HUNDREDS of rowers from across the north of England descended on the River Dee on Sunday for the 2011 Chester Long Distance Sculls.
Members of hosts Royal Chester Rowing Club and Grosvenor Rowing Club were out in force on the 5km course running from Eccleston Ferry to The Groves – and a number powered to the top of the podium in near perfect conditions.
The masters C and masters F single sculls prizes went to Bill Downing and John McMahon respectively and the medals kept on coming for Grosvenor when their masters D quad, comprising McMahon, Mike Allwood, Jeremy Lush and Nick McDonald, triumphed.
Also celebrating success for the club was Sarah Bryson in the women’s IM1 singles, Paul Johnston and Phil Hill in the masters C double sculls and the new pairing of Neil Potter and Martin O’Connor in the novice doubles.
But stealing the show for Grosvenor was their women’s IM2 quad, consisting of Carolyn Pollard, Lindsay Scott, Leanne Ratcliffe and Hannah Pole. They not only won their class but at 19 minutes and 15 seconds came in as the fastest female crew of the day.
Royal Chester also had reason to cheer.
The home club’s elite and IM3 quads were first and second in the afternoon division to top their class and end the day as the fastest crews on the Dee in 16:30 and 17:07 respectively.
Alex Bain, meanwhile, stormed to victory in the J16 singles.
The King’s School Chester claimed class wins in the J18 (Harry Ashworth) and IM3 (Will Miller) singles, women’s J16 doubles and J17 quad.
Agecroft Rowing Club’s Craig Morgan was the fastest single sculler for the sixth time in seven years in 18:54.
Grosvenor Rowing Club’s Brian Chapman, Jerry Poupard, Colin Morris and Maria Labadzka are fresh back from competing in the World Masters Regatta in Poland.
Although they were unable to bring medals back to Chester, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have put plans in place to compete at next year’s event and in 2013.