Lakeland Rowing Club fielded a record entry of boats and enjoyed its most successful day of competition ever at Talkin Tarn Regatta on Saturday.
Thirty adult and junior crews from the Derwentwater club, which has more than 80 members from all over North and West Cumbria, took part in the annual blue-ribbon event held at the country park near Brampton.
Lakeland rowers aged from 16 to 66 competed in single sculls, doubles, pairs and quads, taking winning tankards in six categories against crews from schools, universities and clubs based across the North of England.
Club chairman Chris Pratt said: “Saturday was a great day for Lakeland Rowing Club. Our members’ commitment to the club and the sport was represented by a huge turnout at both senior and junior level and an enviable collection of winners’ trophies.
“The club’s light and dark blue livery is gaining attention, and some renown, all over the North these days – national recognition beckons next!”
The first victory of the day went to James Waterfield, from Whitehaven, in the men’s Band 3 single sculls final.
He took a second win in the men’s Masters’ C coxless quad category (average age 45-49) with club captain Simon Bamforth, also from Whitehaven, Stefan Escreet, from Bassenthwaite, and club development officer David Thomas, from Keswick.
Despite starting with a five-second handicap in the final, the quartet rowing in club boat “Lady of Lingholm” chased down a more experienced crew from Chester-le-Street Amateur Rowing Club to cross the line an impressive two boat lengths in front.
David Thomas’s next race will be at Henley Masters Regatta this weekend. He will be the first Lakeland RC member to take part in the prestigious event.
Thomas said: ‘It has long been an ambition of mine to row at Henley and I’m delighted to have secured a place. I’m really hoping I can help inspire some of our junior members to compete there one day too.
“Our juniors were brilliant on Saturday: they rowed well, helping out all day and proved to be great ambassadors for the club. The smiles on the faces of all our crews throughout the day at Talkin Tarn said it all.”
Nick Cowan, from Eaglesfield, triumphed in three events, winning finals in the men’s Masters’ D-E (age 50-59) category in his single scull, with doubles partners Sam Ayers, also from Eaglesfield, in the mixed D category and with Dave Chappell from Tyne Amateur Rowing Club in the men’s E category.
Lakeland’s final victory of the regatta went to Celia Whittam, from Troutbeck, Lisa Waistell, from Newbiggin, Claire Brock, from Ellonby, and Fiona Grove, from Cockermouth, in the women’s Masters’ D-F (age 50-64) coxless quads.
Claire Brock said: “I really enjoyed my first British Rowing regatta in the sun at Talkin Tarn. It was a fantastic atmosphere and incredible organisation by Talkin Tarn ARC.”
Several other races were extremely closely fought. Double scullers Sam Ayers and Julia McCumiskey, from Keswick, fought all the way to the finish in their women’s Band 3 final, losing out by a couple of centimetres to a pairing from Lancaster’s John O’ Gaunt RC.
Beginners, or returning rowers, who would like to know more about opportunities at Lakeland RC can visit www.lakelandrowingclub.com or find the club on Facebook – just search for the Lakeland Rowing Club page.