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Outstanding Lakeland Rowing Juniors

February 12, 2016

Last Saturday Lakeland Rowing Club Junior Crews competed in their very first race at Durham Amateur Rowing Clubs Head of the River Race (time trial) and put in two outstanding performances to finish in the top 135 of over 335 crews taking part.

Active Cumbria are delighted to be supporting Lakeland Rowing Club as one of the county's Satellite clubs, it is great to see such a recent addition to the Rowing Club scene in Cumbria doing so well.

Active Cumbria Club Link Maker Russell Maddams said “ The Lakeland Rowing Club who are based at Portinscale marina have developed a great working relationship with Keswick School which has seen their junior membership swell and many of these young people have moved on to join the club from the schools satellite rowing club and are getting involved with competitive rowing which can be seen in the success the club are having in regatta across the North West. I am looking forward to supporting the club engage other schools across the County in its learn to row programme and wish them every success moving forward”.

Lakeland RC based at Derwent Water Marina, at Portinscale, entered 5 crews in total, 2 Junior boys crews, 2 Senior crews and 1 Veterans crew all of which acquitted themselves very well on the 1800m upstream course on the River Wear which included navigating through Elvet Bridge one the narrowest bridge arches in the UK without crashing or even touching the bridge.

The two boys crews included 5 rowers from Keswick School who learned to row and now race with Lakeland RC Juniors, have been training hard all winter despite limited time on Derwent Water due to the floods and a badly storm damaged boat. Many a school lunch-break has been spent clocking up a lot of kilometres on indoor rowing machines to both improve stamina and their rowing technique.

The Lakeland RC J16 Coxed Quad Crew, Bow Ben Holmes, 2 Robert Spedding, 3 Tom Suddaby, Stroke (and Captain) Tom Hind, Cox Janice Herrod, rowed with excellent blade (oar) work and timing to finish the course in 8 mins 36.6 secs to finish in 135th overall position (out of 335 crews). The crew were also 3rd out of 7 in their Novice Coxed Quad category, beating some top-class crews including George Heriot's School, Chester-le-Street ARC, George Watson's College and a Durham ARC crew.

Racing in a double (2 rowers with no cox) were Bow Simon Bamforth (Lakeland RC's Senior Captain) and Stroke Connor Faulder (Keswick School), who both rowed really well together for the first time coming in 134th overall with an impressive time of 8:36.2.

Tom Hind Lakeland RC Juniors Captain and Stroke commented "it was a great introduction to competitive rowing for us, hopefully it's the start of much more to come"

Connor Faulder, commented "I had a great race in the double and steering through Elvet Bridge looked like a challenge, but as I was in experienced hands I had no need to worry"

Janice Herrod who Coxed the Boys Quad Crew commented, "you've got a great set of young rowers there. For Novices; they're solid, consistent and dependable. - An excellent platform on which to build.  So all in all - a good day's racing and that crew has a lot of potential"

At the other end of the age spectrum, Lakeland RC also entered a Vets Crew (aka "The Old Lags") in the Masters Coxed Quad category, Bow David Thomas, 2 Chris Pratt, 3 Stefan Escreet, Stroke Don Mitchell, Cox Kate Garratt, held their own and managed a spritely 8:36.5

Stefan Escreet commented "It’s been a tremendous thrill to be racing again and huge thanks to Kate, our Cox, who steered us through Elvet Bridge. I watched from the bank later in the day and it was like the Grand National with boats scraping, clattering and pulling up at the bridge!"

Other Lakeland Crews taking part were Womens Novice Doubles pair Kate Smith and Kim Sherris and James Waterfield in a single scull.

Commenting on the days racing Lakeland RC Captain Simon Bamforth commented "It was great to see so many Lakeland crews competing and fantastic to see the juniors doing so well at their first event"

Lakeland RC crews are now preparing for their next races, which are likely to be, Ponteland Junior Head (River Tyne) on 19th March and Chester Le Street Regatta on 16th April.

The Club is also planning to host its own Sprint Races Regatta (as part of the National Trust Regatta) at Crow Park on Derwent Water on Saturday 9th July.

Lakeland RC is currently fundraising to buy a new safety boat & engine and a rowing boat trailer so that it can teach more local people to learn to row and race (Juniors and Seniors). If you are a local business who'd like to help the Club with Sponsorship or a donation towards the Clubs Boat Fund please contact David Thomas on