thames T --> 1.56.48
(5th) Raging D --> 1.56.32
(4th) BA Hurricanes --> 1.55.24
Cup Major finals:
(3rd) Batchworth --> 1.54.44
(2nd) Kingston --> 1.54.19
(1st) Amathus --> 1.53.84