Tuesday, 14 June 2016 08:23 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 12:54


The British Rowing Masters' Championships, for rowers aged 27-89, took place at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont over the weekend of June 11th & 12th. Races were held over a 1000 m course: 249 in all, one every four minutes. Athletes were divided into age groups from A (27-35) to K (85-89), with around 1500 rowers from some 100 clubs taking part.

Competitors were immediately confronted with two problems. One was a warning about toxic blue-green algae in the lake and the need for personal hygiene and washing of boats and blades. The other, following Friday's flash flooding in West Bridgford, was an alert for potential thunderstorms. Happily, the thunderstorm plan never had to be implemented and conditions for rowing were close to ideal (if a little wet on Sunday afternoon), with minimal wind and flat water throughout the weekend.

Nottingham Rowing Club entered men and women in a range of events from single sculls to mixed eights. They had a most successful regatta, coming away with four gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

On Saturday Bill Payne won the gold for J (80-84) Single Sculls, and followed it with a second in the J Double Sculls with a partner from Reading Rowing Club. Steve Daw also won gold in the F (60-64) Novice Single Sculls.

On Sunday the club's Mixed E Eight (55-59) of Paul Johns, Kevin Titterton, Dave Knight, Laura Wheeler, Jill Titterton, Steve Cuthbert, Ruth Hyde and Sarah Royles, then won silver behind Weybridge Rowing Club and ahead of Durham. In a very hotly contested event of ten crews, the men's D Eight (50-54) of Paul Williamson, Graham Angus, Shane MacSweeney, Mike Walker, Andy Townsend, Steve Hill, Iain Hill and Chris Beesley, coxed by Fergus Robertson came away with bronze behind  a Jesus College Oxford/London Rowing Club composite and Upper Thames Rowing Club.

Later that afternoon, the D Coxed Four of Paul Williamson, Steve Hill, Iain Hill and Graham Angus, coxed by Fergus Robertson, came through a tough semi-final and then, in an exciting blanket finish in the final, snatched bronze on the line just ahead of Agecroft Rowing Club but behind Monmouth and Upper Thames Rowing Clubs.

A joint Nottingham Rowing Club/British Airways Women's C Coxed Four (43-49) containing Helen Bloor, Cassie White, Lou Townrow and cox Josh Kaye took the silver behind Marlow Rowing Club and ahead of Bewdley. Helen said: "It was a great final. Sheer guts and determination from everyone. We intend to race this crew at World Masters in Copenhagen in September".

Tony Lorrimer and Stuart Wharton rowed bow pair in a joint Weybridge/Nottingham H Eight (70-74) which won a gold medal.

The club's focus now switches to Henley-on-Thames, where over the next month Henley Women's Regatta (June 17th - 19th), Henley Royal Regatta (29th June - 3rd July) and Henley Masters' Regatta (July 8th - 9th) all take place.