Teign rowers in good form at season opener
For River Teign Rowing Club, the Easter bank holiday weekend marked the beginning of the season with the first major gig regatta taking place in Dartmouth.
The annual regatta is the only racing opportunity the club has prior to the World Championships on the Isles of Scilly in May.
Starting just below the higher Dartmouth ferry, crews race down the centre of the river to a dog-leg mark before proceeding out to the mouth of the river, turning at a buoy off Dartmouth Castle, then heading to the Kingswear side of the river before turning a third mark and racing back towards Dartmouth.
The regatta was attended by clubs from across Devon and Cornwall with the ladies’ world and national champions also competing.
Teign are one of the strongest clubs in Devon and have great strength across the squads.
First out on the water was the Ladies’ B race, which featured the Teign B crew of Rachel Holgate, Sian Dyer, Catriona Miller, Catherine Lovell, Jane Avery, Sue Heath and cox Simon Hounsell.
After a difficult start with 13 gigs jostling for position, Teign were in a tricky position and had to fight from behind to gain a good result.
The crew demonstrated their tenacity and strength by rowing around the outside of three crews leading up to the first buoy placing them in second place.
They then left the rest of the fleet in their wake to finished a comfortable second.
In the Ladies’ A race were the current world and national champions Caradon.
Teign Ladies comprised Sandra Mccord, Jenny Hutchens, Sarah Free, Kate Barczok, Lucy Pitts, Helen O’Hora and cox.
The crew lined up with Caradon to the left of them with their nearest rivals, Salcombe, lining up on the far side.
Teign had a good start and were fighting for water with Caradon in the first quarter of the race. Salcombe, meanwhile, had an incredible start and, at the dog-leg, were leading the race with Caradon in second and Teign two boat lengths behind in third.
It was time for the Teign girls to put down the throttle and they were gaining on Salcombe rapidly with Caradon powering ahead in first position.
Rounding the final mark with 100 yards remaining, Teign were on the transom of the exhausted Salcombe boat. Unfortunately for the Teign girls, the Salcombe crew just had enough of a lead to edge over the line just in front with Teign coming third.
The Ladies’ C race was next with Teign fielding two crews.
The crew rowing Templer – Donna Bell, Sue Voisey, Lyn Ware, Maxine Bradley and Jo Ro – rowed strongly through the pack fighting it out with regular rivals Salcombe.
The Teign ladies fought valiantly but, were once again thwarted by the menacing blue boat.
The Bachantte crew of Charlie Stoyle, Jane Tipper, Anne Holliday, Sarah Cox, Georgia Burridge, Lucy Bufton and coxed by Ben Banks had a tougher row in an arguably heavier boat. However, this did not dampen their spirits and they powered the boat through the fleet and demonstrated the great strength of depth in the ladies’ squad in finishing fifth.
The men’s races were up next with Teign men’s B first on the water.
The crew of Rupert Holliday, Simon Hounsell, Mike Izzard, Dan Pollard, Ben Banks, Ed Rawlings and cox Rachel Holgate lined up alongside Caradon, who are regularly in the top five at major championships.
It was a tough race but Teign powered through the course finishing third just behind Dartmouth.
Teign men’s A crew comprised a mix of the 2017 A and B crews who were keen to demonstrate how far they’d come since last season.
In Newquay last year both crews performed incredibly well finishing right behind one another in the quarter finals.
Now combined, they were hoping to make an even bigger impression and chase down the top men’s Devon crews of Dartmouth and Salcombe.
Teign’s Gavin Lilley, Andy Burfitt, James Stoyle, Will Farrer, coxed by Sue Heath, were joined by Simon Putt and Ed Rawlings. They worked incredibly well together and they were fighting it out with Cattewater – the two crews fought hard throughout the race but the crew based in Plymouth did just enough to finish a boat length ahead, with Teign in fourth.
The Men’s C crew were next up and, predominantly made of super vets, had a solid performance, finishing eight overall.
Teign are well known for their strong veterans’ crews, and in the ladies’ supervets, the crew of Sue Heath, Lyn Ware, Maxine Bradley, Catherine Lovell, Rachel Holgate and Anne Holliday rowed incredibly well, looking strong and controlled in finishing a close third.
The ladies’ vets, men’s vets and supervets had solid rows and finished ninth, sixth and seventh respectively.
The World Pilot Gig Championships take place over the May Day bank holiday weekend and Teign will be looking for strong results across the board.
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