The Harker’s Yard Winter Series is in full swing now and all is going well. Round five was hosted at Wivenhoe and it was thanks to Wivgigs and Corsairs for organising.

Ladies in Wren were first again and 10th in Willow. The men in Wren were second and Willow fifth. The mixed race saw Wren in eighth and Willow 13th. Everyone worked really hard and had a lot of fun.

The sixth event was held in Burnham and what a glorious day it was. The sun shone and the competition was fierce. “Weather conditions couldn’t have been any different from the previous year when there was snow, sleet, rain and freezing conditions” remembers one rower from the Stour club of Manningtree.

The ladies teams started off proceedings and were lucky enough to have slack water with them. It was as calm as a millpond and the ladies in Wren smashed it again for the fifth time, coming first by a ‘country mile’ in Vanessa’s words. They are having a close run with Maldon’s  ‘Record Reign’ though, who came third and are now running a close second overall. The men’s race was a mass start with everyone close, all 15 gigs trying to round the first turning mark in close proximity, and for most of the race gigs were side by side. The men in Wren were first by a good 30 seconds, beating overall leaders ‘Aqualine’ of Rowhedge, putting them third in the table. It was difficult to make out the team colours of so many gigs in the dazzling brightness on the water and there were three protests due to the blinding conditions but it was flat calm and rowers and spectators alike enjoyed a great performance by all. Men in Willow came fourth and are now fourth in the table, so it was a great result for them too because, as we know, the tide is ferocious and it made for tough going in the men’s and mixed races. Burnham in Wren were fifth, putting them sixth overall, and 13th in Willow so 14th overall.  Brilliant work from the mixed teams.

‘The facilities at Burnham are the stuff of dreams’ so says ‘Stour Rowing Club and thanks indeed to everyone at The Royal Burnham Yacht Club who made great hosts with some lovely soup. Sarah Mason, again, made her fantastic flapjacks and what with all the teas and coffees and helpful volunteers our new gig is nearly paid for. Well not quite, but what an effort.

All the clubs enjoyed a delicious carvery and a special lot of cakes for our very own Barbara Tribe on her big birthday. Hope she keeps wearing the sweatshirt. Happy birthday to you.

The new year’s social event was a fun affair and was held at the Burnham Sailing Club.

BYOB meant for lots of jollies and there were plenty of games and home cooked food on offer. Thanks to everyone who helped with that. Mandy was delighted to win a rabbit in the raffle lol. Well done to Emma and Kay who organised it and thanks to the Sailing Club for letting us use their space.

All in all the club has done a great bit of fundraising this month and things are looking good.

Looking forward to some more keen rowing next month and maybe even a Mad Hatters tea party?