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Posted by: Jack Brennan

Last week a select few of us at Anderselite were lucky enough to partake in the annual Construction Industry Dragon Boat Race in aid of CRASH charity, held on the West Reservoir Centre in London and let me say first and foremost, Charity was the real winner!

Companies gathered in their ten’s in North London to support this great cause and in true construction industry style, we collectively put on quite a spectacle.

First off an introduction to our crew, the cleverly and possibly aptly named ‘Dis-oar-der’, which consisted of the most uncoordinated yet surprisingly enthusiastic bunch ever to meander their way towards the watery edges of the West reservoir!

This boat of misfits was headed up by our fearless, chiselled and inspirational leaders; Charles ‘I’m posh so I can row’ Blockley and Greg ‘I was born rowing’ Johns. From the Manchester office we had the unflappable Rehan Malik, from Leeds; Shona Waud & Vicky Rawson, Southampton could only rustle up the lacklustre duo of Matt Day & David Ayres, whilst London didn’t do much better with myself, Debbie Loding, Sara Selhanovic, Mark Bradbury, Jonathan Cockerton, Emma Hignett and finally Gary Milburn; all of whom were to rowing what England are to football – a consistent let down!

The day kicked off with the impressive Balfour Beatty and Keepmoat setting the pace, the sun was shining and despite a brief initial algae related health scare relayed to the masses via an ancient tannoy system the day was off to a great start. Heat after heat there were some fantastic performances, morale was high and the crews integrated well in between races with friendly banter seemingly the order for the day.

Dis-oar-der started poorly, I had watched Cool Runnings the night before in the hope of last minute tips and inspiration – it was clear the rest of our crew hadn’t done the same as we struggled to comprehend the relatively simple concept of rowing…back and forth, in unison….forgetting that in this sport rhythm and grace wins out over brute force and misplaced criticism. Rumours of a mutiny on board were quickly dispelled by the rallying calls of Rehan, our very own tiny Rocky – it was with this tiger like spirit that we soldiered on as is the Anders way, in the face of great adversity we pulled together raised our heads and rowed like our placements depended on it.

Having completed ‘pretty much’ two out of the three heats with a best time of……, well with a time at least! By now the day was in full swing and the all-conquering construction giants Balfour Beatty took the win to see them rule by land, sea and reservoirs.

As the sun slowly set across the water, and the clouds rolled in seeing day give way to night, Dis-oar-der were beaten, but by no means disgraced, we raised several toasts to Balfour, our fellow competitors and to CRASH - without whom none of this could have been possible.

A fantastic amount of money was raised for charity on the day and one thing is for sure, we left everything out there on the water, where it belongs.

Dis-oar-der will return next year, as we all will……to make fools of ourselves once more in the name of Charity, it’s the least any of us should do!
Thanks to all that participated and thanks to CRASH for their terrific organisation of a fun packed afternoon in North London.

Contributed by Jack Brennan

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