The Hexhaminer September 2018
Welcome to the latest edition of the Hexhaminer, back after its summer break.
With everyone now preparing for the Heads series, we are still on the lookout for trailer drivers and are short of a driver for the Tees event on 13 of October. Please contact Catherine if you can help out.
Fun in the Sun
It’s been a busy summer for the Junior section, with the highlight being their week-long summer camp in Spain.
The junior squad faced temperatures in the high thirties when they arrived for their training camp on the beautiful Lake Banyoles in North East Spain, home of the rowing events in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
However, by avoiding the hottest parts of the day, and with regular dips in the lake, they were able to cope with the conditions and get the most out of their Spanish adventure.
Working and training at an Olympic-quality venue proved so valuable, the club now hopes to make it an annual event.
At one point, the youngsters found themselves sharing the lake with both the Spanish national rowing team and the GB canoeing squad!
Thirteen Hexham juniors made the trip to the Club Natacio in Banyoles, accompanied by Junior Co-ordinator Nicci Slipman and parents Marjan Boudenoodt, Joanne Hannant, Susan Enright and junior coach, Chloe Slipman.
The group had the services of Spanish coach Francesc Molas throughout the week, and he put them through their paces on a daily basis out on the six-lane, 2,000 metre Olympic course. Both he and Chloe observed from a motor launch, guiding the group through lots of new drills and passing on some excellent technical advice.
Training in Spain:
Front row, Tom Shovlin, Oliver Cronk, Toni-Louise Brown, Elethea Stoker, Ciara Duncan.
Back Row, coach- Francesc Molas, Junior coach- Chloe Slipman, Owen Slipman, James Turnbull, Archie Stewart, Justin Cronk, Ellie Watt, Hayley Hannant, Eliza Nicholson and Nicci Slipman.
When they were not on the water, the squad worked on core strength and stretching exercises, and spent a lot of time on the rowing machines, practicing posture and additional drills.
Nicci said: “This was a fantastic experience for the juniors, who came away with new skills and the ability to identify areas they have to work on and improve. It was a really positive week and well worth the trip, even coping with the heat. We are definitely going to think in terms of making this an annual visit, they got so much out of it“.
Already some of the more senior members of the club have suggested that a Banyoles trip might be just the job to hone their skills next year.
The Spanish adventure must have done the juniors a power of good, judging by the squad’s success on their return at the Chester-le-Street regatta.
The J15 4x+ boys’ crew, made up of James Turnbull, Archie Stewart, Aidan Wright and Gabe Wells-Johnson, coxed by Owen Slipman, cruised to easy wins over first the home club and then the City of Sunderland RC in their final.
The WJ15 4x+ girls, Hayley Hannant, Ciara Douglas, Lucy Thorpe and Toni-Louise Brown, again coxed by Owen, 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. Kevin Oates joined James Turnbull and they got through their first heat against Chester-le-Street by just a length, and 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”.
Blast from the Past
Just how much times have changed down at Tyne Green is reflected in this black and white picture, sent into the club by recently-retired Hexham umpire Bob Manning.
Although a little grainy, the photo shows the first-ever 4+ rowed by Hexham Boat Club, as it was then called, pulling away from the landing stage. It was taken in the late 50s or early 60s, and until we were given this addition to the fleet, Hexham had been exclusively a sculling club.
The boat had been donated by one of the clubs further down the Tyne, possibly Tyne United. This was a former professional club which had disbanded, not the present TURC.
It was a bit before present members’ time, but we do know the identity of the rowers, thanks to a helpful caption on the back. At bow was T.L.Howie, then A.G.Richardson, S.Harold and W.E.Pescott at stroke. They were obviously very formal in those days! The cox was N. (Dickie) White. The photo itself has been donated to the club by Mr Gordon Richardson.
Note the boat’s sturdy wooden construction, the hefty sweeps and the low-level vegetation on the far bank, all a little different from today. One wonders what state the landing stages were in at the time!
Talking of sweeps, Hexham RC played host to the seventh and penultimate round of the Northern Rowing Explore Series on 2nd September, when the weather stayed fine and river conditions were wonderful. There was a small but keen entry for the 300 metres or so sweep splash and dash event and a good time was had by all.
Thanks to the volunteers who turned up to make the event such a success, particularly those who helped out with the catering. The Northern Rowing Facebook page was particularly complimentary about the cakes and sandwiches! It made a grand total of £387 for club funds as well.
It was a good day out on the water too. The Hexham Hexpletives won three out of their four races.
New Officers Needed
The club’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 21st November and there are already a couple of spaces to fill on the committee. Mark Styles has announced he will be stepping down as club secretary after a year in the post, due to pressure of work. Jono Ewen will also be relinquishing his post as welfare officer, so nominations will be needed for both vital posts.
Don’t forget the club’s annual dinner and awards evening two days after the AGM on Friday 23rd November. Adults £30, juniors £10, for a meal plus entertainment at the Abbey function rooms. Contact Elizabeth Waterman for tickets.
And Finally 2...
Kevin Oates was able to report to the last committee meeting that, whilst boats were being heavily used over the summer, members seemed to be taking care of them well. He hopes this is a continuing trend!