North Staffs Rowing Club were celebrating at the weekend after picking up three gold medals at the Northwich Autumn Head on the River Weaver.
The day started brightly with Harry Grimes taking gold in his J15 singles race although coach Mark Foster narrowly lost out in his Masters race by virtue of the handicapping system.
The second set of races saw NSRC place well in all competitions but unfortunately no more winners from this section although Sam Yates and Tom Egerton in their J17 doubles race came a close second to a crew that boasted two GB training athletes.
The highlight of the day was in the third division of races where, despite the cold weather and fading light, it was either the Ladies Masters coxless quad winning their race despite being slowed by other crews when trying to overtake them or the one-two that NSRC took in the WJ14 doubles category where Emeline Hall and Olivia Barratt narrowly beat Vic Sheldon and Olivia’s twin sister Lauren Barratt by 0.6 seconds to secure the gold medal.
A total of three singles, seven doubles and five quad crews took part over the day and North Staffs came away with three gold medals, five second places and several well-placed crews in their divisions.
Once again, NSRC wish to thank MJS Transport for their help in getting all the boats around the country and supporting the club.
The Ladies 8 tasted success at their first outing this winter at the Head of the Float in Liverpool. It was a strong performance against a crew from Northwich Rowing Club.
The 2017 AGM will be held at the Boathouse at 10.00am Sunday 10th December
A successful showing at the Northwich Autumn Head for North Staffs crews.
There were wins for the J14 boys – Marcus Dawson and Brad Haynes in the double scull which they followed up with a win in the quad in Division 3 with Dexter Skelding and Harry Grime adding their power to win by 9 seconds over a strong field of 11 other crews from around the north west.
The girls J14 quad had a good row but had difficulty making their way through a congested field so had to settle for third place.
The girls J15 double scull of Louisa Hall and Ella Barratt had similar difficulties overtaking slower crews but finished a creditable third from 22 entries in what was a strong field.
Ethan Snape continued his impressive form with a third place finish from 8 and finally Leon Balderstone finished strongly in his first race in a single scull to break 12 mins for the 2350m course – a very creditable performance.
Our WJ17 4x- crew of Jade Hall, Ellie DeGale, Kelsey Jenkinson and Ella-rose Silvester, competed in the Fullers Head of The River race over the weekend. It was busy event with just over 400 crews taking to the water to race the 6.8km course between the Chiswick and Putney bridges on the River Thames.
The girls completed the course in 23:28:07 minutes finishing 27th in their division against many older and more experienced crews. During the race around the long Chiswick bend the NRSC quad was flanked by not one but two OUWBC coxless fours, with all three boats battling temporarily for the best line around the bend, the skirmish will be one of the enduring memories of the day for both the girls and their supporters. This was the first outing to the Tideway for an NSRC Junior quad and one hopefully to be repeated.
We were at the Nottingham Autumn Heads where Sam Yates, Ethan Snape, Ben Eardley and Tom Egerton were competing in the Novice 4+ category over the 3850m course on the River Trent in the middle of Nottingham. They are J16s competing in an adult category that included University crews from Nottingham, Lincoln and Sheffield and the boys beat them all to win their category in a time of 15mins 33 secs.
Earlier in the day in the J15 single sculls Ethan had also competed over the shorter junior course of 2000m to finish a narrow second place by 5 secs to the winner from the Derwent Club.
In the WJ14 coxed quads Layla Siaghi, Ella Clelland, Maddy Mycock and Meg Houseman had a sweet but narrow one-second victory over crews from the host club Nottingham and local rivals Burton in a tight race with a winning time of 7m 32s over 2k.
Also in Division 2 the J14 coxed quad of Flynn McGoulay, Harry Grime, Marcus Dawson and Brad Haynes recorded a very fast time of 7min 12 secs over the 2k course. Unfortunately their opposition had withdrawn earlier in the week so the boys could only row on a ‘time only’ basis.
Louisa Hall and Ella Barratt in the WJ15 2x had their first competitive outing together since the summer and came in second by three seconds to their old rivals from Leicester.
The WJ17 coxless quad started well but had to withdraw part-way down the course due to an injury to Jade Hall – lets hope she is back on the water soon.
Finally the compliment of the day came from one of the umpires who followed Emma Hardwick and Phoebe Tuck down the course in the WJ182x category who said it was the best display of bladework and timing he had seen all day.
A contingent of J17 – J18 rowers made the journey south and to London, on Sunday 16th October, to compete in the infamous Pairs Head of The River Race and in doing so became the first ever NSRC Junior crews to compete in a Tideway event. This years race was run on the incoming flood tide meaning crews rowed the normal course in reverse , from Harrods Wall to the finish just beyond Chiswick Bridge, replicating the route of the Boat Race.
Despite the reasonable tidal conditions the south westerly breeze presented a strong head wind around the long Chiswick bend making for choppy conditions. Rowed over a distance of 5.4km the event saw a mixture 422 doubles and pairs simultaneously boated on the River Thames with only 416 those managing to complete the course.
In the J18 2x event Nathan Treacy and Freddie Hayward completed the course to finish 259th in a time of 16:59.9 minutes amongst 17 other crews, contesting their age category, including the Marlow, Westminster School and Eton rowing clubs.
In the WJ18 event Abi Ridden and Roz Armstrong finished 391st in a time of 18:34.3 minutes having boated amongst another 26 crews in their category.
After the race and on dry land at Putney Town Rowing Club, who kindly acted as host club on the day, both crews reflected on just how exhilarating the race had been, saying ” the head wind around the big bend was brutal ” and ” that was the toughest row we’ve ever had to do, we loved it”.
Whilst on this occasion there were no winners pennants both crews can for now at least lay claim to having set new, as previously uncontested, club records for the Pairs Head and hopefully the start of a tradition of other crews competing to better their times. Our Juniors return to the Tideway on 12th November when a WJ17 4x- will compete in the Fullers Fours Head of The River Race over the full 6.8km Championship course.
A hand full of NSRC Juniors attended the annual Great Ouse Marathon this weekend on Sunday 4th September 2016. It turned out to be a tough challenge for all taking part as a strong head wind dogged the entire 21.5km course from the West Norfolk Rowing Club to the finish, at the Isle of Ely Rowing Club, in Cambridgeshire.
Despite the difficult conditions all of the NSRC boats performed admirably, posting good times and finishing in high spirits. In the J17 1x boat Nathan Treacy finished in 2hrs 5mins followed closely by Megan Poole and Ben Eardley in a time of 2hrs 10mins racing as a J16 mixed crew.
Megan also impressively managed to raise in excess of £800 in sponsorship for Macmillan cancer support and over a further £100 for Douglas Macmillan and for which she is commended. The WJ17 4x- crew of Jade Hall, Kelsey Jenkinson, Ellie Regale and Ella-Rose Silvester had a strong row throughout finishing under the 2 hour barrier in 1hr 52mins and in doing so set a new course record for this class of boat.
Soft cushions were the order of day for the drive home! Mind those bumps driver!
The local branch of the Co-op Bank have chosen the junior section of North Staffs Rowing Club as their partner in the community. Staff at the local ranch will be raising money for the club through various events. Gemma Leigh from the Co-op said they were very proud to have raised this money to help our juniors by “rowing across the channel” on rowing machines in the branch. Tony Riddington said that that was fantastic news and hoped they didn’t get too many blisters. Some of the juniors will be popping along to the branch for the presentation.
It was such a delight to compete against women of our age at the recent British Rowing Masters Championships – rather than against rowers who are more than half our age (which is usually the case at the local regattas). Even more delightful was to have picked up a silver medal! We were only beaten in the final by 0.3 seconds, as we panicked, not having planned to be out in front. I would encourage all senior members of the rowing club (if over 27) to enter these masters events – the environment is relaxed, supportive and friendly, and there are plenty of medals to go round because of the number of different categories, including novice, intermediate and open.
Jacky Forsyth (BA, QTS, MPhil, PhD)