Another of the double day rowing competitions took place at Bewdley on the River Severn. Saturday’s Regatta at 800 metres and Sunday’s Sprint at a slightly easier 600 metres brought more wins for Loughborough Boat Club against some very stiff competition.
With the sun shining yet again and few clouds in the sky, racing conditions seemed to be perfect, until the day wore on and temperatures topped 28 degrees Celsius. It’s not often that we can say it is too hot in England, but racing in the heat proved to be very difficult.
With the river level exceptionally low and boating angles rather precarious, the boats started to take to the water. The Mixed IM1 double of Andrea Bundon and Dave McCaughan had a great win against Manchester University in their semi-finals to come up against the second Loughborough crew of Erica Gummery and Tom Scholefield. After a fabulous neck and neck race, Erica and Tom managed to take the trophy with a very close finish. Tom achieved a fabulous second win in his Elite single against Monmouth RC achieving victory by a mere bow ball. Rich Donnor also had success racing at IM3 in his single, beating his semi-final competition by two and a half lengths to win the final easily. Andrea also took to the water in her Women’s Elite single in a straight final against a visiting Turkish competitor rowing for Agecroft. In a dynamic race right to the finish, Andrea took the trophy winning by a canvas.
New crew of Mike Targett, Dev Tailor, Alex Mott and Chris Smith took to the water in their Master’s C coxless quad for the first time beating Bewdley in a straight final following a series of mishaps at the end of the race. In an exceptionally close race with Loughborough looking to be the favourites for the win, a very large crab stopped the boat briefly. With an enormous effort, the quad picked themselves up and raced for the finish line only to crash into the hay bales lining the edge of the river as they were pushed out of their water by the opposition. Despite offering to have a re-row, Loughborough was awarded the win. Isabelle Senior racing at WJ13 had an easy win in her single against Worcester RC to take the pot and again in the WJ13 double with Hannah Ferris where they beat yet another Worcester crew in the final. Fellow junior, Alex Henry rowing in his J13 single, also had an easy win against Hinksey Sculling School also in a straight final.
With Sunday’s marginally cooler weather, more wins were to be had as Juniors Alex and Hannah won yet again in their J13 and WJ13 singles. Hannah having to battle through two rounds beating Worcester and Birmingham before storming to victory in the final by a couple of lengths. Alex had an easy win in his semi-finals against Stourport to take on Avon County in the finals, also winning by a couple of lengths.
Andrea faced her Agecroft competitor again in a straight final in the Women’s Elite singles, with another epic battle from start to finish, but took the trophy by a narrow margin yet again. Rich also had another great day in his IM3 single battling through the quarter-finals and semi-finals to row to victory in the final with a solid distance to take him up to IM2 status. The two Mixed IM1 doubles of Tom and Erica, and Dave and Andrea raced each other yet again in the finals of their division to replay the day before Tom and Erica taking the prize in another epic battle to the finish.
The men’s Elite singles had two of our club members in battling it out to reach the finals. Firstly Jonny Day took on Manchester University in a brave attempt against an exceptional opponent, but victory was not to be. Tom racing again beat Monmouth in his semi-finals, but was also out rowed in the final by the Manchester competitor. A great effort by both though.
The final winners of the day as the racing was drawing to a close was by the Women’s IM3 coxless quad of Annie and Cathy Beaumont, Lizzie Hill and Erica. Having got to the final, they took on Agecroft and had a storming win taking Annie and Cathy up to IM2 status and gained Erica a sculling point. A fabulous effort by the girls.
Another long weekend came to a close with more blisters and bruises, not to mention the sunburn, but the smiles made it all worth it.