[L]akeland Rowing Club fielded its largest ever competition entry at Talkin Tarn ARC’s annual regatta, held at the tarn near Brampton, on Saturday.
Nineteen crews of scullers, ranging in age from 14 to 66, represented the Derwentwater-based club in singles, doubles, quads and a pair, winning several semi-finals and two finals at the highly competitive 230-race event.
Keswick School student Tom Suddaby claimed Lakeland’s first win of the day in the under-18s boys’ single sculls. Second place in the three-boat final went to club-mate Connor Faulder, who also rowed with doubles partner Jack Wilson.
The women’s masters coxless quad of Alex Morgan (stroke), Sam Ayres, Celia Whittam and Julia McCumiskey (bow steer) furnished the second victory, crossing the line in their final comfortably ahead of two considerably younger crews.
Nick Cowan, Lakeland’s head coach, lost out narrowly in his single sculls masters’ final, while Pippa Atkinson and Daniela Jones looked well set in their under-15 girls’ double final but, after facing a technical issue with a seat, displayed admirable determination to battle though to a second place.
Three girls’ quads also raced, with Keswick School students Pippa, Daniela, Jennifer Wilkinson and Lauren Strong plus cox Catherine Spedding placing third in their under-15 race.
Lauren also competed in a single scull in the under-16 category, rowing to a second place in her final, while a coxless quad of Izzy Greenwood, Kim Sunley, Nikki Hutchman and Robert Hudson from Cockermouth School lost by two lengths in the under-16 open category to an all-male boat.
Izzy and Kim also competed in a double and kept their spirits high despite losing, and Catherine, Pippa, Daniela and Lauren braved a coxless quad, losing by a boat’s length in the final.
A coxed women’s novice quad stroked by Kim Sherris came within half a length of victory in their race, and the men’s masters “Old Lags” coxless quad stroked by Don Mitchell, with a combined age of 245, almost took a second place.
In another tight race, a mixed novice quad stroked by Alison Barr fought all the way in the open category against a younger all-male crew.
By the time the club’s junior girls’ captain, Stephanie Mills, took to the water for her first ever race in a single, in the under-18 category, conditions were not the best, but she carried on strongly to complete the course.
Nick Cowan said: “We had a great day out, with a record number of entries and rowers taking part. All the races were rowed competitively.
“A special mention must go to Simon Bamforth and James Waterfield for their brave effort in the scariest boat on the water, the pair. Just to get over the finish line is an achievement and this was only their second time in the boat together.
“Some of the results were very close and we were only a gnat’s whisker away from winning three more events.”
Lakeland Rowing Club is based at Derwent Water Marina in Portinscale. Anyone who would like to know more about learning or returning to row at the club can visit www.lakelandrowingclub.com or find it on Facebook – just search for the Lakeland Rowing Club page.