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Carrow Cup joy for West Norfolk rower Mike

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West Norfolk Rowing Club member Mike Bond guided his crew to victory in the annual Carrow Cup race held at Norwich.

The event, which is the second oldest in the country and dates back to 1813, was held under the auspices of the Norwich Rowing Club earlier this month.

It is a series of races for traditional boats which come from all over the country to participate.

Bond was chosen to cox in a Dartmouth traditional boat which was built recently by two of the crew, Mark Peters and Joanna Hayden.

The boat, although of traditional design, was made of fibre glass with a weight of 300 kg compared with the modern quad of 50 kg.

It was painted purple with all the crew dressed in purple except Bond, who sported a Father Christmas hat and white beard.

Other members of the crew included former GB rower Delia Kempley and her brother Rupert Kempley.

Among the opposition were a crew from Edinburgh and coxed by Ed Bond, Mike’s son.

The race was started downstream at Pulls Ferry, on the River Yare, and then rowed 4.5 kilometres upstream to Broadland and the entry had two-dozen traditionally built boats, including an Edwardian double.

The race strategy of Mike was to power up his boat at the start and to pass any boats, but not through the five bridges which were in the first part of the course because the river was too narrow at each of these points.

By the fourth bridge tthe crew from Edinburgh, coxed by Bond’s son Ed, had their noses in front in a traditional double.

The Dartmouth boat closed in fast, but after a clash of oars they had to concede the lead to the Edinburgh crew as they approached the penultimate bridge.

But once through the bridge, the Dartmouth picked up speed and passed the Edinburgh boat.

They maintained their advantage in the final stages to stay ahead of the two-dozen boats behind them.

Bond’s boat completed the course in 19 mins 30 secs with his son Ed’s crew finishing just 30 seconds behind the eventual winners.

West Norfolk Rowing Club is based at Denver Sailing Club, by the Denver Sluice complex, near Downham.

The club rows on the freshwater River Great Ouse with miles of beautiful waterways to explore.

For more information on how to become a member, please visit the club’s website at: http://wnrc.westnorfolkrowingclub.co.uk/

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