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West Norfolk Rowing Club members smash previous course record

West Norfolk Rowing Club members Steph and Nicola Charlton smashed the previous course record at the Great Ouse Marathon on Sunday.

The sisters had an impressive race in the women’s doubles, finishing third overall in this class on their way to breaking the previous course record for their ranking points category with a great time of 1 hour 58 minutes.

Organised by Isle of Ely Rowing Club, more than 300 rowers took part in the race from Denver Sluice to Ely, competing to row the 21.5km course in the fastest time.

West Norfolk rowing 5 (16111510)
West Norfolk rowing 5 (16111510)

The sun shone, the breeze was light, and the wide waters reflected the sky and WNRC had 20 rowers racing in nine boats.

First to launch were the single sculls who had all trained rigorously for this tough event.

Bob Ward raced in the open masters G/H singles and completed the marathon course in an impressive time of 2hrs 03mins 16secs.

Aged 80, Hamish Collin was completing the Marathon for the fourth time in as many years, and finished in a very respectable time of 2hrs 34mins 04sec.

West Norfolk Rowing 1 (16111507)
West Norfolk Rowing 1 (16111507)

He described it as “a most enjoyable row, especially in the wind-free patches”, but admitted he “had to concentrate on every stroke”.

Kate Neale and Miranda Lam competed in the women’s masters E singles, finishing with good times of 2.17.54 and 2.18.35, respectively.

Alex Smith, of RAF Marham RC and affiliated to WNRC, completed the marathon course in 2hr 06mins.

Juniors Archie Bell and Zach Grant raced together in a J18 double for the first time over such a challenging distance, and finished in 2.05.53 – a time they should be very pleased with.

The club also had three quads racing.

West Norfolk rowing 2 (16111501)
West Norfolk rowing 2 (16111501)

The women’s masters D coxed quad of Helen Pryer, Carol Rose, Nikki Gabb and Nix Marston, with Belinda Walker coxing, took the pace steady with the aim of bettering the W.4x+ course record of 2.17.28.

They did so with a time of 2hrs 13mins 01sec, setting a new category record for the course.

The men’s coxless quad crew of Theo Bailey, Mark Dawson, Ron Rusman and Phil Holden competed in ‘Sluice Cannon’ in the Open.4x-, aiming to beat their record time of 1.48.32 from 2018.

This they did in style, taking nine and a half minutes off the time to finish in 1hr 39mins 2 secs.

West Norfolk rowing 4 (16111503)
West Norfolk rowing 4 (16111503)

It was not enough to retain their category course record, however, which was taken by a crew from Yare Boat Club.

The WNRC coxed quad crew of Stuart Porter, Doug McNeil, Simon Grapes and Steve Venables, with Alistair Mackie as cox, raced in the Open class.

They finished in a time of 2hrs 06mins to set a new category record.

It was a very satisfying day for West Norfolk Rowing Club. Information on rowing at West Norfolk is available at: wnrc.club@gmail.com

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