Runcorn Rowing Club are springing into action after the challenging hard winter and are reaping the benefits of not giving up training indoors and braving the elements outside.
A squad of Juniors competed at Dorney Lake, Eton College, rowing the grueling back to back over 2000m. The older juniors had to complete 3 circuits with the J14/15 doing two.
Womens J17.coxless quad won in a time of 20mins 52secs beating rivals Moseley by nearly a minute. Rosa Atkinson, Fae Atkinson, Lucy Burgess and Ciara Haymer
Mens J18.Coxless quad came third in a close race in a time of 18 mins 47secs, just beaten to second place by 1 second by Norwich and were only 21 secs behind winners Maidenhead. Sam Edwards, George Patrick, Alistair Hudson-Kirkham and Alistair Young
Mens J16 coxless quad - just missed third place by 2 seconds in a time of 19mins 52secs - Hugo Norris, Ben Reeves, Robin Hudson-Kirkham and Luke Roberts. Runcorn's Amy Grieve joined the Grange and came second in the Womens Junior 18 quad category in a time of 21mins 41 secs.
Juniors joined with the Seniors/Veterans in capturing wins at the North of England Head held on Saturday 20 March on a 5000m course on the River Dee. Runcorn had various entries across the categories and came home with 3 wins. The veteran and senior men rowers were particularly jubilant as they entered two newly formed eight crews and had brilliant results. The veteran D eight consisting of Matthew Hackett, Henry Morgan, George Perrin, Graham Sunners, Kevin Reynolds, Ben Dunne, Eric Bennett, Duncan McLellan and Cox Laura Gardiner completed the course in a time of 18mins 13 secs. They beat rivals Royal Chester by approx.9.5 seconds. The IM2 crew came in a respectable fifth place in their category and 9th overall in the division, The crew of Matthew Hackett, Mike Dixon, James Perrin, Richard Hay, George Perrin, Francis Hunt, Dan Norcross, Henry Morgan and cox Laura Gardiner completed the course in a time of 17mins 52 secs. Matthew Hackett, Runcorn's Chief Coach stated "This was a great performance in the club’s new boat by the men’s squad, putting out two different line-ups. The boat, only purchased by the club just before Christmas 2009 to replace their old boat, which dated back to possibly the early 1980s, before many of the senior crew were born! It signals a new intention for this very successful thriving club that has great success from the juniors, to add senior performances to the role of honour."
Women's junior 17 coxless quad - Ciara Haymer, Frankie Sinnott, Annie Rogers and Fae Atkinson - won in a time of 20mins 36secs beating local rivals The Grange School by nearly one minute
Mens Junior 16 coxless quad came 9th in their division and won the category in a time of 18mins 51 secs beating Agecroft by nearly 1 and half minutes. Hugo Norris, Robin Hudson-Kirkham, Ben Reeves and Luke Roberts.
Val Edwards was in the wining composite Womens Vet B/C crew with Agecroft, Sheffield, Bedford and Warrington. They won in a time of 19mins 46secs.
Two crews in Eights gathered together on the Tideway, home of the Boat Race, to put into practice all their hard winter training and aim for their very best on the day. Saturday saw Matthew Hackett, Mike Dixon, James Perrin, Richard Hay, George Perrin, Francis Hunt, Dan Norcross, Henry Morgan and cox Laura Gardiner row the course from Mortlake to Putney in a time of 18mins 47sec 72. They came a creditable 99th place out of 388 crews in categories ranging from young elite to veteran novice. For Runcorn what made their achievement so remarkable was that the crew had not been in boat together before this season and had to meet the challenge of an extensive age range coupled with a variety of experience. The mixture of a 16 year old, two 40 somethings, two university graduates, a near novice rower and a 57 year old steered a perfect course under the control of 14 year old cox Laura Gardiner. Laura motivated and re-assured the IN2 crew all the way through the race and with her fantastic leadership helped them achieve the race plan of catching Norwich, the target crew that started four crews ahead. Matthew Hackett Chief Coach jubilantly said " considering the age mix, the developed talent and experience of the crew, we were able to smile at our achievement with a great deal of satisfaction, because we knew we had done our very best on the day".
On the Sunday at the Vesta Veteran Tideway Head, Vet D crew of Matthew Hackett, Henry Morgan, George Perrin, Graham Sunners, Kevin Reynolds, Ben Dunne, John Kervin, Eric Bennett and cox Laura Gardiner finished 20th out of 204, ahead of the Nottingham Veteran C crew and not far behind ultra selected crews of Crabtree and Quinton. They completed the shorter course from Hammersmith to Chiswick, which was rowed in the opposite direction than the day before due to the tide, in a time of 14mins 10 secs 65. Matthew enthusiastically intends "for both crews to keep the crusade going to see what we can do over the shorter distances for the summer"
Click here for some thoughts about the races from two of the crew.