Chester-le-Street success!

This is what you would have read in the Hexham Courant today, had they used it.

"Hexham rowers were celebrating a convincing farewell to the regatta season after a great performance at Chester-le-Street at the weekend.

The Chester-le-Street event is normally held in April and is the first side-by-side racing competition of the year. However, the club’s landings were underwater in the Spring and the regatta had to be re-arranged for the only available date in a crowded rowing calendar.

This meant a much-delayed season’s finale, and the Hexham squad were determined to make the most of it on a short and narrow course, which threw up a number of challenges.

The first success came for the J15 4x+ boys’ crew, made up of James Turnbull, Archie Stewart, Aidan Wright and Gabe Wells-Johnson, coxed by Owen Slipman. They cruised to easy wins over first the home club and then the City of Sunderland RC in the final.

Next came the almost customary win by Hexham’s WJ15 4x+ girls, again coxed by Owen Slipman. The crew of Hayley Hannant, Ciara Douglas, Lucy Thorpe and Toni-Louise Brown were handed a bye through the heat stage and beat old rivals Tyne RC by an impressive one and a half lengths in the final.

The girls went on to make it a day to remember in the WJ15 doubles event, setting up an all-Hexham final. Hayley and Ciara beat their Tyne opposition in the heats, whilst Toni-Louise and Lili-Mae Harrison saw off the City of Sunderland quite comfortably. Hayley and Ciara took the honours in the final.

Hexham later made a clean sweep of the Generation doubles events, in which a junior sculler is teamed up with a club senior.

Kevin Oates joined James Turnbull and they got through their first heat against Chester-le-Street by just a length, then beat Nithsdale by five lengths in the second. They faced another Chester-le-Street crew in the final, which they won by four lengths.

Catherine Bowman and Lucy Thorpe combined to beat both Nithsdale in the heats and Chester-le-Street in the final, both wins officially classed as “easily”.

Elsewhere Ben Watts had a good heat win in the J15 singles, and Owen Slipman and Archie Stewart were beaten by just half a length by a Chester-le-Street inter-regional crew in the J16 2x doubles. There were creditable performances too from Ellie Watts, Eliza Nicholson and Jessica Smyth, all competing in their first singles races and showing good potential.

So after a successful closing regatta, Hexham rowers now look forward to an Autumn series of heads races, in which they compete in a time trial format over much longer distances. The first is over a four and a half kilometre course at Tyne 6 October."

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