Last weekend the Bi-Annual team racing event between the Royal St George, Royal Thames and Royal North & Clyde was hosted by the Royal Thames at the Queen Mary reservoir. The event started as might be expected on Friday evening as teams gathered at the fine Royal Thames clubhouse in Knightsbridge where some of the most generous pourings of rum measures outside the Caribbean can be experienced. Needless, to say the piano in the bar was tested and found to be in good tune.
Racing on Saturday, unfortunately, had to be abandoned due to 30+ knot winds so the teams enjoyed the opportunity to watch the England vs New Zealand rugby match and then retire to the comfort of the Grenadier pub for lunch. The formal event dinner of the Millennium Bowl is always a spectacular evening, not least because each of the teams and race officials group are required to perform some sort of entertainment after dinner.
This year didn’t disappoint – probably due to the Thames trying to drown its competitor teams in champagne pre-dinner. Despite there being no potatoes served with dinner (taken as a deliberate act as mental warfare on the Irish team by our esteemed Commodore who, like many, viewed the lentils with some concern), the George team got right underway by organising a wheelbarrow race around the dining room using the Millennium Bowl itself as the weather mark of the course whilst singing Molly Malone. The race officials won the after-dinner entertainment with a unique rendition of the Haka in an operatic style – quite something! Once again spectacular hospitality found in the bar by the teams after dinner as you might imagine.
On Sunday morning the teams managed to stop partying and apply themselves to the main reason we were all in London, and racing got underway promptly in light conditions. After numerous round robins the Royal Thames team emerged with the most wins and the Clyde team beating the George to second by just 1 race. The George mounted a late charge towards the end of the racing and were able to claim a moral victory by being the only team to take a race off a very polished Royal Thames team.
Excellent race management throughout and thanks again to the Royal Thames team for hosting such a fine event. In fact, the teams decided that it was a pity the event is only run every 2 years, and as such, it was decided to modify the deed of gift for the even. (yes, the Thames still like to use ‘deeds of gift’ where the rest of us mortals just have a notice of race) and as a result the next event will be hosted by the Royal St George in October 2020.
The 2019 Millennium Bowl RSGYC Team were:
Boat 1: Marshall King, Heather Craig, Peter Bowring, Moselle Hogan
Boat 2: Martin Byrne, Steph Bourke, Owen Laverty, Edward Cook
Boat 3: Max Treacy, Sarah Dwyer, Charlie Bolger, Ben Cooke
Umpire: Ailbe Millerick
By Ben Cooke