The Club Relay started back in 1991 and this event has become legendary; there is truly nothing else like it on the calendar. In 1991 it started with just 120 competitors and in 2012 over 2000 lucky athletes joined in the organised chaos of the Club Relays.
The whole weekend of fun at the NWSC in Nottingham, organised by One Step Beyond Promotions, is triathlon’s answer to the Glastonbury Music Festival. Over the years it’s had Olympians and World Champions taking part but this weekend was also about the apres triathlon; where else can you find close to 1000 triathletes all camping and partying together?
Here the weekend in words and pictures:
The Club Relays revolves around teams of 4 using a tagging format where everyone swims, everyone bikes and everyone runs in a race that looks like a mixture between competition and chaos. The event starts with a 500m swim.
Then a 15km bike section.
Ms Sharpe has time (and the strength) to smile.
Are those socks he’s wearing?
The bike transition is usually the most tricky!
The whole race is contained within the NWSC complex which is great for competitors, spectators and photographers alike.
The bike transition to other team members takes place at the straw bale barrier where the elastic band has to be transferred to the team mate’s wrist – shown here.
I’m pretty sure this competitors was in the original ‘Alien’ movie!
Other competitors couldn’t wait for their team mate to get to the front!
She’s glad that bit is over….
Cambridge Triathlon Club looking serious.
This is the bike to bike transition where competitors dump their bike hand over the wrist band and then have to reclaim their bike.
And try not to leave without it.
Forgetting is bad.
The run is 5km. Any four triathletes can get together and make up a team and race in one of the range of team categories available.
Then comes the run transition. The ‘Box’ marked on the grass in orange indicates where competitors need to pass on the wrist band.
High5 were present to offer sustenance during the race.
This is the winning team and features Gossage, Vickery, Walker and Sharpe plus kidnapped child.
(C) Drew Smith Photography
A trip to Liverpool saw Notts County Ladies suffer a disappointing 1 – 0 defeat. It was a very close game but with Liverpool always looking the more likely to score as injury hit Notts battled hard to stay in the game. But in the 75th minute Liverpool bagged all three points when substitute Katie Zelem got on the end of a powerfully driven Gemma Davison cross to net for the home side.
Here’s the game in pictures and words:
The usual County suspects were playing out of their new black & white socks again but with so many players out injured Notts had to battle hard and run tirelessly just to stay in the game.
Aileen Whelan ran tirelessly again…..
… along with Desiree Scott and Katie Hoyle.
With both teams playing quick counter attack football it was Jess Clarke for Notts carrying the fight and having some joy down the left hand side channel, with the England striker firing shots off but never hitting the target.
Jess Clarke making her presence felt again.
The last action of the half saw Notts County’s Amy Turner get a booking and Sophie Walton a good talking to (a harbinger of things to come) before the referee blew time on the first half, with the sides tied at 0-0.
The second half resumed with the Notts still in the game but with mounting pressure from the reds.
Battle was joined….
… with no quarter given….
… and everybody toeing the line!
And the 2nd half saw the a debut for Ashleigh Plumptre – England U-17 striker!
In the 60th minute Gemma Davison – a continual thorn in Notts’ side – broke free and had a clear run on the County goal….
…….. and with just the keeper to beat was thwarted by Carly Telford who spread herself to block the strikers goal bound shot with her leg and divert it clear.
But Notts couldn’t hold on…..
Deep into the second half Liverpool’s Katie Zelem broke County hearts when she met Gemma Davison’s powerful cross at the back post to score the only goal of the game and putting Liverpool top of the Women’s Super League.
A few minutes after conceding Gemma Davison once again broke into the County penalty area and in taking the ball wide of Keeper Telford, seemed to be brought down for a penalty!
The referee pointed to the spot and awarded a penalty. Confusion followed. Notts’ Sophie Walton obviously said something to the referee and was cautioned. The referee, after consultation with his linesman, then overturned his own decision and restarted the game with a drop ball in the penalty box. Baffling.
With only seconds left on the clock the referee booked Sophie Walton for a second time, again for something she must have said and the County defender was dismissed from the game.
This leaves County with only the Continental Cup as a means of salvaging a difficult season.
But perhaps more importantly they must also battle hard now to secure an improved league position that better reflects the quality this team has in it’s ranks.
(C) Drew Smith Photography
Yet another top class event being held by the NWSC in Nottingham today. Which took me by surprise. I swung (or is it swang) in there this afternoon to get my press pass for the weekend and the Club Relay Team Triathlon and lo and behold the International Junior Triathlon event was in full swing! So I pulled my camera out of the car and snapped a few pics.
Here’s my afternoon in words and pictures:
Triathlons are made up of swimming, cycling and running. This is the swimming bit (see, I’m an expert) and the competitors are coming under starters orders…..
… which kinda consisted of ‘Ready…’ at which point everybody dove (or is it dived) in, saving the starter the trouble of saying ‘Go!’….
… I don’t think he’d have ever got them back for a false start anyway……
… it’s very difficult to hear anything…..
… once in the water….
… and by the time they’ve clambered out….. they’ve got water in their ears… and pretty much everywhere else too!
Then it’s in to the transition and on to the bikes….
… and a quick change of gender (have you been paying attention?). This is a panning shot, dragging the shutter. Easier to do with a hand held lens as opposed to a 400mm f2.8 on a monopod – I think I may have broken my wrist.
And then the running bit followed.
And it rained on and off all afternoon.
So, all good stuff and a nice warm-up for this weekend.
(C) Drew Smith Photography
GB Rowing held their second Sculling Festival at the National Water Sports Centre this weekend (16th/17th August 2014). The Sculling Festival is a national event and is open to any registered member of a club affiliated to any Great Britain rowing body.
The Festival is aimed at anyone looking to improve their skills in a single scull and with the drive and ambition to continue Great Britain’s position as the top rowing nation in the world. As well as the main event, the weekend offered a Beginners’ event for those genuinely in their first year of the sport, with races generally being run over a shorter distance. Participation over the 2 days of competition also included a barbecue on the evening of Saturday 16 August.
But what was really a joy to behold from a photographer’s point of view was so many happy competitors involved in not just racing but also in a series of Skills & Maneuverability tests! These involved standing up in a rowing boat no deeper than a saucer and turning around 360 degrees! A tremendous amount of fun – for those watching as well as those taking part.
Thanks once again to British Rowing for the friendliness and hospitality they extended to me. More pictures can be found here: http://www.drewsmithphotography.co.uk/Sports/GB-Rowing-Team-Sculling/
Here’s a link to the British Rowing site’s report on the event (with my pics – hurrah!): http://www.britishrowing.org/news/2014/august/18/gb-rowing-team-sculling-festival-showcases-young-talent
Here’s the event in words and pictures:
There was normal rowing too of course – with lost of races taking place on Saturday and Sunday…..
Skill come be tested by doing such things as 360 standing turns! Shown being accomplished here with aplomb! But …. there was also a tremendous amount of opportunity to fall in.
Which some people (this is Tim) grasped with both hands……
And threw themselves into it with great abandon.
Nice one Tim!
This was strenuous just to watch!
But everybody seemed to enjoy the challenge.
Even though they were under constant scrutiny from the judges and officials.
Unfortunately for this competitor stylishly hoinking your boat back and forth on dry land wasn’t one of the official events.
And nobody needed to be told to pull their socks up!
And there was always a helping hand ready to assist.
(C) Copyright Drew Smith Photography
It’s always good to get some character studies at sporting events. The recent Outlaw triathlon was such an opportunity.
And post processing them in Black & White always seems to add an extra something. Here are a few from the Saturday swim practice:
A cancelled event caused me to drop in on a local cricket match being played in Nottingham yesterday evening and I thought it might be useful to give a brief overview of the game for those that are constantly baffled by the sport. Here it is in words and pictures:
On first view it may look to the uninitiated that the object of the game is for the bowler to hit the wicket guarded by the batsman and for the batsman to hit the ball as far as he can to score runs (points). But this is not so.
For example; here is a picture of a batsman hitting a poor shot. The ball evaded all the fielders and crossed the boundary line causing several of the players the need to go and look for the ball in the hedge. Poor form.
Conversely this is a well played shot; the ball hardly moves away from the bat at all and none of the the outfielders are inconvenienced. Good show.
Here the batsman skilfully executes the ‘Trapped ‘Leg’ Before Wicket’ manoeuvre. This is where a courageous batsman will trap a bowled ball with his inner thighs in an execution of skilful timing to prevent the ball from striking his testicles. This will score his team 50 points. If he gets it wrong and ends up curled up on the floor a blubbering mess his teams loses 50 points.
Here the batsman misses the ball completely. The wicket keeper (the man in the hat behind the stumps [the 3 sticks in the ground]) tries a ‘Leg before wicket’ manoeuvre …….
… but fails and is hit in the testicles losing his team 50 points.
His team mates found it quite amusing and after emergency medical treatment so did the wicket keeper.
The umpire blows the final whistle to signal the end of game. The losing team’s batsman looks on as the victors celebrate and congratulate their star player (the man in the red hat) who won the game for them by scoring 500 points for playing the whole match without touching the ball at all.
Or put another way:
“You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.”
And for really good laugh try this explanation by an American having watched the game for the first time:
(c) Drew Smith Photography
Had a great time down at the NWSC yesterday evening and when the white water course went quiet the guys that run the show whipped out a surf board! I was also lucky enough to catch Anton Lippek getting back in to his training and got some excellent shots of him breaking through the white water directly to camera in his AdventureX sponsored boat.
(C) Drew Smith Photography