Head of the Taff Race, Cardiff 2012
Mens – 1st
Mixed – 1st & 2nd
A grand total of 15 medals!
The teams travelled to Cardiff Friday evening, stopping at the Little Chef (Little Thief), for an oven baked lasagne which was cooked in a microwave. After being locked in the Little Chef we managed to escape after a lot of faffing with the chef.
Once we arrived in Cardiff we deposited the boats in the very fancy, shiny yacht club and met up with a very thirsty Richard.
The teams were staying between Richard’s luxury apartment and the oh so simple Travel Lodge. Much to Bob’s dismay he found he was sharing a double bed with Geraint. Bob quotes “I don’t do double beds”. Reception kindly re-allocated another room with two single beds. Everything seemed good.
The team met up for a few pints and strolled back to the hotel. Much to our amusement the next day, we found that although Bob and Geraint had two sing beds they only had one duvet. Bob now does do double beds, or two singles pushed together!
We breakfasted together then headed to the yacht club where we found we looked quite miss-matched in our attire compared to the very sleek other teams. Numbers pinned on the bow boy and girl we rowed up the Taff for about 3 miles past the Millennium Stadium to the race start.
After a lot of clutching desperately to trees, or rather twigs to keep the boat stable, the race finally began. The boats left at 30 second intervals. The weather conditions were favourable, broken sunshine but a good wind at the mouth of the Taff made it a hard row at the end of the race. Both teams rowed well.
We had a lunch time break before commencing the mixed races, where to our amusement and with some concern to the poor rower due to sit behind him, Geraint downed a huge curry.
After a lot of banter and the usual faff of who was going in each boat, somebody decided on a strong winning A team and the leftovers in the B team boat. The A team quickly grabbed the first number with the intention of over taking the B team pace setters. Unfortunately no one told the B team to stop. With grim determination stamped on their faces the B team had not become the A team rowing at a terrific pace down the Taff. At the end of the race the former A team consoled themselves with a row around Cardiff Bay and drowned their sorrows with a free Cadwaladers ice Cream. Their excuse… Geraint had filled their bow with sand.
We had no idea of our racing positions, and waited with baited breath at the award ceremony. When the coastal categories were announced we were amazed and delighted to find that we had cleaned up completely having won every race we entered. The roof was lifted by Porthmadog’s cheers when we received a total of 15 medals.
We returned to our accommodation for showers and rest. Before showering Bob accidently pulled the so called red immersion cord and entered the shower. Stark naked and clutching his crown jewels he couldn’t understand why he was rudely disturbed by a blonde Polish woman closely followed by Geraint. A commotion followed as Bob had unfortunately pulled the emergency assistance alarm! He was most impressed by the rapid response.
After all the drama the team headed out for a celebration Italian meal. We discovered that Pippa had hidden talents as a black belt in origami and was able to create and model numerous napkin exotica. We admired from afar the giant Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts. Leslie seemed to be rather a great fan of Jamie and as he was leaving the premises she leapt out of her seat and despite the height difference she tackled him and dragged him back to the rower’s table for a team photo.
We headed for further celebration beverages in various local hostelries. Half the team retired for a night cap of port and bed, whilst Nicola and Leslie strongly persuaded Bob and Geraint that a bit of dancing was in order. This was promptly followed by a visit to several night clubs where they strutted their stuff.
A triumphant, adventurous weekend was enjoyed by all.
Porthmadog blew them out of the water!
Head of the Taff Race, Cardiff 2012