Posted by: berwickarc | 21/06/2018

British Rowing Masters Championships

Nottingham was the venue for the 2018 British Rowing Masters Championships.  Masters rowing has gone from strength to strength over that last few years and the championships again attracted 865 crews to race on the 6 lane 1000m course.

Berwick had four entries and had some great highs and lows over Saturday.  Chris Eke and Lee Fenton took to the water first in mixed A/B double sculls.  Unfortunately arriving at the start late cost Lee and Chris a false start.  This was then followed by a false start in the race by all the A crews, giving Chris and Lee their 2nd false start leading to disqualification and bitter disappointment.

Chris and Lee then lined up with Ian Black and Hilary Cairns against Trentham and Warwick for a straight three boat final in mixed B quad sculls.  After a fast start in blustery conditions Berwick had a fractional lead at 500m. Trentham took a push at the half way mark and closed very strongly in the later stages of the race pulling Warwick with them, there followed an incredible fight for the line with all 3 boats separated by only 0.95 of a second, Berwick finishing third.

Hilary Cairns partnered up with Catherine Bowmam (Hexham) in ladies C double sculls.  In a very fast first heat the ladies settled for a third-place finish knowing that was good enough to secure a place in the final.  With the wind still gusting making rowing challenging the ladies headed back to the start with Strathclyde Park and Star Club from heat 1 together with Eton Excelsior, Avon County and Milton Keynes from heat 2.  After a steady start Hilary and Catherine used their strength through the mid-section of the race and were holding steady with Star Club and Eton Excelsior with Strathclyde Park out in front.  Having dug to the very bottom of their reserves the Berwick/Hexham ladies were thrilled when the scoreboard revealed they had snatched a silver medal again only 0.98 of a second separating 2nd to 4th place.


Ian Black then took part in Championship D single sculls.  With 3 heats only the first placed sculler would take an automatic final place with the next 3 fastest from all the heats filling the remaining places.  Ian knew what he needed to do and executed his heat with precision taking the win right on the line.   The final line up was Berwick, Greenbank Falmouth, Poplar & Blackwall, Parr’s Priory, Bideford and Putney Town.  After a good start Ian was holding third, at the half way mark Ian made a push and moved up towards second, into the closing stages Ian was still moving his boat through the field and was closing quickly, agonisingly the line came one stroke too quickly and only 0.24 seconds separated Greenbank Falmouth who won gold and Ian who was thrilled with his silver medal.

Coming from a small club the Berwick rowers were proud of their achievements when taking on and beating some of the considerably bigger and better funded southern Clubs.


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