A windy day on Saturday tested West Norfolk Rowing Club and their invited guests from Isle of Ely RC at the club’s first Head event on the Great Ouse at Denver Sluice.
A rowing Head is where boats race in series and each crew is timed over a set course, in this case a 2km stretch of river from the railway bridge back to the towards the club.
WNRC welcomed at least 18 members from Ely, some of whom had rowed their boats up the river the evening before.
The event was designed as a practice run for WNRC, with members taking on roles in timing, marshalling and manning safety boats under the more experienced guidance of some of Ely’s members.
WNRC will be holding its first Open Summer Head event on Sunday, June 26 when the club has invited participants from rowing clubs across local counties as part of the Eastern Region Recreational Rowing calendar.
A ladies’ quad from WNRC competed for the first time, with Alex Shaw, Beatriz Bond, Nix Marston and Liz Palmer being calmly coxed by Hamish Collin. The fastest time on the course was by WNRC’s J18 girls Imogen Magner and Kayleigh Venables in a double scull, with a time of 9m 1s.
Conditions worsened, with the wind making the river too choppy, and the difficult decision had to be taken to cancel the second race division. This left more time, however, for meeting the other rowers and sharing the refreshments in the clubhouse.
Belinda Walker, WNRC chairman, said: “It was a lovely atmosphere, a very friendly occasion, and we learned a lot from it.”
WNRC member Hamish Collin described the “wide waterways, gentle bends and low river traffic” on the Great Ouse as “an ideal place to row” and looked forward to greater numbers of rowers attending the club’s open event in June.