Offshore Group find long straights to their liking

OFFSHORE GROUP oarsmen James Travers and Tim Nicolle turned the tide on their core men’s doubles rivals on Saturday.

Their victory in the 11.6km Around Jethou means it has been a different winner for each of the last three championship races, ensuring that the strong-starting TPA will not be running away with the season.

Ultimately, the crew formerly known as Tim & Trav beat TPA (Simon Johns and James Coquelin) to the line by 14sec., boosted by another 10sec. post-race due to their rivals sustaining a starting penalty.

Their stamina and liking for long straights definitely paid off on a route running from Havelet to Jethou, round the Epec beacon and back home, clearly the longest so far this season but packing only two major turns.

And what a day for it.

With glorious sunshine, only a light breeze and clear blue skies, it was almost as pleasant as it gets for a long outing on the water.

Tidal conditions did ramp up the challenge slightly, though, and TPA looked very favourable for the first third.

But Offshore Group surged past approaching Jethou and pushed onwards to win in 57min. 30sec., admitting afterwards that it was not an easy day out.

‘It felt like the best we’ve rowed all season by a long way,’ Travers said.

‘Maybe it was a bit of we rowed really well and they were off today.

‘They went off fast and we managed to catch them up again and push through, but they never give up. The worst thing you can do is go past them – it just spurs them on even more.

‘Hopefully this is the start of our good form and we can push on from here.’

Briggs & Pearce (James Briggs and Paul Pearce) finished a solid third, within a minute of the front-runners in the depth-packed class.

Yet the rivalries ran throughout the field – including one quite compelling battle for top quad.

82 Asteria and 24 Dogs of Oar come close at Crevichon. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29624958)

The record-breaking women’s Le Mont Saint quad, who had Lisa de Kooker in for an absent Georgia Denziloe, immediately pressured top men’s quartet Just Stroke It.

The gap was hovering around 15sec. at half-way and while the top men did not pull away, they did not get reeled in either.

LMS eventually clocked a solid but not record-breaking 1-03-07 to trail the male opposition by 16sec.

LMS also nearly caught Ravenscroft, who had started in a wave 10min. earlier and ultimately sealed class runners-up.

Veteran singles rower Paul Montague beat James Plumley in a showdown of the skiffs.

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