27th August saw members of Monmouth Rowing Club take the relatively short trip to Gloucester Rowing Club. Racing on Gloucester/Sharpness canal provided some usual challenges, waiting for barges to pass through and a water course with no stream. A lack of opposition meant fewer crews were able to race, but those that did acquitted themselves well, and enjoyed the racing.
The mens E4- (average age over 55) of Mark Stewart-Woods, Nick Hooton, Colin Lewis, and coach Tim Male faced a strong crew from Guildford; the slightly older Guildford crew had a 5 second head start but couldn’t resist the power of the Monmouth crew, relinquishing their lead and eventually were beaten by a couple of lengths.
As usual coach Male used the event to test new combinations, in addition to the new look mens 4, the ladies E8 was another untested crew. Coxed by former Monmouth Comprehensive student Zac Salmon, the crew of Kate Hooton, Liz Lewis, Susan Smith, Liz Newman, Sheila Sawyer, Dawn Brace, Jan Watkins, and Sheron Dean-Lucas agreed to take a reduced handicap against a younger Avon County. A good head start was pulled back by the Avon crew, and despite a strong late charge the Monmouth crew finished under a length behind.
Stewart-Woods and Hooton joined forces in the E2- and following a comfortable win in their semi-final they were pushed hard by their opponents from Bristol Ariel but again their power and fitness proved too much for their opponents allowing the MRC pair to collect their second pot of the day.
The women’s E4+ Smith, Brace, Watkins, Dean-Lucas and cox Salmon had a decent race but were unable to overcome a strong Worcester crew, losing by just over a length.
In division 3 the women’s E4x- of Brace, Smith, Watkins and Dean-Lucas came up against an older Evesham crew who had a 5 second head start. Unfortunately following some slight steering issues off the start, the Monmouth crew were unable to make up the time difference.
Following the unfortunate cancellation of the Ross regatta, due to the lack of water in the Wye, coach Male organised 2 extra days of coaching and training for club members. The main focus now is on the World Rowing Masters Regatta in Libourne, Bordeaux; a large contingent of club members will be taking part in the four and half day international regatta from 7th September.