Windy weather and a meandering River Yare course met the six crews from West Norfolk Rowing Club at the Norwich head of the river race on Saturday, February 25.
The club’s competitors included the youngest to the oldest in the club entering in the categories from Junior13 all the way up to Master (H).
The day’s rowing was split into two divisions, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon.
Both divisions had a short course of 2000m and a longer 5km course.
The river is moderately tidal, the morning rowers enjoyed slack water but the afternoon crews had the added difficulty of rowing against a retreating tide.
Division One was an all female affair, apart from Hamish Collin acting as cox, for the ladies quad competing over 5kms.
In a borrowed boat, Beatriz Bond, Helen Pryer, Valerie Bond and Kate Neale put in a very respectable performance over an ambitious distance.
Also in the morning were two junior double crews rowing in their first competition.
In the J17 category Lily Fonzo and Lola O’Brien-Dele put in a spirited row in a packed junior race. They demonstrated excellent style.
The final crew were the youngest crew at the whole event. Evelyn Palmer and Abi-Lou Page, in their first ever race, rowed superbly. Not only holding off a local Norwich crew, they eventually took the lead which they then held to finish, a most impressive performance.
Division Two was time for the men to take up the challenge.
Over the shorter distance Robert John and Simon Prior competed in the novice category in a boat aptly named Double Trouble; the troubles being the tide and a constantly weaving course! Despite these difficulties they managed to hold off a few crews 30 years younger and was a reasonable run out for Robert’s first ever race.
The next crew competed in a quad boat on loan to the club and was made up of Mike Bond, Mark Dawson, Ron Rusman and Alistair Mackie in the Master (D) category.
This was a really good row by the team nearly matching the pace of their previous race meeting yet over twice the distance, an excellent result.
The final competitor from the club was the legendary master rower Hamish Collin. He was one of only three masters to row a single scull over the full 5km course and he yet again proved his grit and determination.
In true style he escorted the safety boats in at the close of proceedings. A great, if long, day and thanks go to Norwich Rowing Club and all the supporters.
l Anyone interested in trying rowing this Spring should contact the club via: email@example.com