British Raft Race Series – Matlock 2014

Matlock might be one of the newer events in the rafting calendar, but it had already welcomed Team Oarsome into its bosom with some fantastic rafting in 2013 and it did not disappoint in 2014! The Matlock event also saw Team Oarsome start its first apprenticeship scheme adopting heroes in training, Connor Forshaw and Charlie Agg, little did they realise what lay ahead of them.

The time trial kicked off the event with both Team Oarsome rafts paddling hard, but showing effortless grace and style on the water (as everyone has come to expect from the team).

The head to head race once again saw old rivalries ignited as all the teams battled it out to see who would be event leaders at this early stage. At the lunch break the teams headed to their vans for packed lunches. Team Oarsome however decided that it would be important to even up the odds for the other teams, so headed for pub grub and plenty of beers. Unfortunately it seems that they may have been served ‘bad pints’ and this caused some issues in the slalom race. Despite this the Team Oarsome Ladies showed that equality is not an issue within Oarsome, beating the men’s team by a heroic 30 seconds (which is even more heroic when you take into account the epic performance the mens team put in……..).

A good day of rafting came to a close as the weather started to draw in, but the day was a long way from over…..

Bring the party……..bring the horn

The party required the teams to dress to impress and Team Oarsome donned it’s tweed, tied on its cravats and ensured the hats were at a suitably jaunty angle. Unfortunately not everyone recognised that this gentlemanly attire was the clothes of kings – good friends / fierce rivals, Red Rose Rafting, took the number 1 position and claimed victory, as pirates.

One of the key highlights of the evening, was Team Oarsome Ladies unveiling the latest clothing range, which fashion designers in Paris have been desperate to get their hands on………….The Team Oarsome Onesies.

However despite losing being the best dressed, this did not stop Team Oarsome who unleashed the horn of shame and began (the traditional gam 21…………a game that would ultimately became the undoing of the newly named ‘Horn’ and ‘Hotpants’.

By the end of the night the chants of ‘horn of shaaaame, hey’ rang through the air with the brave rafters stepping up to down their beverages from the one drinking vessel that brings as much honour as it does shame.

Final day of rafting, let’s make this happen.

The endurance race saw the Team Oarsome ladies go head to head with Red Rose Rafting and it was a fight to the bitter end. The Red Rose Rapids ladies unashamedly used their skill and prowess on the water to take an early lead, however Grace’s efficient destruction of the press-up challenge and Lucie’s domination of the run gave Team Oarsome Ladies the edge they needed to stride ahead. Come the final throws of the endurance and the two teams were almost neck and neck, but Team Oarsome Ladies unleashed the power of Poseidon and drove home the victory!

The men’s team went up against the mighty Amethyst and the battle for the racing line was there from the off, with Dave ‘the poster boy’ Evans holding fast. However despite the incredible drive of Team Oarsome, they realised how mentally damaging a defeat would be for the young Team Amethyst and so ‘allowed’ them to take a lead, with Team Oarsome instead focusing on rescuing some orphans from a dangerous part of the river, which most people probably didn’t even notice.

Both groups of Team Oarsome heroes secured a position in the top 5, once again demonstrating themselves as a well branded elite force to be partially intimidated by.

As ever a huge thanks to all the amazing people who put some much time and effort into organising the series – British Rafting