Adams Blog -
Tweenhills finish 2nd of 16 in Great Racing Welfare Boat Race
A team of 11 Tweenhills staff members – including owner David Redvers and former Gold Cup-winning jockey Graham McCourt – took part in The Great Racing Welfare Boat Race down the River Thames at Windsor Racecourse on Wednesday and excelled to finish runners-up from 16 teams.
Our team travelled from Hartpury to Windsor Racecourse with no prior experience of Dragon Boat Racing but keen to take part in a charity event run by the excellent Racing Welfare.
After arriving around 1.15pm and being given the much-needed safety briefing (!) Team Tweenhills faced off against a team from trainer Ben Pauling’s yard and a team of jump jockeys.
Tweenhills were edged out by Ben Pauling’s team – all dressed as Where’s Wally – but had another chance to record one of the top 6 fastest times that would be needed to progress to the semi-finals.
Thankfully our next race was a straight head-to-head versus Newsells Park Stud, who were dressed as bees with a beekeeper on the drum. Sadly, for them there was a sting in the tail as Tweenhills chinned them in a photo, with a time of 36.16secs.
After a tense wait, Tweenhills were 5th fastest over the two heats so progressed to the semi-finals, which would feature two lots of three teams, with the winners going through to the final along with the fastest loser across the two races.
Tweenhills lined up against a team from Worcester Racecourse – who, unsurprisingly, had been practising in the build-up and were faster than Tweenhills in both heats – and The Oarsome Crew, who were made up of staff from the Andrew Balding, Ralph Beckett and Richard Hannon yards.
It was The Oarsome Crew who took the spoils – despite hours of imbibing in the sunshine starting to play a part – and, against the odds, Tweenhills snatched second.
After much deliberation, it was announced that Tweenhills had exactly the same time as the Fergal O’Brien team from the other semi-final, but Tweenhills would go through on countback from our previous fastest time.
Tweenhills faced off in the final against another team of jump jockeys – including Harry and Bridget Skelton (Andrews) – and our old foes The Oarsome Crew.
After some heated exchanges going down to post, we were off. We hit the ground running and pushed to the line but couldn’t quite reel in the jockeys’ team, whose celebration after crossing the winning post saw them capsize in spectacular fashion.
Rumous that it was Harry Skelton doing his famous 'aeroplane' celebration were unfounded!
It was a fantastic effort from Team Tweenhills to finish 2nd of 16 teams overall, and a superb performance from Gemma Waterhouse and all at Racing Welfare to organise such a successful event at relatively short notice.
The Tweenhills Team were (in order of position in the boat):
Graham McCourt (drummer)
Tallulah Owens-Curtis and Samantha Pottinger
Adam Brookes and David Redvers
Ivo Thomas and Alfie Larcombe
Holly Hill and Scott Marshall
Hannah Hogarth and Amelia MacPherson
We shall be back next year to go one better!
Racing Welfare does an excellent job supporting the workforce of British horseracing and any donations to them would be very gratefully received.