On a very breezy cold Saturday morning, 9 junior athletes from Runcorn were about to take on the best in the country at the Hampton small boats head race. The racing was over 2 divisions in singles and doubles. You could race in either division, then the times were collated together at the end of the day. This allowed clubs to utilise and share boats, racing in singles in one division and doubles in the other.
In the first division Hugo Norris and Ben Reeves racing in a J16 double were the first to boat - they had 22 boats as opposition and this was their first time to visit the Thames. Not to be daunted by this they rowed their socks off and got a creditable 2nd place overall with a time of 9min08. Sam Edwards in the Junior 18 category rowed in the first division in his single and came 4th overall out of 52 opposition with a time of 9:22. Alistair Young came 3rd in the J17 singles with a time of 9:23 and George Patrick came 9th with a time of 9:38, out of 70 opposition. Rosa Atkinson won gold in the WJ17 category out of 56 with a time of 9:53and Lucy Burgess won gold in the WJ16 with a time of 10:06 out of 72 and Fae Atkinson came 7th with a time of 10:28 in the WJ16
In the 2nd Division, Sam Edwards and Alistair Hudson Kirkham in Junior 18 doubles race won gold out of a field of 25 boats also getting the 2nd fastest time of the day in 8:41. Alistair Young and George Patrick came 4th in the J17 doubles out of a field of 20 in a time of 8:58. Hugo Norris came 15th in the J16 singles out of 85 in a time of 9:46 and Robin Hudson Kirkham came 16th out of 56 as a J15 single with a time of 10:16 a brilliant result for Robin's first visit to the Thames.
The girls did fantastic again dominating the WJ17 doubles race, Rosa Atkinson and Lucy Burgess won gold getting the 2nd fastest women's time on the water of the day in 9:34 and Fae Atkinson and Ciara Haymer came 3rd in the same WJ17 category in a time of 9:56.
A fantastic result for Runcorn winning 4 gold medals 1 silver and 2 bronze, out of a huge field of 834 entries.
Gold medal winners Alistair Hudson-Kirkham and Sam Edwards
The following weekend a scratch Veteran C quad entered Liverpool Victoria RC Head of the Float at Birkenhead Docks and produced credible results against well established opposition. This recently formed crew comprising of two novice quad rowers Dan Norcross and Kevin Reynolds and well established veteran rowers Seamus Keating and Dave Street took up the challenge of two 1.3km back to back races and were only beaten by 6 secs by winners Grosvenor, coming 26th overall. Dave Street said " We are really pleased with our time of 8 mins 33 secs. A great result considering we have only had one training outing prior to the event. We are now looking forward to next year and forthcoming events."