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West Norfolk Rowing Club members bag silverware at Sudbury Rowing Club regatta

West Norfolk Rowing Club members enjoyed the competition and spectacle at Sudbury Rowing Club’s 150th regatta on Saturday.

During almost 12 hours of racing, West Norfolk had 19 rowers competing in 11 crews, including singles, doubles and quads.

The sun shone as crews came charging down the tranquil River Stour.

The racing was intense but good-natured, with the two-lane 650m river course testing rowers’ navigation skills as much as their speed.

Rowing 2 (14842881)
Rowing 2 (14842881)

West Norfolk Rowing Club experienced both sides of fortune when it came to negotiating the bends in the river and the bankside reeds.

The club enjoyed some good results in the singles classes.

Bob Ward won his quarter-final Open Masters G race against an Oundle Town RC rower and progressed to the semi-final, where he narrowly lost to a City of Cambridge rower.

Rowing 3 (14842871)
Rowing 3 (14842871)

Simon Prior won his Open Masters D semi-final against a competitor from Maidstone Invicta RC and narrowly lost out to a Medway Towns RC single in his late final.

Theo Bailey (Op.1x.Nov) and Miranda Lam (W.MasE.1x) also raced well in their respective semi-finals, but missed out on final spots.

Brothers-in-law Simon Prior and Robert John rowed well together for WNRC in an Open Masters D double, but were beaten by a local Sudbury RC crew in their semi-final.

Rowing 4 (14842867)
Rowing 4 (14842867)

Theo Bailey and Mark Dawson also narrowly lost out in the semi-final of their Open double competition.

The women’s Masters D coxless quad crew of Helen Pryer, Michelle Fincham, Liz Palmer and Carol Rose faced a four-second start handicap when pitted against a Masters E crew from Oundle Town, and despite a well-executed race it was too much time for them to make up over the short course.

The WNRC Open coxless quad crew of Phil Holden, Owen Lewis, Mark Dawson and Robert John showed their strength and pace in the latter stages of their semi-final, but came second best to a Maidstone Invicta RC crew.

Rowing 5 (14842860)
Rowing 5 (14842860)

As a welcome encouragement for rowers of all ages, the regatta also held parent and child double sculling races for inter-generational family crews.

For West Norfolk RC, Liz Palmer competed with her daughter Evelyn, and Phil Holden raced with his daughter Poppy. Both performed well, and were pleased with the experience.

The club’s hopes of silverware rested on the last race, the final of the Open Masters E/F coxed quad event.

Rowing 1 (14842911)
Rowing 1 (14842911)

The crew of Stuart Porter, Terry Mansfield, Steve Venables, Simon Grapes and Alistair Mackie (cox) raced well, kept the course line, and finished four lengths ahead of their opposition.

They were awarded tankards in the fading light.

West Norfolk Rowing Club captain Nix Marston said: “It was a long day with over two hundred races, but most entertaining, a lovely atmosphere, and a great outing for West Norfolk.”


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