I hope that you are all well after a massive flurry of activity for the Womens Head. All week our members had been anxiously looking at forecasts as to exactly what the conditions were likely to be. All of which on the day were not particularly accurate thank you BBC. Always a headache for the organising committee which was located at MAABC I am always amazed at the amount of volunteers who get this iconic event underway thank you all. In particular Giselle and her team of catering volunteers who slaved away all day – thank you so much. We had a lot of MAABC members on the actual committee – Keith and obviously the umpiring staff Mark, Luke with Nick, Mark, Tim and several others all in safety boats etc. I thought the club looked superb and I had several club captains of visiting crews very impressed. Thank you everyone.

Well, as per the usual the race covered all conditions, from sun, to wind, to hail storms, from flat water to calm, from tail wind to head all in the same race – typical !!! Congratulations to our crews, we all know what a tough ask this event posed for us, but we have now started on the climb back to competitive rowing and sculling in open events. I just wish you could have been on the bank when several top coaches made a bee line for me to ask how you were all doing and to wish you well. I was so amazed. The actual race was incredibly competitive with the emergence of some pretty special school/junior crews. I think we did ourselves proud, I would like to thank in particular the coaches and the coxes, Tony was a committed player, Jo Gapper really stepped up to help her crew mates thank you very much and Kia steered a truly heroic course on her first time coxing the head. Well done all.

To all club members we have won an incredible trophy – that of sportsmanship – a word that so often does not appear or feature highly in sport so much these days. This truly demonstrates what makes MAA a club apart. The second crew who had every conceivable adverse situations to cope with (equipment, hypothermia, cox box issues) gamely rowed back and came across a junior crew in distress. Few of the poor girls were incapable of rowing due to the cold – the MAA girls with their tough tideway heads on jumped out to help the crew so that the medics could take over. Next stop girls the SAS. The girls in question who aided the crew were Jo, Chrissie, Jess, Emma, Jade, Caroline, Gabriella, Kat and Sophie – Well done all and to WEHORR for awarding them the Fin Pennant for Sportmanship. I will post a photograph up – WE ARE VERY PROUD of you all.

Turning to our thoughts for summer …. Definition of which I need to turn to my dictionary as I cannot remember it. We are keen to get set crews training for wins, I have my tin of Silvo waiting to polish those medals and cups for you. Those dodgy gaps on the club wall need covering with photographs of wins. We will be speaking to each and everyone of you to see where you see yourselves and how we can achieve these goals. There are a number of athletes going out at different times these groups are pretty much open to all so take advantage of them.

One last thing but very important nonetheless. Friday March 11th sees the commemoration of the Dick Pyrce-Jones bench. DPJ and his family are an integral part of the MAABC community as well as Cambridge Boat Club. We have representatives attending the club on Friday lunch time, if you would like to attend please let Noel/Keith know for catering purposes. The bench is super and a very special reminder of an exceptional man.

Nicola

PS I am in deep trouble with QBC over members parking in their car park – can we not do this or if you would like to you can pay 75 pounds per annum for the privilege (actually not that bad I suppose) QBC are good friends of ours – best not to upset them.