15 Mar Instalment 2…
Hello again and welcome back to the Blondie blog!
Since our last blog we’ve been pretty busy as a crew – sparring on the tideway, contracting the Blondie plague, and crew-bonding with over 40 pancakes.
Last weekend we made a short, sharp trip to London, to spar with the 1927 B crew and the lightweights. We started with a quick warm-up paddle to check that the boat wasn’t about to fall to pieces, and after satisfying ourselves that we would float we headed out again for sparring. This took a slightly less formal format than our sparring at the end of December, with rolling starts between the three crews. The first piece provided us with some invaluable race practice, as we were out of the stream for the beginning, and in the process of reclaiming the racing line we had to go through a fairly heavy-handed blade clash. Having just dropped off the back of 1927’s (ever so slightly unsustainable) start we moved into them as we reclaimed the stream, and a concerted push through the blade clash saw us move back on to them by the end of the piece. For the second and third pieces we were a bit more scrappy, and we saw the lightweights moving in to and through us respectively, more so than we should have let them. For the final piece we were back by Putney, so did the pieces in procession; with 1927 sandwhiched between lightweights in front and Blondie bringing up the rear. This provided some of the best racing experience of the day, as we fought back from behind to take about 2 lengths out of 1927, giving us a confidence we’ll take with us into our pieces from now on.
However, after all we learnt at the weekend, we then fell at a fairly simple hurdle, and managed to all give each other the lurgy. This sadly meant a short period of enforced Blondie quarantine, but we were back on the water as soon as possible (even if we weren’t allowed to go anywhere near any member of the BB or lightweight crews!). So to recuperate we had a bit of crew-bonding on (Shrove?) Friday evening, celebrating every heavyweight’s favourite day of the year: Pancake Day! A few days late, we made up for it in volume, with an average of 3.5 pancakes per person. Sometimes it is great being in Blondie!
Which puts me (spuriously) in mind of a quote from the great Greek orator Demosthenes, who reminds us that “small opportunities are often the beginnings of great things”. Last weekend gave us some of these small opportunities, and in the last two weeks we’ll be looking to do our utmost to turn these small opportunities into the great things we know we’re capable of…
p.s. In just over a week we’ll be disembarking for Henley, ready for Race Week. As per usual, Blondie will be staying with the Colemans, so the multitude of good luck cards that I’m sure you’re all dying to send us should be addressed to:c/o Mr. and Mrs. Coleman The Mount Rotherfield Road Henley-on-Thames Oxon RG9 1NR