Coach Perry Rewarded for Helping Others to Love Rowing

GIVING something back has proved rewarding for Paignton Amateur Rowing Club coach Jane Perry, who won the Coach of the Year accolade at the 2013 Torbay Sports Awards.

Perry has been with the club for more than 40 years as a rower and continued on as a coach, and now honorary life member.

Attending training five days' a week and fulfilling a vital role as a judge at regattas across the country saw her get the nod ahead of shortlisted finalists Joseph Bramley, Rachael Jacobs and Kyle Perkins.

Yet Perry said that the success of the club was down to many more people than her alone.

"This is for all of the Paignton rowing club coaches as I see it," she said.

"I'm just the focal point really.

"I think it's a bit down to the 40 years."

Perry said she was surprise to win the award, and said she was merely trying to give something back to a sport which has rewarded her through her own sporting career.

"I'm a bit surprised really – I didn't expect to win it," she said.

"It's just doing a sport that I love and helping other people to love the sport that has kept me going for so many years."

Report courtesy of the Herald Express

Paignton Share the Points Trophy at Torbay Royal Regatta
The club showing great team spirit - Photo by Emma Doble

PAIGNTON ARC's strong form on the regatta circuit continued in the Torquay Bicentennial event.

Ten clubs descended on Hollicombe beach between Paignton and Torquay for round eight on the WEARA calendar.

A familiar pattern has emerged in recent events with Paignton finishing second behind Plymouth, firstly at their own regatta then the following week in the Appledore and Instow Regatta. However, there was the consolation for the Paignton crews of sharing the points trophy at Torbay.

"Paignton were the club with the most wins on the day, but didn't have sufficient second and third places to beat Plymouth this time, although we are very please to tie for the trophy" said Paignton's Mike Lister.

Paignton were leading going into the penultimate race. Unfortunately with no more entries Plymouth picked up the required points to comeback and tie the points.

Paignton's two entries in the J12 double sculls finished first and third with Alice Middleton and Tegan Peel picking up the win.

In the men's Senior C fours race, five crews lined up and within 100m Plymouth and Torquay clashed. Coming so early on the course the race was restarted but carnage again ensued.

Paignton managed to break free following a second clash, only to be beaten to the line by Bideford Reds.

In the J14 girls quad it was a return to winning ways for the crew and it looks like it will go down to the final race of the season to determine if Paignton or Bideford Reds will win that championship.

Jack Doble and Tommy Windeatt continue to improve in the J14 singles. Together they were too strong for the rest of the field in the J14 boys doubles events.

In the girls' J14 doubles, Jess Middleton and Georgina Jones extended their season-long unbeaten run and were second and third respectively in the singles.

The women's Senior C four won again against rivals Totnes B, if the crew had been racing from the start of the season they would surely be winning the championship.

In the novice fours the women were hampered by a clash of blades with Torquay and could only manage 5th.

In the men's novice fours event Paignton finished runners-up behind Torquay.

A field of three in the men's singles featured captain Rob Harris and vice-captain Mike Lister going head to head for the first time this season. Harris pulled away in the closing stages to pick up his first qualifying singles win.

Laura Tucker and Hannah Grimes secured a vital point by finishing third in the J18 double.


MixJ12 2x Jordyn Watkins, Karrie Spencer – 3rd and Alice Middleton, Tegan Peel – 1st

MSC 4+: Alan Kavanagh, Rob Harris, Mike Lister, Sam Faulkner (Laura Tucker, cox) – 2nd

WJ14 4x: Aimee Christer, Tegan Peel, Georgina Jones, Jess Middleton (Jane Perry, cox) – 1st

MJ14 1x: Tommy Windeatt – 2nd and Jack Doble – 4th

WN 4+: Nikki Windeatt, Shelley Atkins, Tracy Evry, Laura Tucker (Aimee Christer cox) – 5th

WJ14 2x: Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones – 1st

MN 4+: Sean Middleton, Jack Doble, Alan Kavanagh, Sam Falconer (Jane Perry, cox) – 2nd

WSC 4+: Charlie Martin, Laura Tucker, Marisa Schubert, Sarah Tingle (Jane Perry, cox) – 1st

MJ14 2x: Jack Doble, Tommy Windeatt – 1st

WJ14 1x: Jess Middleton – 2nd and Georgina Jones – 3rd

MN 1x: Mike Lister – 2nd and Rob Harris – 1st

WJ18 2x: Laura Tucker, Hannah Grimes – 3rd

 Report written by Mike Lister

Paignton ARC Shortlisted for Major Torbay Award
For the second year running Paignton ARC have been shortlisted for the Torbay Sports Awards' Club of the Year. This year the club is up against Torbay Olympic Gymnastics Club, Torbay Table Tennis Club and Torquay Alpine Ski Club.

The results evening will take place at the English Riviera Centre on Thursday the 7th of November. Last year Paignton ARC placed in the category of Club of the year losing out to Barton Cricket Club. The club has improved since last year with a number of wins in regattas including winning the points trophy at Torbay Regatta. Over the winter the clubhouse underwent a major renovation at a cost of over £70,000 which has made the building into a top class venue for learning to row. 

Paignton ARC will be hoping to pick up two awards on the night as Jane Perry has been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year award. Last year Jane was shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to Sport award and placed in the category. Jane hopes to go one better this year and attain the prestigious title of Coach of the Year.

This year the special guest at the award night will be Bob Wilson of football fame. With the Captain of the Club being a massive Arsenal fan I am sure he will be hoping for a signature!

Caradon Vets Championships 

Big smiles on a miserable day - Grace Panter, Gill Knight, Sarah Tingle, Cathy Hellyer, Helen French & Tracey Western

Saturday 15 June was a bit damp but not too cold with light winds. The mixed vets crew consisted of Ade Jones, Steve Edwards, Paul Tucker, Tracey Western, and Grace Panter, with Laura Tucker coxing. Paignton came third in the first heat all mixed, rowing well and hard, they did really well and came a good first in the mixed vets’ semis (beating our very own Top Catch!) and fifth in the plate final. Well done everybody for all the hard work and commitment. Sunday 16th was a much wetter and colder day but everybody was in high spirits for a good day’s racing! The weather a total contrast to glorious sunshine at Teignmouth two weeks previous. Racing got off to an early start of 9am with Paignton entering a ladies vets crew, which consisted of Grace Panter, Sarah Tingle, Tracey Western, Helen French , Gill Knight and Cathy Hellyer. Ash from Carradon coxed and was clear and motivating. Everyone was soaked and cold before the race and Paignton rowed in another club boat called Rebel. The ladies had a good solid start just behind our very own Top Catch. They rowed well, to the first buoy turn where it was a bit of a scrum to get around, they held their ground, and even a broken peg didn’t faze them. They hung on giving it their all but Port Issac came first, followed closely by Rame in Top Catch and then Paignton. Unbeknown to the Paignton crew one of the ladies had hurt their back at the start but struggled bravely on and this meant Paignton had to withdraw from the plate race. But what a lovely venue beside Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s bridge, some more hard training and some rest and relaxation for the injured and they’ll be back!!

Report by Cathy Hellyer

A Solid Start to the Gig Season

The Ladies 'A' Crew from left to right - Sarah Tingle, Tracey Western, Cathy Hellyer, Grace Panter, Debbie Hopper, Sarah Siddall and cox Simon Pedley - Photo taken by Sandra Pedley

      The Teignmouth gig Regatta on Sat June 1st 2013 was a gloriously sunny day with light winds, an ideal start to the season. The beach was full of competitors and spectators which made for a great atmosphere.

      The race itself is over a diamond shaped course over 3000 metres long and takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete, points being given to the top finishing crews. There were nine visiting clubs and it was well supported considering it clashed with two other Regattas in North Devon and Cornwall. Paignton entered the men’s crew into the 'A' race to give Steve Edwards his first experience of racing, and even though they were a vets crew, they all rowed hard and well. Later on the men rowed consistently well in the vets race, rowing a good course with a slightly choppy sea at times. The men’s crew consisted of Sandra Pedley coxing, Simon Pedley, Ted Evans, Paul Tucker, Tim Porosa, Ade Jones and Steve Edwards. 

      The ladies entered the 'A' race, again to give relative newcomer Cathy Hellyer race experience. They were coxed by Simon Pedley in the A race and crewed by Sarah Tingle, Tracey Western, Grace Panter, Sarah Siddall , Debbie Hopper and Cathy Hellyer.  Adrenaline was running high and the ladies did some good strong rowing, keeping bunched up with the other gigs. Later, in the Ladies Vet’s race they were coxed by Ana de la Fuente, and Helen French replaced the younger Debbie Hopper. The Ladies gained two positions on the first buoy turn, and continued to row hard around the course with “Blackbird” on their tail. It was fast, furious and fun, and they finished five boats behind and five boats ahead. What a great start to the season!

Report written by Cathy Hellyer

 Fine Margins, Two Wins

Paignton's Mens Novice Four: Aimee Christer (cox), Pete Scoble (stroke), Mike Lister, Rob Harris and Alan Kavannagh (bow) - Photo taken by Ted Evans from Paignton's racing gig 'Top Catch'

      If you've ever wondered why you pushed yourself to do that extra 500m on the rowing machine or ignored the burning in your thighs for those extra 10 squats, then results from the Head of the Dart will give you all the answers you need.

      Paignton Amateur Rowing Club picked up two wins, from their three entries, by the finest of margins over a 15km course. Racing downstream on an outgoing tide, around 80 boats and 100 paddleboarders took part in the regions longest head race. The start from Totnes was quite a spectacle. Paignton ARC entered a Men's Novice Coxed Four crew for the first time this year, a Women's Novice Coxed Four and a Mixed Gig, also on their first outing this season.

      Confidence was high with recent training going well and ex-WEARA President Dave Godfrey exclaiming 'I've got a fiver on you boys to win!' , nothing like an extra bit of pressure when you're going afloat. However, the men were aware of a strong Falmouth crew just behind them and needed to keep them there. The coxwain (Aimee Christer), pushed them to their limits and her regular calls for '10 hard' kept the boat moving swiftly. Perhaps it was all those strong bursts that caused stroke’s (Pete Scoble) footplate to work itself loose. Fortunately Aimee was able to lean forward and carry out running repairs to get the boat back firing on all four. This mishap had allowed Falmouth to close the gap but the men were determined not to be undone by equipment failure and they pulled together for a 2k finish that saw the boat fly over the line. An agonising wait for the results ensued and whilst happy with their efforts the men were not certain whether they had achieved the desired win.

      The women's crew, in their third straight head race, were looking to continue their development ahead of the shorter courses for regatta season. The long course gave them plenty of time to focus on technique and timing, whilst making it clear that fitness isn't going to be an issue when it comes to the 1,000m sprints. The crew finished strongly and were upbeat once off the water. The WEARA head races are a tough proving ground for new crews, but the women have really progressed and should be optimistic for the season ahead.

      The quintet of gigs took part in a battle royale along the entire length of the course, with all boats remaining within close proximity and no one crew able to pull away. The men's gig from Britannia Royal Navy College led the battle but the real action was between the three mixed crews who set up a grandstand finish. Post race opinion was divided, but several crew members thought they were in for the win.

      In a packed boat house at Dartmouth Rowing Club, everybody gathered to hear the results and much to the novice men's delight, they were in Paignton's favour resulting in quite possibly the loudest cheer of the presentation. On inspection of the final timesheet it was discovered that the margin of the win was a mere 2 seconds, after an hour long race. Unfortunately the gig category was grouped as one, so the mixed crew were not given a mention but the timesheet showed an even slimmer winning margin of only 1 second. Fine margins indeed. After lodging an appeal with the race umpire for a mixed category, a second pennant will be presented to the club.

      The celebrations went on well into the night on an historic day where Paignton became the first club in the country to register skiff and gig wins at the same event. Every win is fantastic but I'll let you ponder; the smaller the margin, the greater the victory?

Report written by Mike Lister, edited by Jenny Tostevin

WJ14 Quad Wins at Torridge Head 

Formation Flying - Women's Novice 4+ (far side) Men's Novice Single - Mike Lister (centre) and Women's Junior 4x+ (near side) Head of the Torridge 2013 - Photo taken by Charlie Martin

     What a difference two weeks makes. From the cold and grim Plym to the sunny banks of Bideford where the temperature and spirits were high. The Torridge is a Paignton favourite with ten wins recorded there across several events last year and this time we made the long trip with equally high hopes. Beautiful conditions awaited the crews and the low tide giving a timely reminder of the notorious sand flats that have slowed many a unfamiliar crew down. Split across two divisons the club had four in the first and one in the second. This week rigging of all boats was much smoother although Mike Lister in the novice single could not escape the customary rowing faff when he tried to set off in a boat borrowed from Bideford Reds that was missing a seat. After a mad scramble and a quick beg to Plymouth for a boat, Mike was on the water and steaming along the 4,250m to join our other crews at the start. This week our novice ladies swapped their sculling blades for sweep blades to make their rowing debut, the only crew change saw Laura Tucker coming in at stroke in place of Charlie Martin, who wanted to keep herself fresh for the second division. The WJ14 4x+ crew who have progressed well since last year were taking on their familiar foes Bideford Reds and Roger Philp, the oldest competitor on the day made his debut as a Masters Single.

     All crews had fine races although it was the junior quad who stood out by passing their opponents on the water and winning their division in 22m 21s, a whole 3 minutes ahead of their rivals. The remaining 3 crews all came second in their respective races, with Mike the highest placed Paignton crew finishing 10th overall, out of 24 crews. For those unfamiliar with Bideford, boating takes place on the regatta course, north of the stone bridge and the head race takes place to the south of it. This requires some careful navigation through the bridge, the trick is to pick the right arch to go through. They are all different sizes and even the biggest only gives a little bit of room either side of the blades. In the excitement of finishing his first single race Roger forgot which arch to go through and found himself trying to thread the eye of the needle, and as you might've guessed by now, found himself taking a refreshing dip in the Torridge. This was not the end of the drama! With not all the competitors yet back off the water the safety boats and already moored up which meant there were none on the water to rescue Roger, fortunately Torridge gig club who had entered the race and were yet to pass back under the bridge rowed over to help him. After a change of clothes and a nice cup of tea I'm glad to report that Roger is fine and as far as I know hasn't been put off.  

     The second division saw Charlie Martin making her single sculls debut on the same stretch of water where she was part of a ladies South Coast Championship last year. Mike Lister, not content with one row went out for round two in the slightly tougher Senior C category. With both rowers starting at the back of the pack they were able to chase down the competition ahead. Charlie rowed well but was beaten into second by her more experienced opposition and Mike who took 2 minutes of his previous time thanks to the change of tide recorded a sound second place. Some good displays out on the water with everyone having an enjoyable row and feeling upbeat for the races ahead. Attention now turns to the three times longer Head of the Dart which will see gigs and skiffs racing side by side over 15km from Totnes to Dartmouth. 

Report written by Mike Lister

Solo Fun - Charlie Martin and Mike Lister - Picture taken by Sean Middleton

Paignton's WJ14 Quad through to National Trials

      On Tuesday 19th February 2013 four budding rowing athletes attended the Junior Inter-Regional Trails for the west, which was held on the river Dart. The four rowers Georgina Jones, Abbie Twaites, Aimee Christer and Jessica Middleton where competing in a quadruple scull in the J14 age category. The Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) Trial is only open to Juniors rowers across the country who were under the age of 16. This magnificent event has a tough course of 1500 meters. Crews from each region compete against each other to be the fastest in each class. The crew or single athlete who wins their section proceed to compete up in Nottingham in the Junior Regional Rowing Regatta against the rest of the winners from their respective regions across the nation. Now, as you may know, this is extremely high level of rowing, so the girls were going to have to put every ounce of effort into this trial to succeed.

      The day started off with the girls getting ready and rigging up their boat early. This includes adjusting their shoes in the boat and tightening the riggers, to a common rower they use the term “rigging” for this. Subsequently,  after the girls had completed this they carried on with their warm up and nutritional preparations. The atmosphere was tense as everyone was eyeing up their opponents to see their strengths and weaknesses. However, the rowing girls of Paignton Amateur Rowing Club were too busy cheering on each other for the staring contests.

      The girls were scheduled for the last race of the day so they had a long an anxious wait whilst watching the other crews compete. The girls finally set off in the boat with a steady warm up 2000 meters down river to give plenty of room to cross the start line. The race began and the crew had a steady but quick start , they kept a good pace and maintained power. With only 500 meters left the coxswain gave her last signal to push hard and the girls put every ounce of energy they had left on their oars. So the girls, as they had trained to do, gritted their teeth and stormed through the line at a reasonable time of 7 minutes 58 seconds! For the four girls this was a surprise as they hadn't been in a quad for at least 3 weeks.

      Although the girls were fatigued and exhausted they still kept the grins on their faces in hope for their brilliant result. When the girls were told they won they were astounded and immensely ecstatic! They were actually going to Nottingham, their dream for the past two years. The coaches and the supporters were extremely pleased with the news as well. To the crews delight they will compete up in Nottingham at the Holme Pierrepoint Water Centre on Saturday 27th of April 2013.

      So help support the girls up there as they will be training vigorously for the remaining 9 weeks until the event. Well done to the girls for the win and for the hard work the coaches have volunteered to do for the crew. Without their unforgettable help the crew would not have got to where they are today.

Report written by Georgina Jones.

 Olympic rower James Cracknell inspires youngsters in Paignton

GOLD medal winning rower James Cracknell inspired youngsters as he visited Paignton ARC.

The Olympic hero paid a visit to Paignton Amateur Rowing Club to hand out some coaching tips and answer questions on his sport.

He even gave Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver some rowing tips and also brought along his medals for everyone at the club to have a look at.

Skiff captain Rob Harris said: "The visit went really well. He is a real inspiration to our rowers and all the juniors came to meet him. He was impressed with what we are doing and answered all the questions the youngsters had for him. The sun came out just as he arrived and he said how lucky we were to have such a place to train. It was great for the kids to meet him and he had his medals with him for them to look at."

Around 30 junior members, relatives and adult members from the club came along to meet the champion rower.

Mr Harris said he arrived just as they were finishing a training session and went through his training session for the Olympics with them.

"He told the juniors to take little steps to work towards their dreams and anything is possible. It was very inspirational and we are really pleased the visit happened," he added.

Article courtesy of the Herald Express

Torquay RC Retain Championship of the Bay

The start line for the Championship of the Bay 2013 - Picture taken by Izy Shaw

After a two year absence the long running event, The Championship of the Bay, again made it's appearance. The event is a multi class private event between Paignton ARC and Torquay RC, which dates back to 1935. Each club enters as many boats as they can onto the water which includes a mens and a womens four.

This year 11 boats lined up on the start at 11am for the 1600m race. The last time the race was rowed Torquay won the Championship and hence this year the race was rowed from the mid point between Paignton and Torquay towards Torquay and ending at the fourth flag on Haldon Pier. Paignton entered a mens four, two women's fours, a junior coastal quad, a boys single and a mixed gig and Torquay entered a mens four, two womens fours, a mens double and a junior coastal double.

After a lot of backing and touching all 11 boats lined up on the start line and with a bit of bumping the boats got away smoothly. The Torquay mens double of Maurice Dunn and Ian Wilson had a fast start and got out ahead of the pack. However, the Torquay mens four and the Paignton mens four soon caught the double up and battled for the lead. Further back in the race the two Paignton women's crews had good starts. The 'A' crew getting away slightly better than the 'B' crew but both well ahead of the two Torquay crews. The Torquay coastal double was next in a pocket between the women and the Paignton junior coastal quad, the mixed gig and the Paignton ARC sculler - Jack Doble.

Torquay men's crew who narrowly missed out on the WEARA Novice Championship this season managed to pull ahead to take the Championship by three lengths. Second were the Paignton men's crew of Peter Scoble, Rob Harris, Mike Lister and Sam Falconer with Amiee Christer as cox. The Torquay men's double were third then Paignton's two women's crews with the 'A' crew of Amy Plowman, Rachel Cooper, Sarah Tingle and Nikki Windeatt with Jane Perry as cox around 4 lengths ahead of the 'B' crew of Jess Middleton, Georgina Jones, Maria Weymouth and Tracy Evry with Abbie Twaites as cox Next came the Torquay junior coastal double with a hotly contested race between the Paignton Coastal Quad of Kate Doble, Alice Middleton, Tegan Peel and Karrie Spencer with Sean Middleton as cox and mixed gig of Ted Evans, Jo Drury, Jo Layman, Paul Tucker, Steve Edwards and Dave Doble with Gill Knight as cox following on. The Coastal Quad just pipped the gig to the line even with a short break from the coxswain who was unsure where the finish was. Jack in his scull finished up the proceedings with a excellent row.

Although Paignton lost the Championship to Torquay the women managed to retain the Women's Championship with ease and both clubs are hotly anticipating next years race. We can only hope the water will be as favourable as it was for this year.

Totnes Skiff Regatta 

 Ladies Senior C Four - Maria Weymouth, Amy Plowman, Nicola Windeatt, Laura Tucker and Aimee Christer (cox) - Photo taken by Sean Middleton

Round 2 of the championship was held over a two day event on the River Dart at Totnes. The river can provide lovely rowing conditions and great views for spectators who stand right on the bank and are only metres away from the racing crews.

Owing to the narrowness of the river the majority of events are conducted in two or three boat heats which makes it intense for the crews and exciting for the crowds. This year the regatta was split with 500m sprint races for all classes held on the Saturday and Championship events for Fours and Singles on Sunday.

With racing dependant on the tide it was an early start with the first race of the day off at 9:30am. Paignton had three entries on the Saturday, two WJ14 doubles and a MJ14 double, in winner takes all heats of 3 to progress to the final. Fortunately the two women's crews were kept apart with Georgina Jones and Jess Middleton in heat 1 and Abbie Twaites and Aimee Christer in heat 2. A poor start by the girls in heat 1 allowed Dart Totnes to get ahead in the early stages but the strength and confidence of the girls who are used to rowing singles pulled them through in the second half of the race to take the win and put them in the final. In heat 2 the gusting wind pushed the girls across the course from the start and they were ordered by the umpires to straighten up. As they approached the bend at the halfway point, which was unhelpfully narrowed by a moored yacht the three crews were pushed together resulting in a clash of blades. The Paignton crew was unfortunately deemed to be at fault and were disqualified. In the boys event Jack Doble and Tommy Windeatt were sent out together for only the second time together in the double. The boys timing was good and they looked smooth but lack of experience saw them fall away from the other two crews. The coaching team were very encouraged by their performance and believe that with some more water time to give them confidence that they will do very well in future regattas.

Being the only Paignton finalists of the day all eyes were on Jess and George, by the time of the final there was heavy rainfall and the girls were soaked through before leaving the slipway. These two girls are used to having pressure on them as they are part of the WJ14 quad that is tipped for the title. However in this doubles final they were up against an unknown Gloucester crew. This out of region crew might think twice before coming down this way again as they were swept aside by the Paignton girls who won by several lengths over the short course. One win from three entries is a positive return from day one.

A second early start followed on the Sunday which included senior crews from Paignton and Torquay. Both clubs had debuts for their Women's Novice Fours who were unfortunately drawn in different heats as battling for Bay honours always adds a little extra spice. As it was Paignton (Maria Weymouth, Tracy Evry, Nicola Windeatt, Laura Tucker & Rachael Tucker (cox)) were up against a Gloucester B crew and Torquay faced up against Plymouth. Paignton in the first heat, had a great start and led for the whole race, no doubt spurred on by the famous Paignton roar. They finished by a length ahead and progressed into the semi-final where they met Dart Totnes C. Unfortunately they couldn't progress any further as they lost to the eventual winners by two lengths. A fine performance in their first outing. Torquay's ladies crew of Jan Spacagna, Andrea Phare, Kathy Fox, Michelle Wilson and cox Izy Shaw couldn't quite match their Bay neighbours and lost by three lengths in their heat.

The Paignton ladies with a slight crew change as more experienced rower Amy Plowman came into the the two seat, rowed up a division at Senior C to gain valuable race practice. They pushed hard but lost by three lengths however were pleased with their competitiveness across their three races and can't wait to be racing again.

In the Men's Novice Fours heat Paignton were unfortunately drawn against the only crew to beat them at the last event in Plymouth, in a race where only the winners progressed to the final. There was one slight crew change with Pete Scoble coming into the stroke seat alongside Alan Kavanagh, Rob Harris, Mike Lister and Izy Shaw jumped in the boat to cox. The crew got off to a sluggish start and couldn't make up the ground to the Dart Totnes crew that raced away to win by just over two lengths. The only consolation being that the victors went on to win in the final.

After being delayed by a paddle steamer passing up the course the same men's crew arrived to the start late for their Senior C fours race and had to forego their usual pre-race routine. This seemed to affect them as they were rushing their stroke and not very relaxed. They lost again to Dart Totnes opposition and were left wondering where they needed to improve ahead of the next regatta.

Junior crews returned for a second day of racing for the championship points up for grabs. Paignton fielded four singles scullers all at J14 level. Jess Middleton and Georgina Jones fresh from their doubles win the previous day were now competing against each other. Neither of them qualified from their respective semi-finals so faced off against each other in the repêchage, which allowed Jess to progress to the final. In the final Jess made up for her disappointment last time out to take second and two points which sees her draw level with club mate Georgina overall. In the boys event Tommy Windeatt and Jack Doble were kept apart in the heats where they were both racing in singles for the first time. Neither could make the final but both again showed good promise at this early stage of their first season.

In the quad events Paignton's J14 girls were looking for back to back regatta wins. They won they heat over Gloucester by a distance but with some crew members on their fifth race of the day for the final, tiredness was probably a factor as they tired towards the end to finish third. However they are still top of the points league.

A final mention goes to Torquay's J16 boys quad of Otis Watkins, Chris Gladding, Andrew Stevens, Josh Barren and cox Richard Cudmore in their first regatta. The boys came second in their heat and did not progress to the final which may have been for the best as one of the boys broke a finger when it was bashed between an oar and the side of the boat. However, rowers are made of strong stuff and it wasn't until the end of the race the rest of the crew found out.

Some tough racing over two days that gave some good performances which was not represented by the final results. At the next regatta on Wimbleball Lake, Paignton will have their largest field of entries for three years and a much increased chance of medals. It is a true testament to the hard work that has been done by several members in recent times to put the club in a strong position. 

Report written by Mike Lister 

WJ14 4x+ rows toward the finish line as MSenC 4+ watch on - Photo by Sean Middleton 

Skiff Season Opener at Plymouth

The first regatta of the West of England series took place at the weekend on a very choppy River Plym. Strong winds made starting conditions difficult and the event was 15 minutes behind after the first senior race. The Men's Novice Four (Alan Kavanagh, Rob Harris, Mike Lister, Sam Falconer & Aimee Christer (cox)) went into the race optimistic after their win in last months 15km Head of the Dart and they were unaffected by the rough water to finish second in the heat and progress through to the final. In a tight final, shortened to 500m due to worsening conditions, they finished half a length behind Dart Totnes to finish second out of ten entries. The same four men raced in the higher Senior C division where they equalled their previous result by taking 2nd place and 2 points towards the championship, which is decided over 10 races.

The J14 Women's Quad (Aimee Christer, Georgina Jones, Jess Middleton, Abbie Twaites & Rachael Tucker (cox)) continued their winning streak after a tough race which saw them take the lead inside the last 100m. That's now three wins on the trot and they are looking good for the season ahead. 

In the J14 singles featuring Jess Middleton and Georgina Jones, who shared the title last season, it didn't go quite according to script. Jess who was battling hard for first place got pushed off course by the strong wind and unfortunately capsized (one of many on the day) whilst trying to get back on the right direction. This allowed Georgina to take second place and two points. 

We had several debut crews including Jack Doble and Tommy Windeatt in the Men's J14 Double, not only was it their first race but first time together in the double. In a large field the finished seventh. In the Women's Novice Double Charlie Martin and Laura Tucker picked up a third place finish in their first outing of the season. Charlie, not content with one debut also made her regatta bow in the Women's Novice Single. Conditions were especially tough on the singles  but Charlie battled hard to claim third.

Unfortunately due to the regatta being well behind time and some confusion down at the start the Women's Novice Four (Maria Weymouth, Tracy Evry, Nicola Windeatt, Laura Tucker & Rachael Tucker), along with the crew from Bideford Reds missed their race. A disappointment for the ladies but extra motivation for next time out.

Mike and Rob also competed in the Novice and Senior C singles respectively. Mike came third in his heat of five to progress to the final. Rob rowing up a division in the hunt for championship points, finished fourth of six in a straight final. Due to a race clash Mike didn't race his final opting for the MSC4+ race mentioned earlier.

This season has seen the introduction of a J12 category onto the programme of events with Bideford, Plymouth and Paignton all able to offer up crews at this age range. The Mixed J12 Quad race was held over 500m with a crew of Jordyn Watkins, Alice Middleton, Karrie Spencer, Tegan Peel & Rcahael Tucker (cox). The crew made a good start and looked to be progressing well however nerves from being in their first race may have affected them as they struggled to get their timing together. With a bit more work on rowing together it looks like this will be a crew to watch in the future and the club was proud to have some young, eager rowers on the water.

A mixed bag of results with the better results coming from the experienced crews however as the season progresses and others gain confidence and race time expect them to come to the fore and start challenging at the front. The regatta was the clubs broadest range of entries for some time and showed the current strength we have even with some rowers missing. There was a great following of friends and family showing their support for the club and we hope they will make the short journey down to Totnes to help spur on the crews. The tight river racing will provide a different test and intensity but as ever, hopes for wins will be high. 

Report written by Mike Lister

Juniors Find it Tough at Nationals

The Western Junior Squad at the JIRR Nottingham - Photo taken by Rob Harris

         On the 27th of April 2013 , four talented junior rowers from Paignton Amateur Rowing Club competed at a extremely high level at Nottingham water sports center for the annual Junior Inter Regional Regatta. Clubs all around the country separated into 12 regions: Eastern, East Midlands, Northern, North West, Thames Lower, Thames Upper, Thames Central, WAGS and Wales, Wessex, Western, West Midlands and Yorkshire.

      Abbie Twaites, Georgina Jones, Aimee Christer and Jessica Middleton with Rachael Tucker as cox had to go through a trial to then be selected to represent the Western region. As the event was in Nottingham, the crew of five and their two coaches Jane Perry and Rob Harris traveled up on the friday before and were accommodated overnight for the fresh start in the morning. On the Friday night they were fortunate enough to get a glimpse of their course and even train on it!

       The next morning the girls were up early for a confident start to racing. As the the crew turned up there was near thousands of rowers and supporters all rushing around getting ready to boat for their own race. This all felt slightly hectic to say the least, but the girls were all highly experienced in these conditions as they had competed in regattas within their region in a similar atmosphere to this. However, there was still a nervous emotion among the crew, in which the coaches quickly took their minds off as they sent them off for a pre-race warm up jog. Straight after their jog, the girls were ready to boat enabling them plenty of time to reach the start. They were sent off with encouraging phrases and support in which the crew took on board!

       The girls were competing in the WJ14 4x+ category and in their first heat they came 5th, 11th overall. This then leading the crew in to the B final. The water conditions were not the best and the wind was picking up meaning choppier water and hence harder to row in. Also it was cold and wet, having a hail shower and random outbursts of rain. The girls were a bit disappointed and thought they could have done that extra bit more to get into the A final, yet this is a common reaction of all athletes after an event. It was fair to say though, they put their heart and soul into the race and they tried their very best. The final of their race was in the 3 hours time,  in which they rested to regain strength. To lift the spirits the commentator gave Paignton a mention “Good to see Paignton competing at Nottingham , must of been a long drive from sunny Torbay!”

If he only knew...

       Time went quickly and the crews' final was fast approaching. In addition to this, the girls got ready and once again set out to show what they were made of! And so they did. The crew stormed through the finish line 7 seconds better than their heat! making them 4th.

       The girls were proud and had felt the immediate support from coxswain Rachel Tucker. Every last piece of effort was given by each girl in that race as they felt the consequences of burning thighs and dry mouth after.  These results were then compared to all and the official result was 10th! The Crew of Paignton Amateur Rowing Club were 10th best in the country.

What an achievement for the girls!

       As soon as the girls were all packed up and ready to leave the crew teamed up with the rest of the Western Region for a photo to remember the great event that they just participated in. Although the crew didn't win they will still have memories of their first time at a national Regatta. Moreover, they will hopefully be competing next year, leading to more reason for the girls to get one step better and train harder to achieve more.

Report written by Georgina Jones, edited by Rob Harris

 PARC Triathlon

Winner Kevin Weymouth with his trophy and all the competitors - Photo taken by Rob Harris

     On a chilly Sunday afternoon and after almost 15 years since it was last held the Paignton ARC, Rowing Triathlon made it's comeback. Around 20 club members competed for the Ricky Grant Memorial Shield named after a former junior who sadly passed away in his youth. Ricky also lends his name to the the Ricky Grant Day Centre at Torbay Hospital which is a haematology/oncology day centre providing chemotherapy and other associated treatments, plus education and advice. Sponsorship was raised and shared between the charity and the boathouse refurbishment. The traditional swimming start was replaced by 2,000m on the rowing machine, followed by a 5,000m run and 10,000m cycle via a series of laps around Long Road. 

      Competitors were set off in groups with the men first, followed by the women and then juniors, who completed a slightly shorter run and cycle. The men got off to a steady start, not wanting to burn out too early. Taking around 8 minutes to complete row, a good minute down on their usual times but knowing that they had a long way to go. The women proved to be much more competitive with times very close to their personal bests but they would feel it on the run with a slow start. The juniors then in got in on the action going off in groups of four. Out on the course Kevin Weymouth and Mike Lister were out in front completing the bicycle laps separated by only a couple of bike lengths whilst Nicola Windeatt at built up a sizable lead in the women's competition on the back of her cycling experience. Some juniors found the run tough going but they all stuck at it to make the transition on to the bike. In the boy's competition Jack Doble and Tommy Windeatt were locked in a fierce battle all the way around the course. 

     In the end it was Kevin Weymouth who would win the senior race and the trophy in an impressive time that saw him finishing in just under an hour. Jack Doble managed to break free of Tommy and the girl's competition was won by Jess Middleton. Many of the competitors were please to finish the gruelling course but the real aim was to raise some funds. In total about £1,000 was raised from the well organised event which will look to return next year.

Report written by Mike Lister

Tough Conditions for Debutantes 

Womens Novice Quad: Jane Perry (cox), Maria Weymouth (stroke), Tracy Evry, Charlie Martin, Nikki Windeatt (bow) - Head of the Plym 2013 - Picture taken by Kevin Weymouth

     Following last year's disastrous conditions for the Head of the Plym, the race was pushed back by several weeks in the hope of better weather this year. Unfortunately with temperatures 15°c lower than this time last March and strong north easterly winds whipping up chop the conditions weren't much better this year. The only plus being the lack of rain. After the usual rowing faff of preparing boats in cold weather and everyone rushing around we got our two crews for the first division on the water.

WJ16 4x+ - Aimee Christer (bow),
Jess Middleton, Georgina JonesAbbie Twaites (stroke) and Rachael Tucker (cox)
WNov 4x+ -
Nicola Windeatt (bow), Charlie Martin, Tracy Evry, Maria Weymouth
(stroke) and Jane Perry (cox)

     After taking on a bit of water at the boat launch and wrapped up to the hilt the crews made their way to the start. After several crews had been set off a large moored tanker decided to depart interrupting the race and forcing a restart. A couple of crews clearly had enough and rowed on to the finish regardless. Finally over 45 minutes after they were expected some crews officially finished interspersed by those who decided 'enough was enough' and forwent the final 750m to row straight back to the beach. Then there were the several singles and a double all being brought back to shore on the back of a safety boat, a clear indication of the conditions. Both our crews made it home and back to dry land after almost two hours afloat. Their 23 minutes times for 3km a clear indication of the conditions. Neither boat challenged for medals but it was the sort of experience that toughens you up.

     After what seemed like a Mexcian stand-off of who was going to blink and boat first the second division got underway 45 minutes late. We had two intended crews

W Sen C 4+ - Amanda Falconer (bow), Tracey Western, Rachel Cooper, Charlie Martin (stroke) and Roger Philp (cox)
M Sen C 1x - Mike Lister

     After seeing so many singles come back in via a safety boat Mike wimped out and decided it was best not to row, despite race control saying it would have been OK. This decision seemed to be shared by the majority of the field where 30 entries turned into 12 boats on the water. Our hardy women braved the elements in their new formation and with a new cox. They rowed hard but were beaten by a crew from Totnes.

     It was a tough day all round and left many questioning whether they would make the trip next year. Is it too early in the year to be racing or were we just unlucky? Even London races were cancelled when this time last year we were on the beach.

     No medals this time round but with the season underway it won't be long until we have another chance in two weeks time at the Torridge Head where we have both the Men's and Women's Novice 4's titles to defend.

Report written by Mike Lister

Official results can be found here.

Paignton Juniors off to a Good Start 

National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships 2013 (NJIRC) - Lea Valley Athletics Centre - Picture taken by Rob Harris.

      Following on from their successes last season the junior squad at Paignton Rowing Club have had a good start to the new year. A WJ14 4x+ crew comprised of Georgina Jones, Jess Middleton, Abbie Twaites and Aimee Christer have been selected to represent the West of England in that category against the 12 other rowing regions at the Junior Inter Region Regatta which takes place next month in Nottingham. This comes off the back of their win at the 3000m Totnes mini head race where they won by 57 seconds against a strong Totnes crew.

     Last week four juniors were selected to represent the club at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. This annual event is very well attended with nearly 2,000 competitors from 13-18 years of age and took place at the Lea Valley Athletics Centre, a stones throw from the Olympic Park. This is the first indoor competition that Paignton has attended in some years and the long journey was rewarded with some fine performances. The pick of the bunch was Georgina Jones in the J14 category who finished 8th in a field of 178. Tegan Peel in the J12 category finished a couple of places outside of the top 10% out of over 200 rowers. Jack Doble, who only joined the club a few months ago was in the top 3rd of his J14 field and Sam Falconer in a very tough J17 division finished 34th.

     This was the first national competition that Paignton had attended for some time and shows the growing ambition of the club to compete at all levels. Some of the top rowing clubs including Globe RC and Lea RC were in attendance but the results show that our little club from the west-country is more than able to mix it at the top of the tables. There was even a chance to add to the photo collection of Paignton rowers with Olympic rowers, Britain’s most successful female rower Katherine Grainger the victim this time. Attending events like this and meeting your heroes is the best way to encourage juniors (and seniors) to keep pushing hard in training.

Report written by Mike Lister

News Archive:

2011-2012 Season News