Crews do us proud
PUBLISHED: 09:35 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010
SAN REMO, Italy was the venue for the FISA World Offshore Club Rowing Championships of 2008. The event attracted interest from twelve nations across Europe and America, writes Les Norcliffe.
SAN REMO, Italy was the venue for the FISA World Offshore Club Rowing Championships of 2008. The event attracted interest from twelve nations across Europe and America, writes Les Norcliffe. The wonderful thing about the sport is that events such as these are open to virtually anyone, because they are open ocean events, within reason there are no limitations on the amount of entrants. Exmouth Rowing Club caters for all members of the community from teenagers to pensioners, and were proud to send two coxed four crews to the event, one with a combined boat age of 89yr, the second with a combined age of 235yrs. The only other UK based club to enter the category was Plymouth Mayflower Offshore Club.On arrival at the venue the squad received a warm welcome from the Italian hosts. Something to get used to in October was the Mediterranean weather, which compared to the UK was very warm. It remained warm and dry throughout the two days of competition, but what quickly became apparent was the arrival of a sea breeze most afternoons that quickly whipped up choppy sea conditions making for a challenging row for all competitors. There was also the challenge of the crews getting use to unfamiliar equipment in the form of boats and oars loaned to the visiting crews. The event was held over an 8 kilometre triangular course, formed by four legs of 1900 metres, 200 metres, 3900metres and final sprint into the finish of 2000metres.Day one of competition was qualifying heats from which the top twelve went through to the A Final, and the remainder to the B Final. The first Exmouth crew to launch was that of Les Norcliffe, Lorris Hayward, John Croome, Robert Kathro, and Mike Drew (cox). They had a realistic target in wanting to beat Plymouth, also drawn in the same heat. The conditions were very hard going but the crew achieved their goal. This resulted in some good-hearted banter between the clubs with the prospect of both crews meeting again in the B Final. Exmouth's highly competitive crew of Charlie Angel, Jack Pearce, Chris Long, Sam Malloy, Ed Pearce (cox) launched in the second heat. The water conditions had continued to deteriorate but, as always this crew worked hard together to get through and qualify for the next day's A Final. The day of the finals arrived and the A Final was the first to launch. The Exmouth crew were quick of the line and heading into the first and second turn were toward the front of the field. On the lengthy 3900metre leg the field started to string out, with the world class Olympic athletes in the field coming into their own, and at the finish line Exmouth came in a respectable 19th. In the B Final the Exmouth crew also battled their way around the course and managed, once again, to beat the Plymouth crew, and also two Italian crews. Everyone who attended the event had a fabulous time and it is a fact that the Exmouth crews now have world rankings of 19 and 32, something that a small local club and the town can be rightly proud of.