Saltash Regatta weekend.
A bustling brightly coloured celebration of river and community based pleasure. I always like to get to the waterfront at dusk on the Friday or dawn on the Saturday to catch the hardware of the event in preparation. The symmetry and stillness of the gigs and pilot boats belies the ferociousness of the events later in the day
These weighty oars have the delicacy of ballerinas feet as they rest peaceably together on the green. In a few hours they will be battling for prime position, one on one contact is not unheard of.
I love the laced-on leather handgrips, resting here, they have an erotic quality, suggesting laces on corsets passively waiting to be undone. In reality, the leather provides grip but the combination of endeavour, leather and salty water is punishing to the flesh. Soft palms and finger tips can be shredded to bloody remnants of their former selves.
Gigs, resting neatly in the water, delivered overnight from all over the West Country await their teams to give them energy and purpose.
Their skeletal insides waiting for race-ready muscles to give them power.
Blades, polished to cleave the water whilst the rowers cleave together, rhythm and energy effectively brought together.
Flashboats announcing every rowers hoped-for outcome. Just a few hours peace before the rowing begins.