The Tide is High

By Megan Chester

“The tide is high, but I’m holding on” – these lyrics from the 1967 hit song were uncannily accurate at points last weekend!

On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th November, the squad headed to the big city to row in London. For many of us, it was our first experience of the Tideway… and what an experience it was! Quintin Boat Club kindly welcomed us to their wonderful spot on the Thames, just a stone’s throw away from the finishing post of the Boat Race course. Boating itself was easier said than done. We are used to setting off from dry(ish) rafts, and it’s safe to say that not everyone has mastered the welly-wading technique yet! Soggy socks, however, were not going to stop us.

We had a brilliantly productive outing, during which both eights got a feel for rowing on the Tideway. Those of us who were new to the stretch of river also got to know the Boat Race course, thanks to Nic and Tina pointing out significant landmarks from the launch. (Watch out for “Tina’s Tours”, coming soon to a river near you!)

The water had been surprisingly calm on our sightseeing paddle down to Putney. That is more than can be said for the return journey. Part-way through our piece on the way back to Quintin, the wind and waves picked up. It felt like being at sea! Even Nic, Tina and Ines on the launch got faces full of water. But, we sat up, tapped down and rowed on through.

Winds may have been high, but spirits were higher, and we were rewarded the following day with glorious sunshine. On Sunday we had another outing on the Tideway and, as a squad, we were really pleased with the progress that had been made. The outing consisted of more paddling, more pieces, and a spontaneous race-paced burst thrown in for good measure. The afternoon finished with a band of happy coxes, rowers and coaches debriefing together as the sun set over London. How scenic!

Thank you so much for Qunitin Boat Club for having us. We look forward to visiting the Tideway again soon.