Exmouth Rowing Club played host to the other South West’s Offshore Rowing Clubs by staging their annual 8-Kilometres Regatta.

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Seven clubs, Torquay, Teignmouth, Plymouth Mayflower, Exeter, Trafford and hosts Exmouth were in action and the weather couldn’t have been better, warm sunshine, light winds and calm seas. The course was set to take rowers out to two kilometres beyond the Fairway buoy and back again – racing the length of Exmouth’s beach to finish in line with the old lifeboat station.

First off were the ladies, Exmouth had entered two crews, their first team Rachel Tarr, Ali Martineau and Anna Childs were joined this time by junior 14-year-old Zoe Carpenter whilst the second crew of Fiona Pink, Kate Hurley and Laura Childs had first timer Jo Cullis.

Up against six other crews, Exmouth’s ladies had it all to do and quickly found themselves behind their usual rivals Mayflower of Plymouth. Although they tried to eat away at Mayflower’s lead throughout the distance, Mayflower held on with Exmouth A coming in just behind with a gap of only 1 min 16 seconds over the 8 kilometres to finish second in a time of 41:42.

Still battling behind them were Exmouth B who continued to show good form all the way to the end, crossing the line in fifth position in a time of 45:38 and close to collapse through their efforts!

Next to go were the men in a race consisting of seven boats, Exmouth had entered two crews, the B Team comprising junior members unable to row in their own event as no other clubs were able to field junior crews, Joe Willey, Jack and Tim Pearce and Max Goodesmith, cox’d by Peter Todd. The other crew was the Club’s A Team– Pete Johns, Rob Mew, Charlie Angell and Billy Baxter with cox’ Les Norcliffe.

As the boats crossed the start line, Exmouth A found themselves close to the back of the field but began and continued to keep full pressure on until they passed all boats and took the lead along the beach before easing off and heading out to sea. Their lead meant they had to maintain their power if they were to stay ahead over the next seven kilometres but they managed to do just that coming home in a time of 35:55 just ahead of second placed Torquay who had chased them for the whole race and finished a mere 23 seconds behind.

Another excellent result for Exmouth was probably that the men’s B Team came in fourth in a time of 326:41 which was only 46 seconds behind the winners – a fantastic row by Exmouth’s juniors!

The last race of the day was the mixed crew race, Exmouth managed to scrape two crews together for this final four kilometres challenge. Exmouth’s scratch crews – rowing together for the first time maintained a tough struggle with the leaders but did not manage to beat the visitors from Trafford, Manchester but did end up just behind in second (just 28 seconds behind first place) and third positions – a fantastic result.

A great day was had by all, helped by all those Club and volunteer game-makers – thanks especially to Exmouth Rowing Club’s President, Ray Mallett for presenting the prizes and to Mike Drew, Club Captain and Les Norcliffe, Club Secretary for their hard work in ensuring the day’s event went without problem. Thanks also to Louise Carpenter for her help with the catering and to Keith Murrin and Claire Baxter on the start line.

Exmouth’s next event is just around the corner as they prepare to compete in the Teignmouth Regatta this coming Saturday, hoping to maintain the Club’s ever-burgeoning reputation as a fearsome opponent.

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