Elements conspire against West Norfolk rowers

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The elements plotted against participants when West Norfolk Rowing Club attended the Norfolk Sculls event at Norwich.

Weather-wise it was a carbon copy of earlier in the year with new records very hard to come by.

Six crews from West Norfolk Rowing Club and four affiliated crews from the Royal Air Force were in action.

Competing over the shorter distance of 2,100m, were four West Norfolk crews and, for the first time, two boats entirely crewed from RAF Marham Rowing Club affiliated members.

West Norfolk entered both a women’s and men’s coxed quad. Steve Venables, Doug McNeil, Theo Bailey and Bob Ward were coxed by Alistair Mackie to a respectable time of 13.01.

It was very testing conditions for Nix Marston’s first race as a cox.

She steered Vicky Alexander, Miranda Lam, Carol Rose and Helen Pryer in a very competent row of 13.49, but were beaten in their class by a local crew who had plenty of experience of this meandering stretch of the River Yare.

It was a hard race for the double of Ron Rusman and Mark Dawson, who finished half-way down their division, the strong gusting wind making life difficult in the smaller boats.

The final West Norfolk crew rowing the short course was the coxless quad of Mike Hutchinson, Rob John, Phil Holden and Simon Prior.

They put in a very good performance, finishing in 10.33 having the fourth fastest time out of 35 entries and only beaten in their division by crews 30-plus years their junior.

The two RAF Marham RC crews entered in the short course put in similar times.

Coxed by the club captain Lewis Gray, the four of Luke Ogden, Lewis Gollick, Nigel Cosbie-Ross and Simon Grapes finished in 12.49.

Under the guidance of club coach Adriana Motric, the women’s quad of Megan Hart, Rachel Chapman and Vicky Goodall were not far behind with a time of 12.55.

At 4,200m the long course was twice the distance and despite the weather both Mike Bond in a single and the coxless quad of Beatriz Bond, Liz Palmer, Karen Wilson and Michelle Fincham pushed hard against the strong headwind to finish in respectable times.

The RAF pairing of Matt Parle and Andy May finished the long course in a time of 20.20.

However, not content with a single race, they also teamed up with Lewis Gray and Tom Jackman to compete in a four and improved on their earlier time, finishing in an excellent time of 17.17.

Despite the conditions, it was a great day for West Norfolk Rowing Club, which continues to grow and had two-thirds of its members involved. For those interested in trying rowing for the first time the next opportunity for taster sessions and rowing courses will start in Spring 2018.

For more information about West Norfolk Rowing Club, please contact via: wnrc.club+join@gmail.com