Making its debut regatta appearance at the hugely popular Peterborough City Rowing Club Spring Regatta on Saturday and Sunday, West Norfolk Rowing Club fielded its keenest competitors.
The prospect of racing on a straight four lane 1000 metres course attended by crews from across the country would be a far cry from the club’s tranquil base at Denver.
Under a clear blue sky, Saturday’s racing began with WNRC entering one boat, a ladies J18 double crewed by Kayleigh Venables and Imogen Magner. This happened to be a straight final against two crews from Deben RC and from the Lincoln Rowing Centre.
Kayleigh and Imogen soon came level with the leader. As they passed the 500m marker, they had established a slight lead that increased further by 750m with clear water between first and second place. With fatigue and pressure mounting to keep up the racing pace and not miss a stroke, the ladies put in a hard and controlled sprint to the line and won with a time of 4mins 17secs, six seconds ahead of second place.
The club had won its first ever event and at its first national regatta attendance to achieve a significant milestone.
On Sunday, the club had mixed fortunes.
On racing debut, Alistair Mackie and Michael Bond entered the MastersE double category however, due to a complication at the start, they were forced to retire but they were undaunted by the experience.
Simon Prior and Dan Shaw were fourth in the MastersC double category and put on a superb show.
Magner entered the ladies J18 single scull and overcame a set back in the early stages to regain her race pace. Soon after she drew level with the leader and extending her lead with every stroke, she maintained the power and pace in a finish of 4mins 45secs, beating her closest rival by 24 seconds.
West Norfolk Rowing Club had won its second event.
Club captain Phil Bancroft was in MastersD eight with a crew comprised of Lincoln, Boston and RAF rowers. Phil was enlisted on Friday night with no training opportunity. Racing against Sudbury RC and Oundle Town RC, Oundle dropped back slightly but the Sudbury crew was alongside Phil and his crew, who led at the 500m point.
A lung-busting high rating sprint earned victory in a time of 3mins 33secs with Sudbury seven seconds behind.