Women's Novice move up to Senior C

The first race was the women's novice four of Amy Plowman, Charlie Martin, Rachel Cooper and Laura Tucker with Rachael Tucker as cox. This was the opportunity for the women to move up to senior C level. After a poor start at the half way stage the crew were level with a Bideford Reds crew but after a shaky start the crew streaked away to an easy win and cemented their status as senior C rowers.

The conditions worsened throughout the day and at one point the senior umpire considered cancelling the meeting. A number of scullers capsized including a rather experienced senior B sculler during a race. Testament should go to the sculler who got back in and finished the race.

The next two crews out were the single scullers of Mike Lister and Rob Harris. Both found it tough just getting to the start. For novice scullers they both did extremely well to finish third and fourth of a field of six. Rob just edging out Mike by two lengths.

The womens novice four was also entered into the senior C four to give them an extra race. Although they had a poor race, where Amy said they didnt have one good stroke the entire race, the girls beat a Reds crew and only lost out by two lengths to a Blues crew. Promising from the girls at their new level.

Sam Falconer and Sam Pritchard managed a very respectable second place of three in their mens J16 double scull. Only three lengths from first. The boys are improving very quickly.

After a poor start from Jess Middleton which involved nearly rowing outside the course and a great start from Georgina Jones heading on the prefect line, in the end the positions were reversed. With Jess Middleton having a strong end to the race to win by a length and a half over Rebecca Butchart of Plymouth who edged out Georgina Jones by two lengths.

The fourth race in a row for Paignton in the programme used nearly our entire fleet of boats. It was the turn of the men's novice four of Pete Scoble, Mike Lister, Sean Middleton and Rob Harris with Aimee Christer as cox. A good start meant the men were in contention for the lead the whole race. At around 600m the Paignton crew edged to a length lead and despite Sean Middleton catching a humungous crab 50m from the line, Mike Lister's quick thinking to just row on and get the boat over the line meant a great win for the crew. A first win of the season for Sean. Only one more win for Rob and Mike and they two are Senior C rowers.

Contraversy occured in the next race. The mixed novice four of Charlie Martin, Sean Middleton, Rachel Cooper and Pete Scoble with Rachael Tucker as cox had a very poor race. Sean again caught a crab early on which meant that the crew had to physically stop during the race to rectify the problem. This meant that the head to head Plymouth crew streaked away to a comanding lead. The Paignton crew mustered themselves and put on a charge to the line. Taking bite out of the plymouth crew with every stroke. With 100m to go the Paignton crew was half a length down gaining all the time. From the shoreline on the Instow side, it loked like a dead heat with Paignton clearly in the ascendancy. When both crews crossed the finish line, neither knew who had won the race. Even the umpires, when asked, said they didnt know. In the end the win was given to Plymouth by 3 feet. The Paignton crew strongly believe they pipper the Plymouth crew on the line, but unfortunately due to poor umpiring and the lack of finish line technology, we will never know for sure.

The women's J14 quad of Aimee Christer, Georgina Jones, Georgina Scott and Jess Middleton pushed the Bideford Reds crew all the way to the finish. At 750m it was neck and neck, in the end the girls just didnt have enough to beat the Reds at the finish, only losing by one third of a length. This was the closest that the girls had come this season to winning the J14 race. Jess Middleton pushed so hard that she feinted and had to be brought to shore by safety boat. A great effort by the girls and as they are all actually J13, it already looks good for next season.

Two enormous trophies and a plate for the WJ14 single meant a very successful day for Paignton. The club now has three sen C rowers for the first time in 4 years!

Another trophy at Bideford Regatta

On a weekend where Paignton's rowers would eventually be treated to a surfing session on the Sunday, the Saturday brought Bideford Regatta, with mixed results.

The confident mens four of Pete Scoble, Rob Harris, Mike Lister and Lewis Bayley with Bridget Garry as cox could only manage a dissapointing fourth out of 7. The race was controversial. After half the course with Paignton challenging for the lead there was a collision between Totnes and Castle Dore which caused the umpires to stop the race and restart from the beginning. The restart was poor and Paignton clashed with Bideford Blues causing another restart. Paignton never really recovered and only managed that fourth place.

The womens novice four of Laura Tucker, Rachel Cooper, Charlie Martin and Bridget Garry with Ella Collins as cox suffered their first defeat of the season to Castle Dore. A poor draw meaning they rowed on the tougher part of the river was possibly the casue of their demise.

The WJ14 quad of Rosie Nickells, George Jones, Jess Middleton and Abbie Twaites could only manage a third against the Bideford Reds A and B crew on their home water. The Paignton B crew of Shola Naylor, Fran Sandover and Aimee Christer had to row with a Plymouth girl to make a crew. This caused the crew to have a 10 second penalty that they couldnt recover.

The mens novice single race saw Rob Harris and Mike Lister both progress to the final. Rob Harris had a terrible race hitting two buoys and nearly another rower causing him to only manage third. Mike Lister managed a fifth place, a big improvement on previous regattas.

Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry couldnt manage to beat their Totnes opposition in the WJ18 double scull. But still looked extremely good on the water.

The WJ14 single scullers of Jess Middleton and Georgina Jones came first and second respectively. With Jess winning by a length, that brings another trophy home to Paignton.

The target of winning a trophy at every regatta is still on course. And with a win, 3 seconds and 2 thirds, thing are still looking good for Paignton this year.

Paignton excel at Wimbleball Lake 

The First race for Paignton was the Mens Novice single heats, with the top three from each heat making the final later in the day. In the first heat Rob Harris managed a comfortable second place to Alex Mungles of Falmouth. In the second heat Mike Lister unfortunately finished fifth and was knocked out.

Next came the Men's J16 double where Sam Falconer teamed up with Bideford Reds boy Kieran Gayson. The boys found it tough going and were pushed down to fourth. But things were about to turn in the right direction for Paignton

The mixed novice crew of Rachel Cooper, Rob Harris, Mike Lister and Charlie Martin with Bridget Garry as cox powered to victory over a fairly decent Bideford Blues crew, who over the first 300m caused a little worry before Paignton pulled away.

Rob Harris was straight back to the start for the Men's Novice Single final. Perhaps it was because he had just raced but Rob could only manage a second place. Beating Alex Mungles who he had lost to in the heat but losing out to Danny Carlson of Plymouth by half a length.

The girls J14 quad of Rosie Nickells, Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones, and Abbie Twaites with Ella Collins as cox could only manage second to a strong Bideford Reds crew who I'm sure they will be tussling with all season.

The ladies novice four of Amy Plowman, Rachel Cooper, Charlie Martin and Bridget Garry in for Laura Tucker with Ella Collins as cox, streaked to a superb victory winning Paignton's first Championship points for the season.

The men's novice four was next, but Sam Falconer, Sean Middleton, Mike Lister and Rob Harris with Ella Collins as cox, could only manage second to a Bideford Blues crew. But still added two more championship points to Paignton's total.

The final race for Paignton and of the day was the girls J14 single scull involving Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones and a Bideford reds girl. It was a close race for 1st with Jess and George competing for the lead the entire race. Jess Middleton came out on top however taking the win and getting Paignton's first sculling point for a number of years.

Paignton took three trophies away from Wimbleball and claimed four second places, amassing 17 points. 6 of which being Championship. A great start to the Championship season.

High winds trouble Paignton at Mayflower Offshore Regatta

Photo courtesy of Hugh Crawford Photography

Very strong winds made it very hard for Paignton's crews at Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club's annual Breakwater Bash on 26th May. Double FISA sculls were cancelled due to the weather.

The ladies were first up and due to the terrible conditions the course was altered to keep to the east of Plymouth Sound and so race in relatively calmer water. The ladies crew of Amy Plowman, Rachel Cooper, Charlie Martin and Laura Tucker with Jane Perry as cox, came 4th of 5 crews. Mayflower ladies dominated the race from start to finish and the winning distance did not flatter the other crews. Obviously training in rough water has its benefits.

The men were next up and none were too pleased to be going out in horrible weather. The sun had come out but rowing back to the clubhouse was a struggle as it was up river and against the strong wind, and of course was straight after a long hard race. The mens crew of Roger Philp, Sean Middleton, Rob Harris and Pete Scoble found the course extremely hard and came fifth of five boats.

The juniors were up next and Paignton entered two crews, one with two Mayflower novice rowers. The crew of Jess Middleton, Aaron Young, Laura Tucker and Gerogina Scott came second and Gerogina Jones and Sam Falconer along with the two Mayflower novices came third.

Finally the mixed crew of Mike Lister, Pete Scoble, Rachel Cooper and Amy Plowman with Jane Perry as cox rowed a slightly different course as the winds worsened. Instead the rowers rowed up the river and down to the end of  Mountbatten Pier and back again. The crew came fourth of four.

A dissapointing day for Paignton's crews but now the club can focus on skiff racing.

Paignton Crews find it Tough Competition at Thatcher Rock 8k 

On a beautiful day weatherwise in Torquay, Paignton took to the water to compete at the annual Thatcher Rock 8k race. A womens quad, a mens quad, a mixed quad and a mixed double were Paignton's entries. As always in coastal regattas, it was ladies first. The Paignton crew of Tracey Western, Sarah Tingle, Rachel Cooper and Amy Plowman (stroke) with Jane Perry as cox got off to a slow start but ploughed their way through the field to finish 4th in 46mins 35secs only 2mins and 51secs behind the Mayflower women who set a course record.

Next up was the men's quad of Roger Philp, Sean Middleton, Mike Lister and Pete Scoble (stroke) with Jane Perry as cox. The mens struggled against a strong field to finish 6th and finished in 46mins 7secs. It was a close race for the top spot though with Teign Scullers edging ahead in the final straight to win but a mere seven seconds.

The final race of the day was the mixed race. This was a chance for Paignton to use their brand new double Yole 25 class coastal boat, named Bay's Best. Laura Tucker and Aaron Young who are J17 and J16 respectively finished the 6k reduced course in 36mins and 30secs to bring home a pennant. The mixed quad of Rachel Cooper, Mike Lister, Pete Scoble and Amy Plowman with Jane Perry as cox got rather unlucky. They had two clashes with other boats which caused the crew to get shunted back also Rachel had trouble with her seat during the race. When they could have been very competitive the quad finished 4th in a time of 30mins 15secs which was 1min 31secs of the leaders. Could be a chance for a pennant there at future regattas.

Full results and pictures can be found of Torquay Rowing Club's website here.

Head of the Dart used as Long Practice Run

Two crews took to the water at the Head of the Dart on Saturday the 14th of April; a Men's Novice Double and a Mixed Novice Four. Neither crew had any direct opposition on the day and so both crews took the 15km row as a decent amount of time on the water in practice for the upcoming regatta season. The Mens Novice Double of Rob Harris and Mike Lister completed the course in 58 minutes and 02 seconds only 38 seconds behind the best Mens Novice Four of the day. Things are looking good for the Paignton Mens Novice Four this season. The Mixed Novice Four of Amy Plowman, Pete Scoble, James Bradley and Charlie Martin (stroke) with Bridget Garry as cox finished the time trial in 1 hour 03 minutes and 02 seconds. A great row considering the amount of times they have rowed together; zero!

Novice fours lead the way at Torridge Head

Paignton took a clutch of medals away from Bideford's annual 4250m head race on Saturday 3rd March. The mens novice four (above) of Shaun Pedley, Mike Lister, Rob Harris, Lewis Bayley and Bridget Garry (cox) completed the course in 16mins 20secs which was 51 seconds faster than the second crew (a Plymouth University four) and 3mins 21 secs faster than the third crew (a Reds crew). Their time was the fifth fastest of the sixty crews that took part in the head race and only 36 seconds off the Plymouth University eight crew.

However, arguably the best result of the day was the victory of the Paignton womens novice four (below). Charlie Martin, Amy Plowman, Laura Tucker, Rachel Cooper and Jane Perry (cox), having only rowed a handful of times together, powered to a 40 second win in the largest class of the day. Four crews entered the womens novice four class and the Paignton women crossed the line in 18mins 22seconds. They beat two Bideford Reds crews, the Reds A crew completed the time trial in 19mins 2seconds and the B crew in 19mins 10seconds, a third crew of Plymouth University women completed the course in 21mins 19seconds. A great achievment for a truly novice crew.

Paignton's 1st win of the day came in the considerably rougher first division with the ever successful double pairing of Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry. Entered into the Womens novice double class due to boat restrictions they demolished the Reds opposition, beating the crew by 2minutes and 28 seconds. Unfortuately, because it was a senior race, and there was only two crews, medals were not awarded. But this doesn't take away from their excellent row in difficult water.

Also in the first division Paignton entered a WJ14 quad of Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones, Abbie Twaites and Aimee Christer with Jane Perry as cox. The quad came second to a strong Bideford Reds crew who achieved a time of 20mins 16 seconds which was too good for the Paignton crew who finished in 21mins 37 seconds. Two of the girls, Georgina Jones and Jess Middleton, rowed again in the second division but had to row up to WJ16 level in order to make a race. Plymouth J16's proved too good for the girls and they went to win in 19mins 6seconds which was 1min 50seconds better than the Paignton girls.

Finally, in the second division came the single scull J16 of Louise Manning. Up against strong opposition, Chloe Brew from Plymouth who is a UK indoor rowing champion, Louise unfortunately came second in a time of 20minutes 19seconds a time 1minute 27seconds slower than the Plymouth rower.

Overall a very successful day for Paignton's rowers and plenty to train for over the next few months leading up to the regattas.

Junior rower wins further accolade

Junior rower, Laura Tucker, has won yet another accolade to add to her Torbay Young Volunteer of the Year award. Laura won the Active Devon Volunteer of the Year - Youth award at the Devon Sports Awards held at Sandy Park on the 9th of February 2012. Laura faced tough opposition from Emily Chilcott, a gymnast from Tiverton and the winner of the Teignbridge young volunteer of the year award, Holly Willing. Holly volunteers at her local swimming pool, Dyrons, in Newton Abbot. Neither of the opposition had achieved as much as Laura throughout the year. Not only is Laura the youngest coach in Devon for swimming she is also an assistant coach at Paignton ARC. Laura is incredibly ambitious and is currently studying an outdoor education course at South Devon College. She really is a credit to our club.

Paignton rowers raise money to help RNLI

On Sunday 29th of January, Paignton Rowing Club was delighted to be offered the opportunity to row an 1850 Whitby Lifeboat.

The rowers of Sarah Tingle, Tracey Western, Corrie-Jane Crook, Jo Drury, Tim Porosa, Paul Tucker, Simon Pedley, Ade Jones, Kate Humphreys, Terry Ekers, Sue Gay, Robbie Wimborne, Helen French, Ana de la Fuente, Shaun Pedley, Andrew Wills, Margaret Ekers, Emma Wills, Gary Hellard, and Jonothan Wills met at Torquay Harbour to row the boat across the bay to Paignton Harbour and then onto Brixham. It was hard going, the rowing style was a very short stroke with very little use of the legs. It was an intense upper body workout for Paignton's rowers. The oars were extremely heavy and not being used to the extra weight alot of crabs were caught which resulted in some of the rowers being knocked off their seats! It took rather a lot longer than the rowers thought taking roughly 25 minutes to get from Torquay to Paignton and then 45 minutes to row to Brixham! Unsruprisingly some of our athletes were a little sore the next day! The weather held out for the day and Paignton raised £65.35 which will be donated to the RNLI. Thankfully they wont be using the lifeboat to save anyone, how did they ever manage it in 1850? The lifguards must have all looked like Popeye!

 Men narrowly miss out as WJ17 double triumphs at Totnes Autumn Head

The men's crew, that competed at the South Coast Championships earlier this year, of James Bradley, Rob Harris, Mike Lister, and Lewis Bayley with Bridget Garry as cox missed out on medals at Totnes Autumn Head by two seconds. The Men's Novice 4+, in a 5 boat field were only bested by Teign Scullers who posted a time of 11.37. The men were extremely pleased with their time of 11.39 but were gutted to have lost by such a narrow margin. However, the meet was sweetened by the success of the double pairing of Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry who won the the WJ17 double scull category. With a time of 12.37 over the 3000m course the girls are improving with every race.

Louise Manning (13.34) came third of five in the WJ16 single scull race with Poppy Disney (14.45) coming in fifth. The MJ16 2x of Aaron Young and Sam Pritchard (14.42) unfortunately had a little trouble with a floating jetty and hance their time was slower than it should have been. They should be very competitive for the coming season. The WJ14 double scull of Georgina Jones and Jessica Middleton (16.02) came third of four, a commendable result for their first race. Louise Manning (15.22) had another go in the third division but against the tide was unable to improve her time. Finally the coastal quad was given a run and the crew of Sean Middleton, Pete Scoble, Charlie Martin and Amy Plowman with Jane Perry as cox (15.01) came third in a field of four.

A great days racing and some great times for the crews to train against. Well done to Laura and Bridget on gaining their Totnes Autumn Head medals.

Full results can be found here.

 Jane Perry's long service honoured with Life Membership

Jane Perry, who has been a member of Paignton Amateur Rowing club since April 1973 has been recognised for her long devotion with Life Membership.

Jane joined the club as a teenager and went on to be one of Paignton ARC's most successful rowers. Jane won countless races and numerous ladies championships with various crews. She represented WEARA at a number of South Coast Championships and won the Ladies Open Fours in 1986. Although she seldom rows for the club (she can be persuaded) Jane is still an active member. In 1982 Jane became a fully qualified coach and has taught a great number of people how to row. She was chosen as President of WEARA in 2009 and is also WEARA's division representative on the BR council. You couldn't find another person as dedicated to Paignton ARC as Jane, whether it be coaching juniors and adults, driving trailers, coxing, fixing boats, or just cheering crews on. Jane is a valuable asset to the club and we are very lucky to have her.

A life membership that is richly deserved.

Junior rowers scoop prizes at Torbay Sports Personality of the Year 

Junior rower, Laura Tucker, overcame stiff opposition to win the Young Volunteer of the Year at the Torbay Sports Personailty of the Year Awards with Shaun Pedley coming third in the Senior category.

Laura achieved public recognition by scooping the award beating a host of other candidates. Laura became one of the youngest sports coaches for swimming in history earlier in 2010 and regularly teaches swimming at her local pool in Brixham. However, rowing is her true passion and she can often be seen down the clubhouse, whether it be training or coaching in a supporting role.

Shaun became the youngest person to row the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year. A stunning achievement but unfortunately it was not enough to claim the Senior Sports Personality Award on the night. Although coming third to Natalie Melmore (bowls) and Elliot Barton (rowing), Shaun beat a large range of candidates to make it to the event.

Paignton chosen to host Tribute event again in 2012 

Paignton have been chosen as one of the three venues in the South West to hold a Cornish Pilot Gig Tribute Regatta next year. With the other two regattas to be held in Cornwall, Paignton are the only Devon club to hold the event. Being chosen to host the event for a second year running is a massive honour for the club and is due largely to the success of last years regatta. Many clubs made their way up from deepest darkest Cornwall to row around the bay, and hopefully many more will make the journey in 2012. Everyone at Paignton is thrilled with the news and are eagerly awaiting next season!

 Paignton Juniors power to victory at Paignton FISA Regatta

In a well contested second annual Paignton FISA regatta, Paignton Juniors came out on top. The junior double of Bridget Garry and Laura Tucker held off a stern fight from the Paignton Quad of Becca Farrell, Aaron Young, Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones and cox Ella Collins with Torquay third. Their time over the 4km course was 24 minutes and 36 seconds, with the quad crossing the line in 25 minutes and 47 seconds and the Torquay double in 31 minutes and 17 seconds. A win richly deserved after a hard season. Bring on next year!

Paignton claim two WEARA Championships for the rowing year

At the annual President of WEARA dinner, this time hosted by Nick Cleasby from Torquay Rowing Club, Paignton came away with two Championships from the years racing.

The Ladies Novice Fours Championship was won with three impressive wins from the crew members of Amy Plowman, Rachel Cooper, Charlie Martin, Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry with their cox being Rachael Tucker. The trophy was last won by Paignton in 1998 fourteen years ago, when Rachael was only a year old!

The second championship was unusual in the fact that two Paignton single scullers tied exactly on points for the Championship. Jessica Middleotn and Georgina Jones both claimed 14 points from the season's races meaning that the Championship was shared between them.

Jess Middleton was also presentated with her South Coast championship trophy for winning the J14 single scull category. The trophy was donated by Jane Perry and Sue Cose. The trophy is an exact replica of a single scull and even has a sliding seat and swivelling swivels!

Finally at the award's evening the president decided to give recognition to a select few members of the WEARA rowing community that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make rowing happen this year. To theses members he gave medals that were named 'Gamesmaker'. Two members recieved these medals from Paignton ARC. Jane Perry for her tireless work coaching, umpiring and helping out and Rob Harris for organising regattas and coaching, as well as running around like a headless chicken on most training nights.

Paignton also claimed most of the prizes in the raffle, but that must have been down to luck. Or was it just another little vidtory for the bay clubs??

Novice Fours dominate at Falmouth Regatta 

The first race for Paignton saw Mike Lister make his way into the final of the Men's Novice Single. The top three from each heat went through to the final. Mike eventually finished fifth in the final. Mike continues to improve in his single throughout the season.

Next up for Paignton was the Womens Novice double scull of Amy Plowman and Laura Tucker. In a strond field the crew could only manage fourth, losing out to a very strong Mayflower double.

Georgina Jones was next in her single scull. In a head to head against Rebecca Butchart of Plymouth who George has beaten already this season, George had a poor race and lost out by one and a quarter lengths. Agonisingly close. Still all to fight for in the WJ14 single scull championship.

In a large field of six crews Mike Lister and Pete Scoble managed an impressive second place, only losing out to a strong Plymouth crew. The novice double were extremely pleased with their performance as they had never rowed together in a double scull and were expecting a much poorer result!

The women's novice four of Amy Plowman, Charlie Martin, Rachel Cooper, and Laura Tucker with Rachael Tucker as cox held off a determined Exeter crew to win by half a length. A second win for the womens novice, one more win and the girls will move up a class to Senior C.

Bridget Garry and Laura Tucker found it tough going in the WJ18 double scull. Being in the lower end of their age category is hard work for the girls and at Falmouth they could only manage fourth. A result that the girls were very disappointed with. Next season when the girls will boht be J18 instead of J17 they should be much more competitive.

The final race of the day for Paignton was the mixed novice four of Charlie Martin, Rachel Cooper, Mike Lister and Pete Scoble with Rachael Tucker as cox. The crew had an extremely tough race against a Castle Dore crew and a Falmouth crew. The Paignton stroke seat of Charlie Martin took the rate up in the final 250m and the rest of the crew responded to hold off a stern fight from Castle Dore and to win by a length. Another well earned trophy for Paignton.

On the same day as Paignton Gig Tribute Regatta, with two trophies brought home to Paignton the trip was not in vain.

Paignton make finals at Totnes and Bridgetown Royal Regatta 

For the first time Totnes and Bridgetown Royal Regatta was held over two days. On the first day, adults competed and on the second, juniors and masters.

Paignton only entered a handful of crews for the regatta. The mens novice four of Sam Falconer, Sean Middleton, Mike Lister, and Rob Harris with Bridget Garry as cox managed to win their heat and make the final to eventually finish second and gain two valuable championship points.

Both Rob Harris and Mike Lister managed to progress through their heats to make it to the second round of heats. Mike unfortunately was beaten by Sam Twine of Plymouth but Rob Harris managed to progress again to the final to eventually finish 3rd of 15 entries.

The womens novice double of Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry also progressed to the final could only manage to finish third to a strong Torquay crew and a Dartmouth crew.

On the second day Paignton entered two WJ14 coxed quads who both unfortunately lost their heats which meant they both went into a repechage against each other. The A crew of Jess Middleton, Abbie Twaites, George Jones, and Rosie Nickells with Ella Collins as cox came out on top with a strong row. But there is plenty of promise in the B crew of Shola Naylor, Fran Sandover, Georgina Scott, and Aimee Christer with Rachael Tucker as cox and seats are under competition. The A crew went through to the final to finish second and gain another two championsip points.

The final race of the regatta was the WJ14 single scull. Georgina Jones made it through her heat but Jess Middleton couldnt manage to finish first or second to get into the repechage. This meant George faced a Bideford Reds girl and a Plymouth girl in the final. She rowed a strong race from the start and went on to win by 3 lengths. An excellent result.

For an extremely busy regatta, and with Paignton only entering a few crews, one win, two second and two thirds is nothing to be sniffed at.

Three trophies for Paignton at Plymouth Regatta 

Unfortunately due to awful weather on the Saturday, so bad that Plymouth swamped and eight practicing in it, the regatta was postponed to the Sunday which brought sun and much calmer winds. This did mean that the regatta became an invitational regatta and not for championship points. This turned out to be a great shame considering the events of the day.

The first race of the day was the mens novice four. This was a race Paignton was confident they might get a top three. The crew of Sam Falconer, Rob Harris, Mike Lister and Pater Scoble with Ella Collins as cox could only manage 4th of six crews, beating two bideford reds crews but losing to a strong Plymouth uni crew.

Next Louise Manning managed an impressive third losing out to Newson of Castle Dore and Brew of Plymouth. Both in the GB junior squad. Only a couple of lengths behind Louise marked her last race for Paignton with a great result. Amy Plowman and Laura Tucker then came second in the women's novice doubles, tussling for the lead for the whole 1000m but narrowly missing out on the trophy.

The next race was the Men's Novice single where Paignton had two entries of five. Rob Harris and Mike Lister. Mike Lister came fifth straying a little off course and Rob Harris won the event holding off a strong finish from Jordan Hall of Totnes. The first trophy for Paignton this season.

Next up came the women's novice four. This was the first regatta sprint race for the crew. Having won at Bideford head race earlier in the year, the girls were apprehensive of their chances. They needn't have worried though as after a restart the crew tore away from the field finishing a considerable distance ahead of the second crew. A great win and another trophy!

Immediately after the womens novice came the signle scull of Gerogina Jones. Head to head with a fierce rival from Totnes it was touch and go for the whole race until Gerogina pulled away to win by a couple of lengths. A third trophy for Paignton!

The mixed four of Pete Scoble, Sam Falconer, Charlie Martin and Rachel Cooper came second of three and the girls under 14 quad of Rosie Nickells, Gerogina Jones, Abbie Twaites and Jess Middleton came fourth of four crews.

An excellent day for Paignton. Three trophies and a number of points towards the championship of the day trphy that was eventually won by Plymouth who amalgamated 63 points compared to Paignton's 13.

2nd Place for Ladies C at Dartmouth Gig Regatta 

A number of Paignton crews tested the water at the first gig regatta of the season in Dartmouth on Satruday 7th April. Two mens, three ladies and a ladies vet crew took part in the regatta. The best result of the day came from the Ladies C crew of Tracey Western, Sarah Tingle, Charlie Martin, Grace Panter, Helen French and Ana de la Fuente with Rob Harris as cox, who managed a very respectable 2nd place. For a long while at the start the crew lead the race but were overtaken before the first buoy by Weymouth and couldnt regain the lead. Most probably due to Helen and Ana having rowed two races immediately before!

Although the boat race was on the same day it wasnt the only incident packed race. In the mens B race the crew of Dave, Mike Lister, Rob Harris, Ade Jones, Ben, and Tony Bateman with Simon Pedley as cox rounded the first buoy but were hit by another crew which broke the yoke on Paignton's tiller. Unable to use the rope to steer Simon had to move to the stern of the boat and physically turn the tiller with his hands which meant for most of the race he was facing the wrong way! The men still managed to come 4th to last, a good achivement considering the novices in the crew.

All together Paignton had a good day's rowing with plenty to work on for the upcoming season.

 Paignton Invests in Coastal Rowing

Paignton recently purchased their newest addition to their fleet of boats. The new FISA double, previosuly used at the world championships in Plymouth, joins the FISA quad to increase the clubs ablility to enter more crews at FISA regattas. The coxless double will be named and christened on the 6th of April at the clubhouse. Name suggestsions are most welcome via the contact page.

Paignton Juniors Dominate at JIRR trials

Paignton's juniors set the pace for the rest of the region at the JIRR trials on Saturday 18th February. The Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) trials took place on the Torridge at the Bideford Blues clubhouse. Paignton sent a WJ13 quad and a WJ16 scull of Louise Manning.

Conditions were looking pretty grim and the start of the trials was delayed by an hour. In this hour the weather miraculously cleared but the water was still quite choppy. So, all quads (the most stable boats) were sent out in the first division. There wasnt a J13 class so the Paignton quad rowed up to J14 level. Unfortunately due to JIRR rules they were inelligible to go to the JIRR even if they won as they had to be older than J13 but younger than J14. However, this didn't deter the crew of Georgina Scott, Abbie Twaites, Georgina Jones and Jess Middleton (stroke) as they powered to victory, overtaking a number of crews including a J14 boys crew. Their only opposition at WJ14 level was a Bideford Reds crew of Snow, Willis, Cox and Lawson. The Reds completed the 1500m course in 8mins 11secs which was 17 seconds slower than the Paignton crew who achieved a very respectable time of 7mins 54secs. A great shame that the girls wont get to go to Nottingham to compete at the JIRR. However, next year I am sure they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Later in the first divison a composite crew, consisting of three Bideford Blues girls and our very own Louise Manning, raced in a coxless quad. An unusual type of boat that is rarely raced in WEARA. However, with Louise in stroke the girls stormed to the fastest time of the day. A brilliant time of 7mins dead eclipsed any other crew on the water. A truly great achievement as the girls had never rowed together and they had to steer themselves.

In the third divison Louise entered her single scull. The water, which had calmed considerably during the first and second divison, roughed up again causing one scull to capsize and making it hard work for the others. However, all that training in the choppy Paignton water obviously paid off as Louise beat 4 other sculls to represent WEARA at the JIRR on the 28th of April. Against three Bideford Blues girls: Loka (13.47), Heddison (11.40), and Crossley (10.07) and one Dart Totnes girl: Pope (10.48), Louise's time of 9.48 was easily good enough to win the WJ16 single scull category.

An excellent day for Paignton's juniors and a good confidence boost for the start of the season.

Success at Plymouth Head despite torrid conditions  

Paignton's rowers braved the bitterly cold and wet conditions at Plymouth for their annual head race on Saturday 4th February. Nineteen rowers made the trip along with a number of parents and supporters. The meeting was a good opportunity for a number of new crews to get some much needed experience. The new women's novice four crew of Amy Plowman, Charlie Martin, Rachel Cooper and Laura Tucker (stroke) with Jane Perry as cox were the first Paignton crew to get going. Although having never rowed together and having only rowed a handful of times in a skiff between them, they proved that the potential is there to become a strong womens crew. The new WJ14 quad of Georgina Scott, Abbie Twaites, Georgina Jones and Jess Middleton, with Rob Harris as cox, improved quickly through the race. Timing and technique came together the more they rowed. Unfortunately a equipment malfunction caused the stretcher of one of the rowers to break which meant arms only rowing with 1000m to go. Improvement is showing every time they take to the water. Finally in the first division, Aaron young teamed up with a Bideford Reds girl to cruise home to victory in the MJ16 double sculls.

The weather worsened considerably between the two divisons and they organisers decided it was too risky for the less stable boats and cancelled all fours, doubles and single sculls. A great shame for the Mens Novice four, the WJ14 double of Jess Middleton and Georgina Jones and the WJ16 single of Louise Manning. All of which had a very good chance of winning their respective class. So it was left to the coastal quad of Roger Philp, Pete Scoble, Sean Middleton and Shaun Pedley, with Jane Perry as cox, to lead home the Paignton crews. In the end a day that was miserable weather and miserable for some of our rowers but not without glimmers of potential in the future.

The success of the Paignton ARC reflected in the Annual Presenation Evening 

Paignton ARC Annual Presentation evening, on the 19th of November, was a great success. Over 90 members and supporters of the the club turned out to attend the prize giving. The male rowers dressed up in matching shirts and even a few of the ladies made dresses to match! Mr Dave Godfrey this years president of WEARA attended the event, a great honour for the club. To the awards:

Skiff Club person of the year: Rob Harris

Most improved male skiff rower: Mike Lister

Most improved female skiff rower: Laura Tucker

Junior Skiff Club Person of the year: Louise Manning

Most improved skiff junior male rower: Lewis Bayley

Most improved skiff junior female rower: Bridget Garry

Skiff Cox of the year: Ella Collins

Gig Club Person of the year: Kate Humphries

Most improved Gig male rower: Matt Scoble

Most improved Gig female rower: Debbie Hopper

Most improved junior gig rower: Georgina Jones

Gig cox of the year: Sandra Pedley

Race Nights

Race nights this year were a big success thanks largely to Sandra Pedley. Nearly every other friday a number of rowers, including juniors, rowed gigs or the FISA quad around the 3k gig course. Rowers scored ponts for wins, but also scored bonus points for turning up, coxwaining, kareoke in the bar afterwards, wearing silly hats and fancy dress. Below is a list of the special pin prizes given out after all the points are added up!

Coxswain pin: Bridget Garry

Umpire pin: Mark 'Choppy' Palk

Babysitter pin: Shaun Pedley

Versatility pin (given to the rower who rowed and coxed the most boats): Laura Tucker

Plonker Donker Pin (male): Matt Scoble - for making his crew row with the fenders out

Plonker Donker Pin (female): Kate Humphries - for being convinced that Sandra needed a bailer in a boat that didnt need one. She really wanted to use it to throw water at other crews!

Enthusiastic pin: Sean Middleton - for getting into the spirit of race night and dressing up like wolverine and still managing to row.

Golden pin (given to the rower who accumulated the most points over all the race nights): shared equally between: Rob Harris, Charlie Martin and Denise Stickley.

Spreadsheet pin: Sandra Pedley

Finally a special ROWmance pin: Rob Harris and Charlie Martin

 Paignton Girls take up the challenge

Two members of Paignton Amateur Rowing club are set to undertake extreme challenges over the next year in order to raise a large amount for charity.

Queenie Martin is attempting to swim the channel and her daughter Charlie is going to attempt the three peak challenge. Queenie's sisters are also attempting challenges. Kim Ellis is running the Edinburgh marathon and Jennie George is going to join Charlie in the three peak challenge. The girls are calling the money raising events: Three Sisters, Three Challenges.

You can follow their progress and find out how to donate on their blog: http://3sisters3challenges.blogspot.com/2011/10/one-month-in-and-our-progress-so-far.html


Paignton Ladies win for the second year running

Paignton's Gig Ladies won the Dartmouth lay up race for the second year running, beating of a host of other ladies crews in the process. The Crew of Grace Panter, Jo Drury, Ana de la Fuente, Tracey Weston, Gill Hill, Sarah Tingle and cox Shaun Pedley stormed over the line in Top Catch to take the cup home.

 Paignton don't disappoint at Dorney Lake

Paignton Men's crew of James Bradley, Mike Lister, Rob Harris, Lewis Bayley and Bridget Garry (cox) represented WEARA at the senior B level for the South Coast Championships at Dorney Lake. Although rowing two classes above their station, the crew managed to hold off a strong charge from a determined Eastbourne crew to finish 4th. Their time of 8.27 would have been very competitive in the Novice category and the men can feel confident that next year will be a successful one.

The junior double crews of Laura Tucker and Bridget Garry and Louise Manning and Rachael Tucker both made it through their heat, finishing second and third respectively. In the final Laura and Bridget narrowly missed out on a medal, being pipped on the line by less than a second. Louise and Rachael finished sixth, a fantastic achievement considering Louise is a year younger than the rest of the field and Rachael is two years younger! Look out next year.