The River Race has been running for 20 years, and in keeping with tradition the race is contested by boats powered by a minimum of 4 oars or paddles. Each boat must be coxed and also carry a passenger. The Race runs for 22 miles from Richmond to The Isle of Dogs the course runs under an amazing 28 bridges including Richmond, Kew, Hammersmith Battersea, Westminster and Tower. It also passes The Houses of Parliament Big Ben the London Eye and other famous landmarks. This year Chipping Norton were able to send a group of young people to take part in this fantastic event to experience first hand the river race, here is their story��..
On the 8th September a team of young people, 2 adults and a home-made boat set off on an adventure to tackle the cold and murky waters of the Thames. It was one year since Dan, Daryl, Stewart and Rhiannon had picked up the oars and Verity had never even been in a boat let alone rowed in a race but this was group of young people determined to beat last years time. Before the race started the team had the opportunity to meet and briefly chat to Sting who was there to start the race, then it was on to the water to await the starting cannon. The cannon started (pictured left) and the race began Stewart, Daryl, Dan and Rhiannon began to row whilst Ruth (Cox) and Verity (passenger) cheered on the team. After 8 long miles 2 of the team began to feel the strain so Ruth and Verity gave up their comfy positions and helped out rowing the last 14 miles with Dan and Daryl. It was a long and exhausting journey but after 3 hours 32 minutes beating last years time by 14 minutes, the race was over and we were greeted by a happy smiling Tym Soper who as well as being the organizer was there to tow the boat back home.
The team were very proud of them selves and each other. They had beaten last years time which to them was a great achievement and to every one else a miracle considering - they had done no training at all.
Tym and Ruth would like to thank Dan Singleton, Stewart Watts, Daryl Soper, Rhiannon Winchester and Verity Jeffries for their commitment to this project. And a comment from Verity the morning after sums it all up, �every muscle in my body hurts and when I sit down I can�t get back up but it was definitely worth it!�
Ruth Hulme September 2007