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Eight Wallingford rowers travelled to Nottingham for the new format British Rowing Senior Championships, which is also the first round of the GB trialling process. On Saturday four doubles raced with the highest placing being Bri Stubbs and Kathryn Twyman who won the B final, and were the second placed lightweight crew. The Sunday was more successful for the club with the lightweight quad of Bri Stubbs, Kathryn Twyman, Lizzie Polgreen and Caroline Greves taking the silver medal, the lightweight pennant for fastest crew, and also being the fastest non-composite in the event.

 

Wallingford had a strong junior entry to Reading Small Boats Head this year and came away with a win and second position in the J164x. In addition Bea Longworth and Karen Walker took the WMasB 2x pennant beating their opposition by a large margin.

 

The Long Distance Sculls is one of the first head races in the new rowing season and, as ever, proved very popular, with a high number of entries from all over the country racing in single, double and quad sculls over a 4250m course. It was particularly pleasing to see such a high number of junior entries - the enthusiasm and quality of these young crews bodes very well for the future of the sport. Veteran crews, from age 27 to over 70, proved that there's still plenty of oomph at the other end of the age spectrum too! WRC members celebrated wins in 12 categories.

Wallingford Rowing Club relies on events such as this to help fund the club and strengthen links with the community. Club captain Caroline Greves said, "We're really grateful to all our members and friends who supported the event brilliantly. From baking cakes and making bacon butties to umpiring and helping crews on and off the water, everyone did a great job. It's also wonderful to see so many local people joining us to cheer on the racing. We can't promise such good weather for Wallingford Head of the River Race on December 8th but we can guarantee that the racing will be just as exciting."

 

Wallingford Rowing Club demonstrated that its veteran squad are true golden age rowers with a clutch of medals at the World Rowing Masters Regatta at Varese in Italy last week. Organised by rowing’s world governing body FISA, the World Rowing Masters Regatta brings together the crème de la crème of athletes competing as veterans. In rowing, that starts at age 27 and there’s no upper limit! The racing categories are determined by the average age of the crew.

Sean Morris and Colin Cusack risked problems with excess baggage on their trip home thanks to an incredible haul of gold medals. In the Men’s Pair category they won at both F (average crew age of 60 or more) and G (average crew age of 65 or more). Sean also won the H pair category with Duncan Spencer from the USA. Sean and Colin teamed up with fellow Wallingfordians Pieter van Vrede, Michael Drury and Johanna van Vrede to win the F Men’s Coxed Four. With Tom Bishop from Quintin Rowing Club and Bill Chambers from Aviron Vevey, a Swiss club, Sean and Colin also won the F Men’s Coxless Four. They also made a combination Charles Parry from Wallingford, and again with Tom Bishop, to win G quad sculls, G coxless fours and G coxed fours, again with Johanna van Vrede steering.

Wallingford’s veteran ladies also had a great regatta, with a hard-fought third place claimed by Becky Waller and Sally Axon in the B (average crew age over 36, despite their average age being higher than that) Women’s Pair and a variety of extremely competitive boats in other categories. On the final day of events for mixed crews, the best result was a storming second place in the mixed D eights.

Katie Kapernaros, WRC Women’s Veteran Squad Captain, said, “It was a truly wonderful event. Varese is incredibly beautiful and we were overwhelmed by the camaraderie and friendship shown by all our fellow competitors and the local volunteers. And of course we’re delighted to prove once again that age is no barrier to success in the sport of rowing!”

 

Wallingford was represented at the Senior World Championships this year by Kathryn Twyman who secured a seat in the only Olympic class boat for lightweight women, the double scull, with Imogen Walsh of London Rowing Club. In an incredibly tough event the duo fought hard to reach the A final, and then put in an impressive performance narrowly missing out on the medals. This was a new pairing in a very competitive field and the two did well to challenge for medals. On the day they were up with the medallists for most of the race but fell back in the sprint for the finish to lose out on bronze by just two seconds. Congratulations to Kathryn on an impressive performance in her first year in the top lightweight women’s boat.

 

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