The 50th Joint Services Regatta (JSR) took place on Wednesday the 19th of September at the Thames Valley Park in Reading. The Regatta offers an opportunity for all three Services to race across the entire spectrum of boats, ranging from Single Sculls to Men’s and Women’s Eights. As is common with most rowing events, the day provided racing for total novices through to experienced veterans. And With this year’s event taking place so close to the RAF Rowing Club’s main boat house at Danesfield Water Sports Centre, a sizable entry was fielded. In fact, the entry was so significant it needed nearly the entire fleet of boats and two full trailers to meet the day’s requirements.
The team of 40 rowers assembled early on Wednesday morning in high hopes of finishing the day with a decent amount of silver wear, and proceedings got off to a promising start with an Inter-Service win for SAC Ed Carpenter in the Men’s Single Sculls. This was followed by equally impressive wins in the Men’s Novice Single Sculls and the Men’s Veterans Pair. Unfortunately, after such an encouraging start, the weather gods seemed determined to throw a curve ball into the mix and what started off as problematic high winds really started to cause concern. Justifiably this resulted in a decision to cancel all further racing and sadly the event came to a conclusion before midday. Understandably this caused some frustration amongst the RAF Rowers, as following on from the early wins, both the Men’s and Women’s senior squads had produced promising results in their heats, strongly hinting at further successes to come.
Overall, the day finished early with somewhat less sliver wear than was first intended, but yet again RAF Rowing successfully displayed its strength in depth. Easily outnumbering the other two Services and setting an impressive bench mark for next year event.
The conclusion of the JSR indicates the end of the summer regatta season, with the RAF Rowing Club’s focus now switching to the longer river head races, which traditionally take place over the colder months.
1 Dec 18 Newark Head of the River Race
27 Jan 19 RAF Head of the River Race
2 Feb 19 Head of the Nene River Race
16 Feb 19 Henley 4s & 8s Head of the River Race
24 Feb 19 Head of the Trent River Race
30 Mar 19 The Head of The River Race (London)
For more information on rowing in the RAF, please contact the RAF Rowing Club via the following methods: your local PEd Flt, the website at www.rafsportsfederation.uk/sports/raf-rowing-association or the RAFRA Moss portal. The RAF Rowing Club can also be followed on Twitter via @RAF_Rowing_Club.
Sqn Ldr Chris Nash, RAF Rowing Club Public Relations Officer