ROSS REGATTA – FULL REPORT
This year’s event was made even more special with clubs taking part from as far away as Australia and South Africa. The reputation of the event has spread so far that the Corio Bay masters squad from Australia attended the event in their preparation for the World Masters in Varese. South African junior sculler from Somerset School also took part, with the help of Henry Jones, who is one of the Ross Junior Academy’s finest current prospects. The Corio Bay squad took home so many pots after 6 wins that concern was expressed whether they would be able to fit the trophies in their luggage for the return journey!Graham Watling, Chairman of Ross Rowing Club, commented Ross regatta is considered to be among the best regattas in the country and this year was no exception. The huge success of the event is a credit to all those members who helped in every way, from the months of planning beforehand to helping on the day. The amount of support the club generates is incredible with 120 volunteers turning out to help make the event take place. These helpers range from club stalwarts to parents of new juniors who are experiencing the regatta and its scale for the very first time. Graham also extended his thanks to the Town ‚Äúfor providing such a warm welcome to the thousands of visitors and to the hundreds of town’s folks who came down to the river bank and watched the incredible spectacle of racing,
The event kicked off with the annual dragon boat racing. This year crews from the University of London, Burton upon Trent, Liverpool, and Evesham, along with home grown talent from local businesses such as AJ Snell Fruit Farms and the Hereford Contract Canning Company, made for a very colourful and competitive event. The first semi final was contested by the Ross juniors ‚ Animal Park‚ versus the might of the University of London crew‚ The Big Old Boys: Smash. The second semi was between the Liverpool Victoria juniors ‚Victorious Vic, and another University of London crew ‚ The Big Old Boys ‚ Grab‚ Both junior crews posted their fastest times of the day, however both were vanquished by the powerful university crews. The final then became a duel between Smash and Grab. It was a very close race with the Smash’s crew taking the honours and smashing the course record!
On Sunday a record entry started racing at 8am with racing every 3 minutes until 6pm. For the Ross club it was another successful day, posting 6 wins. Firstly the Women’s vet D 8 of Nicky, Geraldine, Deb, Pam, Sheron, Anne, Chris H and Ali G beat Royal Chester by just 2 feet! For the Junior squad Gabby Howell (wj13 single) continued her winning ways, moving through her quarter final and semi final to race against an old adversary Georgie from Henley Rowing Club. They have been competing against each other for two years with the honours being spilt evenly. Today though home advantage worked for Gabby who won by two lengths over the 750m course. Friendly hugs and congratulations were exchanged afterwards in the true spirit of sportsmanship. Harley Kernot (Women’s J12 single scull) also continued her winning ways, dominating her event again. For the boys the J15 quad made up of Oli, Rhys, Dylan and Connor, coxed by Anna, rowed powerfully to beat City of Bristol in their final. The junior women were not to be out done and the crew of Ali, Jess, Issy and Echo coxed by Anna again worked through 2 rounds to win their final. The Junior squads final win came from Nick and Will rowing in the J15 double sculls. Again they rowed in an imperious style to take the honours.
For the men’s squad it was just the Masters “D” men‚Äôs crew of Demo, Robin, Paul and Fred, coxed by Emily, who brought home the spoils.
The Monday event kicked off at 8 am again and with even bigger crowds appreciating the excellent racing and beautiful bank holiday weather.
The winners for Ross were the IM3 women’s quad of Elaine, Sally, Anna and Sharon, beating Evesham in the semi final and Trent in the final. Big congratulations to Anna Singleton and Sharon Finch who lost their novice status in sculling. Ladies Captain Alison added it was a fantastic regatta, great atmosphere, and a brilliant team spirit in the women’s squad. We are now looking forward to winter training and the heads season. For the Junior squad it was the novice double of Oli and Dylan who rowed and won in a highly competitive final against their fellow squad members and the Junior quad of Henry, Nick, Will and Elliot who beat their fellow Juniors from Stratford in the final of IM3 quads.
Junior Captain Paul Brodholt added ‚the Junior squad were brilliant on and off the water. Their willingness to make an impact across the weekend whether that be racing, helping in the tea tent, race control or managing the car parking was exemplary. I am very proud of all of them.
The successful event was capped off by the presentation of no less than 4 GB vests by Junior Academy graduates and the naming of a new club boat. Firstly Pippa England and Emma Richardson presented their GB vests from the GB vs France J16 match where they won gold in the women’s eight. Will England then added his GB Junior vest from representing the country at the Coupe de Jeune event in Lucerne and winning a Bronze medal. Finally Morgan Baynham Williams presented her GB U23 vest earned by coxing the GB women to a silver medal at the World Championships in Linz Austria. Club President Ian Howell commented ‚ÄúIt is simply incredible that such a small club has produced such incredible talent that has gone on to achieve so much. It is a very proud day for the Club‚Äù
The day was capped by the naming of a new boat kindly sponsored by the Hereford Round Table and the Rowing Foundation. The boat was named after the founding member of the Round Table ‚ÄúLouis Marchesi‚ and the day was capped by the naming of a new boat kindly sponsored by the Hereford Round Table and the Rowing Foundation. The boat was named after the founding member of the Round Table ‚ Louis Marchesi‚ and was named by Darren Howe from Hereford Round Table supported by Jess Saxon-Macrostie from the Junior Academy
Quite simply the event could not have gone any better‚ said Men’s Captain Tim Ball. To be part of such a great team is very satisfying indeed and to hear the amazing feedback from the visiting clubs makes it very special.