Exmouth win the final regatta of the spring season
- Credit: Archant
Last Sunday saw the South West Coastal Rowing League head to Plymouth Sound for the final Regatta of the Spring Season writes Jon Houghton
On a changeable day with wind, rain and big Spring tides the racing was going to be challenging.
The first event was the Ladies eight km.
In a reasonable swell and moderate winds, all crews got off to a good start.
After some fierce battles, Exmouth A managed to force their way to the front and sustaining the tempo in difficult and wet conditions extended their lead to cross the line in a very good time of 40 minutes 17 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of Teignmouth in second place.
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Mayflower A crossing third with Exmouth B rowing well for the first time as a crew together in turbulent seas to cross the line fourth in a very creditable time of 45 minutes 14 seconds, no mean feat for the less experienced crew.
Next up was the Men's eight km.
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By the time they reached the start line the conditions had worsened.
From the hooter, there was a fierce charge from all crews as they surged towards the first buoy turn in an effort to get the coveted inside line.
A battle ensued as first Exmouth A, then Mayflower A took, lost and regained the lead.
The gargantuan tussle continued for several hundred metres as the boats raced for the next buoy.
With Neptunes favour on their side the Exmouth A collected themselves on a slightly calmer piece of water and rowed hard to push away as the Mayflower boat once again got hit and stalled slightly under the barrage.
Showing great concentration and togetherness under the direction of Cox Anna Childs, they upped the work rate and raced into an ever extending lead.
As they approached Drakes Island the shelter from Torpoint afforded the sea some protection and Exmouth, took advantage to row to their 1st win of the season in a fast time of 38 minutes 45 seconds.
Exmouth B struggled in the rough conditions with a scratch crew and some rowers very new to coastal rowing crossing the line 5th in 47 minutes 34 seconds.
After a brief respite for some warming drinks and a change of kit the singles, doubles and Masters were up on a four km course moved up river in view of safety.
Some new entrants saw the competition fly off the line as the small boats were away first.
In very hard chop and wind the doubles took the lead as the more powerful and (ironically as you'll hear later) more stable boats. The singles struggling to hold their line in the cross tides and winds.
By the third buoy, the Guest Men's double from Southsea rowing club held the lead from the composite Exmouth/Mayflower men's double and were the boats to catch.
Negotiating the difficult swell and chop well with only 30 metres between them, disaster struck for the composite crew as they capsized in wash from a ferry with both crewmen going overboard.
Regaining their seats they persevered and rowed on to the finish to come in a time of 27 minutes 23 seconds, five minutes behind the Southsea boat.
In the meantime the quad race had heated up and a concerted battle between Exmouth A and Mayflower A saw some excellent racing before the Exmouth crew managed to take control to run out winners in 21 minutes 06 seconds over a minute ahead of Mayflower in 2nd place.
With improving weather but similar sea conditions this left the final event of the day with the Mixed four km race.
The race got under way and the first 300 metres saw all the boats neck and neck as no-one backed off and there was no way to guess who would get that all important 1st turn.
A hundred metres further on saw some difficult chop and the Exmouth A handled this better as the crews finally started to spread out.
Taking the lead into the first three buoys Exmouth had to row to their best ability to hold off a strong Teignmouth crew.
A coxing error at the third to last buoy allowed Teignmouth to move past.
The Exmouth crew responded brilliantly to close the gap, having to hold the boat up to avoid collision, allowing the Teignmouth boat precious extra seconds to make the turn and get a couple of strokes in first.
Mustering everything they had left the Exmouth crew chased all the way to the line to finish five seconds behind with Teign in 19 minutes 56 seconds.
Exmouth B finished fourth with a superb row in the conditions to show just how much strength and depth the club is starting to develop.
The Mixed event turned out to be the most competitive event this year with under 10 seconds separating the Teignmouth and Exmouth Crews over three races and 14 km and the honours being shared.
This was the biggest margin of the three races at just five seconds!
The presentation ceremony saw a buoyant Exmouth team celebrate.
Their three wins and one second place gave them 11 points to secure the Regatta Trophy.
The camaraderie and support shown by all the rowers, supporters, organisers and safety crews was exemplary and a real credit to all the Clubs and participants.
Superb results left the Exmouth Club in a very positive frame of mind to target the Nationals at the British Rowing Offshore Championships in August.
For more information about Coastal Rowing or to have a go yourself, come and see us at the old Lifeboat Station in Exmouth or find us on our Facebook page, our website -. www.exmouthrowingclub.co.uk , or contact us by messenger, or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.