First of all, a huge well done to the juniors. The WJ14 coxed quad of Hayley Hannant, Ciara Duncan, Lucy Thorpe and Toni-Louise Brown, coxed by Owen Slipman, made it through to the A-final at the JIRR inter-regional championships at Holme Pierrepoint at the weekend. They posted the fourth fastest time overall and came third in their heat.
In what was their first experience of a major, multi-lane competition, they maintained that position in the final and took fourth place against some very strong competition, missing out on the bronze by just 4.3 seconds.
However, their high placing helped the Northern team win the Martin Humphries Trophy for the most improved region in the championships. It was a really creditable performance, which bodes so well for the future. Go Hexham!
On a less happy note, the shortage of trailer drivers has reached a crisis point, with entries for the Durham City regatta next month in limbo because there is no-one to tow the larger trailer.
As mentioned last month, the club has lost about half of its trailer-towing volunteers who would normally transport the boats to regattas. So far only one person has been able to answer the plea for more drivers, and they can only tow the light trailer, which can take a maximum of just two quads.
Entries for all the regattas this season could be in jeopardy unless more drivers come forward. The club is willing to pay for tow bars to be fitted, trailer tests where required, insurance and petrol costs--- anything to help volunteers take part. The more people who come forward, the easier the task, so if you can help, contact the club secretary Mark Styles at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Over the Border
Thankfully, the transport problem has been temporarily sorted for this weekend’s trip over the border, with nine crews competing over two days at Strathclyde. It’s the first chance this year for some straight-line, multi-lane racing and it is a good warm up for British Masters.
Speaking of which, if you want to compete at British Masters, the deadline is fast approaching, so tell your captains as soon as possible. Similarly, the deadline list is out for the rest of the season, so get your entries in on time!
For those who were wondering, Chester-le-Street regatta was cancelled, although the weather that weekend didn’t seem all that bad. However, the river level was so high, most of the landing stage would have been unusable.
STOP PRESS: There’s an outside chance of Chester-le-Street being re-arranged for a date in early September, so watch this space!
If you’ve ever wondered what those odd folks in yellow coats do at regattas and heads, now is your chance to find out. The Northern region is always on the lookout for people to train as umpires, but they are now keener than ever because a number of them have retired this season and replacements are needed in order to continue to run competitions.
It’s short notice, but there are still spaces left on a one day training course to be held at Durham ARC on Saturday 5th May, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This course is followed by practical training at competitions throughout the region, then a short examination before (hopefully) becoming a qualified British Rowing umpire. The emphasis is always on safety and fairness, and without the required number of umpires on the river banks, events either cannot go ahead or the races have to be shortened.
If you can join this course, or feel that you would like to train for the role at some stage in the future, contact the Regional Umpiring Committee secretary Dr Richard Mortimer on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next committee meeting is on Wednesday 2nd May at the County Hotel, Hexham. All members welcome. 7:00 pm start.