This year saw a new venue for the British Masters Rowing Championships, which was held on the beautiful Strathclyde Loch in Strathclyde Country Park near Glasgow. The move up to Scotland from the more usual venue at The National Water Sports Centre provided a welcome opportunity to race against a greater number of Northern and Scottish rowing clubs, and to meet crews not normally encountered on the Midlands regatta circuit.
Two members of Loughborough Boat Club, Zoe Hudson and Erica Gummery, made the journey north by air from East Midlands airport, whilst their boats, named ‘Perseverance’ and ‘Therapy’ were transported separately by road courtesy of Bewdley Rowing Club. By packing the boats’ buoyancy compartments full of their clothes and equipment the ladies cunningly were able to keep hand luggage to a minimum on the flight. Fortunately the boats, crews, and racing kit were all reunited in time for the first race!
Rowing into a strong headwind with choppy water conditions, Zoe and Erica struck Gold in the Womens B Double Scull category, beating crews from Clydesdale, Glasgow, and Tyne rowing clubs to win by a margin of 3 seconds over the 1,000 metre course, in spite of losing control of their rudder shortly after the start. Erica added to this success with her first race in her own new sculling boat, earning a Silver medal in the Womens B Single Scull. She once again beat rowers from home club Clydesdale and from Tyne but was outclassed by local oarswoman Kate Limond who recorded an especially fast time to take the Gold. The ladies also competed in the Womens B/C Coxless Pair, finishing second in a small entry of 3 boats which unfortunately meant that the race did not qualify for the award of a silver medal.
‘It was a great experience’ said Loughborough ladies’ Captain Zoe, ‘and although it was challenging to row in the rough water the journey was well worth it to come home with a Gold medal and to celebrate with a wee dram or two.’