Exmouth welcomes home finalists from the World Coastal Rowing Championships

  Posted: 19.10.21 at 14:35 by Richard Robinson, Vice Captain of Exmouth Rowing Club

On Saturday 16th October, Exmouth Rowing Club hosted the penultimate regatta in the South West Coastal Rowing League’s 2021 calendar. Men’s, women’s, Masters (50+) and mixed crews competed in quadruple, double and single sculls over a 4km or 8 km course, according to age-group.

The event drew over 100 competitors and their coxes, from Wales as well as from Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Exmouth Rowing Club was proud to be represented, amongst others, by 3 finalists from the recent World Coastal Rowing Championships held at Oeiras in Portugal.

Incredible racing off Lisbon harbour saw more than 700 rowers from 34 nations ploughing through metre-high ’short-chop’ swells beneath the imposing São Julião da Barra Fort. Eleven boats out of a 38-strong British fleet made it to the 6km medal races.

Exmouth Rowing Club sculler and British Champion 2021, Will Loftus steered clear of the Lisbon ‘carnage’ to finish sixth in the single sculls, in his first Worlds, while defending Spanish champion Adrian Miramon Quiroga and another sculler capsized and Dutch Olympic quads champion Koen Metsemakers got trapped in a first buoy pile-up.

“I’m completely sold on coastal,” added Will, 27, who started out with flat-water rowing. “You’re up against the elements, that’s the challenge and thrill. You have to respect the sea and work with it – you can never tame it. It’s a great leveller. One wave even knocked both blades out of my hand. The boat’s always moving under you, so I just tried to stay loose, keep a strong core, with a soft catch but a good leg drive, trying to keep things as smooth as possible.”

Marie Guingouain (Exmouth RC) reached 17th place in the World Ladies Single sculls. Anna Childs (Exmouth RC) and her partner Judith Schulz came home 16th out of 20, after multiple clashes with other errant double sculls.

Exmouth’s Exe Raid Autumn regatta on 16th October was attended by quads and doubles crews from Plymouth Mayflower, Carrick in Falmouth, Teign Scullers, Torbay R.C., Jurassic, the Coastal Barbarians, as well as scullers from Wales.

Exe Raid Tight fairway buoy turns. Credit: Tom Hurley

The results

Ladies quads, 8km: 1st Teign A (39.11), 2nd Exmouth A, 3rd Jurassica, 4th/5th Exmouth B&C, 6th Carrick, 7th Mayflower A.

Men’s quads, 8km: 1st Exmouth A (38.01), 2nd Teign A, 3/4th Mayflower A&B, 5th Teign B, 6th Exmouth B.

Masters (mixed), 4km: 1st Jurassica ( 18.15), 2nd/3rd Exmouth B&A, 4th Carrick, 5th Mayflower A, 6th Torquay.

Mixed, 4km: 1st Exmouth B (20.22),2nd Jurassica,3rd Exmouth A, 4th Teign A, 5th Mayflower A, 6th Carrick, 7th Mayflower B, 6th Exmouth C.

Exe Raid Beach launches. Credit: Tom Hurley

Ladies singles, 4km: 1st Teign (22.09), 2nd Dolphin, 3rd Teign, 4/5th Exmouth, 6th Teign.

Men’s singles, 4km. 1st Exmouth (20.31), 2nd Independent, 3rd Mumbles RC, 4th Exmouth.

Masters men’s singles, 4km: 1st Barbarians (18.87), 2nd Exmouth, 3rd/4th Barbarians

Ladies Doubles, 4km: 1st/2nd Teign (21.17)

Mixed doubles, 4km: 1st Mayflower( 21.45), 2nd Exmouth.

The boat naming ceremony with Exmouth Mayor Steve Gazzard, Town Crier Roger Bourgoin, and Keith Murrin. Credit: Tom Hurley

What is coastal rowing?

Coastal and Offshore Rowing are an exciting and fast-growing addition to the huge world of rowing sports, often described as the 'snowboarding' cousin of flat-water, 'fine boat' competition.

Competitors and their coxes must negotiate the vagaries of changing tide, wind, waves and swell over a course often complicated by sharp turns around marker buoys and other marine traffic.

Their 4 km or 8km course thus challenges coastal rowers to achieve high levels of stamina and to apply great presence of mind, compared with the 2km flat-water equivalent so commonly viewed at the Olympics.

The 2022 World Rowing Coastal Championships will take place at Saundersfoot in Wales from 7-9 October, with the Beach Sprint Finals on 14-16 October.

A warm welcome home

Will, Marie and Anna were formally congratulated on their achievements at Exmouth Rowing Club on Sunday 17th October.

Their sterling achievements featured at the christening of the club’s latest acquisition, a brand new “Liteboat” Quad, formally named “Pat Murrin” by founder, Keith Murrin in memory of his late wife and life-long supporter of the club. Guests of honour also included Bob Cottell of Coastal Rowing UK who coincidentally conducted a single sculls training day for over 30 members at the Exmouth Club.

The club was honoured to have both events opened by Exmouth Town Mayor, Steve Gazzard and Town Crier, Roger Bourgoin.

Saturday’s regatta appeared to be the prey of early coastal fog, until the echoes of our Town Crier’s welcome of “Oyez!” summoned the attention of light onshore southerly winds.

The curtains of coastal cloud then lifted on a feast of competitive rowing, attended by all-day sunshine, record numbers of competitors and tight starts, race-turns and finishes.

Exmouth Rowing Club now completes its 28th year with membership numbers approaching 100 of all ages and genders.

The club now looks forward to fulfilling the Mayor’s promise of more boat-park space off Queens’ Parade!

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