Monmouth Regatta, May 2019

27th May, 2019

Regatta success season continues, as Minerva “tore up the Wye” in Monmouth last weekend.

There were some seriously significant personal triumphs and plenty of the now-infamous Monmouth cake eaten by supporters and crews. What a day out!


WINNERS Women’s 4x-1, Masters’ E : Mel, Hils, Laura C, Ching

From Mel: “Minerva Women’s Mas E coxless quad triumphed over the much heftier Swansea City, Hereford and Ross (Mas D/E crews) last Sunday, winning comfortably over the 750m sprint along the River Wye.

Despite Swansea City appearing somewhat confident at wiping out such a ‘small crew’ (total crew weight 220kg!) by comparison to themselves, during the final they at first didn’t even see Minerva after our strong start.

However, Stroke (ahem) did let go of her blade at about 250m, allowing them to draw level.

Undeterred, Minerva swiftly did another start (as rehearsed) and were in front within three or four strokes and cruised away, to still win comfortably!

2-3 lengths, I think.”

WINNER Men’s x1, Masters’ E : Tim Birtwistle:

“It’s been good to be back in regatta competition mode after a 4 year break: a strong Masters’ squad has helped motivate me to step up my training since a few health issues over the last 2 years.

Racing a single is always a nerve-wracking experience, especially when the conditions are unlike the Avon, with a strong head wind and choppy water. I had a 5 second start as I was E and Bristol Ariel’s sculler was D – trying to keep calm and controlled I made a good start but my opposition started to creep back on me. I dug deep and with a little wayward steering managed to win by 2 lengths – my first single win for 5 years!

Pretty pleased.☺”

Men’s Masters E x4+1: Ian B, Tim S, Tim B and Charlie J with Laura C coxing:

“It was always going to be a tough ask as we were drawn against Monmouth. They were on home waters and part of their very strong squad who have pretty well won everything there is to win in Masters’ rowing over the past 2 years, including numerous World Masters titles.

Eric, who organised the regatta took great pleasure in saying they’d just come back from a 2- week training camp – only joking he then said. We had a strong start pulling level after 150m due to the stagger; we probably got our nose slightly ahead, but then a good push from Monmouth saw them take charge and they won by 1 ¼ lengths.

We can row better and will probably be racing them at Reading in 3 weeks’ time.

Now for some hard training to work on the middle part of the race!” Tim B

WINNER Men’s x1, Masters G : Robert O’Farrell

Robert O’Farrell won Mas F/G single sculls – looking very strong and impressive and steering, on this occasion, a straight course!!

He beat Dart Totnes.

Read more about this Minerva ‘Hidden Talent’ in our profile report.

WINNERS Women’s x2, Masters E : Mel and Ching

“The last race of the Minerva day saw the Women’s Mas E double scull chase down and cruise by the much larger Llandaff crew.

After having to allow a 6 second handicap to the opposition, Minerva took off from the start at about rating 39 in their usual upright fashion, gaining on Llandaff with each stroke, at a controlled 1.49 spilt.

Keeping composure at 35 and then down to a cruising 30, we went on to win fairly easily.”

The Saturday races had also seen some great performances by Crew Bath racers. Bath Uni and also the World Class Start (training ground for GB rowing) program train out of Minerva’s boathouse. Fin, Kate Hunt and Rachel Borrows (win), Charlie Broglia and Laura Emily had good days.

Elsewhere . . .

Freya Cumpsty had her first ever race – 2x Open , rowing in Minerva colours: “led for 750m but beaten by Bristol Ariel at the end” wrote coach Dan Harris.

The day’s successes included a significant first win for Luke Sharam, also racing in Minerva colours!

Luke writes: “I had never done a single race before so I was not sure what to expect being the new kid – it’s very different from being in a crew where a cox tells you what to do. So to win the final by a couple of lengths was very exciting!

I have been training a lot in the single with Dan Harris, so I’m pleased the results are beginning to show.

I really enjoyed the experience and I’m pleased to be winning medals for Minerva Rowing Club.”

The pleasure is all ours Luke! Excellent work.


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