Harker's Yard Winter Series Year -. Round 5 Burnham 5th January 2020

Harkers Yard Winter Series Year 7
Round 5,  Burnham 5th January 2020

We attended the next round of the Harkers Yard winter Series at the wide open venue at Burnham on Crouch Royal Yacht club on Sunday 5th January. 
Racing was to start early to suit tides so our team were up even before the birds awoke on Sunday morning. 
We had already prepared Velocity and Vanduara for the journey, it was a simple hitch up and go routine in the dark morning, and........... did I mention the early morning !
Both Veolcity and Vandura had no trouble in waking up early to make the journey to Burnham, they both relish the opportunity to compete against their class mates in the winter series and were eager to get started.
17 gigs arrived from all Essex HYGA clubs and made the journey aiming to win this 5th round of this competition.
This was the first race after the festive break and gave us all a chance to work off that mince pie and extra glass of wine consumed in celebrations.

The river Crouch has a very wide expanse of water at our race point which allowed us to have a mass start.  This is always a favorite as it creates a great spectacle of colour as well as true competition.  
The course was one of the longer ones in the programme  and would challenge our crews in not only in their distance & endurance capabilities but in their keeping warm abilities in the chilly conditions. 

The ladies were the first to start, braving the cold January air.  They ventured out slowly , warming up before the big start.  
All gigs jostled for a prime start position at the starting line aiming to take advantage of the flow of the water and the best line.   
The count down started and the hooter fired them into action.
Going with wind and tide the gigs flew away rapidly looking for that first buoy turn which was out of sight from the club house.  
Most watched on from the warmth of the Yacht club as the gigs disappeared around the bend in the river.  
We checked our watches, 17 minutes had passed since the start and still no sign of the lead gig returning.  At this point we knew this was to be a tough race.  At 18 minutes the fist gig appeared from behind the curve of the bend with a clear lead. 
The shouts from the coxes could now be plainly heard as they called for more power and timing.  All teams displayed red glowing hot faces as they passed the mid way point proving the effort they had put in to try to better their opponents was immense.   They rounded the last turn in front of the moored house boats and headed down to the finish line with wind and tide supporting. 
Exhausted at the finish teams hunched forward to catch their breath.  That mince pie had certainly been worn off and some!
Our ladies in Vanudara achieved 6th at a time of 24.59 just 1.03 behind the winners while Velocity put in a great effort to finish 12th at 27.32.
The men achieved 4th in Vanduara at 22.01 just 33 seconds behind 1st place.  Velocity achieved 9th place with a time of 23.43.
Our mixed crews finished 5th in Vanduara with a time of 22.30, only 32 seconds behind the winner.  Velocity came in 13th with a time of 25.12.

Great effort by all crews, you did our club proud!
Excellent day out, thank you to Burnham Coastal Rowing Club for running another superb event.
Bring on Wivenhoe next week!