Our Ladies A crew smashed the previous club record of 13th at the Cornwall County Championships at Newquay last weekend, by finishing in bronze medal position out of 93 other crews. Huge congratulations to Liz Fernie, Amelia Muller, Lena Budd, Sally Thompson, Lynn Stonehouse and Kirsty Anthony-Johns. Their cox was Malcolm Hattem.
Lynn said “We were delighted to make it into the final, but once there, our confidence and training really paid off and the whole crew rowed a stonking race. It was an unbelievable feeling to pass so many other crews.’’
Their opening round heat on the Saturday was arguably one of the toughest draws of the day, with strong crews from Par Bay and Holland in their heat. But they won that comfortably. With the very rough seas and tide dropping, all further racing was shortly afterwards, however, postponed until the Sunday as conditions were deemed as becoming too dangerous to exit the Newquay Harbour walls. That meant they faced up to 4 more races the following day.
The championships then ran smoothly on the Sunday, although the seas were still tricky to contend with at times. Our ladies won their 2nd round race, beating the crew from Mounts Bay which had come 2nd in the World Championships in Scilly, by 17 seconds.
The Quarter Final race was harder and the Dutch beat them into 2nd place that time; swapping ends of the start line with them from the first round might have played a part.
It was a tense few moments waiting to hear if they’d done enough in the semi final to go through as one of the 4 fastest ‘losers’ to qualify on time. But they had done it, ten seconds ahead of Teign and beating the Dutch this time. The finalists were therefore announced and the start line order was Mounts Bay, Flushing & Mylor, Caradon, Newquay, Par Bay & Fowey. Being nearer the quay on the start this time was a good help as it meant our crew could hope to get an inside line on the first mark if they held a good course and stayed with the pack. But they obviously still had some huge competition to contend with regardless!
Up the first leg of the final race, Newquay and Caradon went ahead and although FMPGC had a good start, Mounts Bay were in 3rd, and our ladies were overtaken by Fowey and Par on this stretch. They dug in, however, and regained the 4th position before the turn. On the top leg of the triangular course they then managed to overtake Mounts Bay. A huge boost and achievement, considering the order of turning the first mark had tended to dictate the finishing order in most races over the whole weekend.
Caradon rowed home to win the final and become the new County Champions. The first time in their own particular history and a great victory to win this year, over a strong Newquay crew who are the current World Champions and have tended to dominate the racing at regattas all season. Flushing & Mylor held on and looked strong and powerful to the end, finishing 50 seconds behind Newquay in 3rd, ahead of Mounts Bay, then Fowey and Par.
Thanks goes to Penny for her time in training the crew since Scilly, Malcolm for coxing superbly, Phil Slater for coming along to be our club umpire and everyone else who drove to Newquay to support.