A FLEET of 52 boats from the Channel Islands and various French rowing clubs took part in the 25th Gorey-to-Carteret rowing race on Saturday.
France’s top men’s fours crew set a new record in perfect weather conditions with flat calm seas and only light winds. Thomas Clement and his crew from St Malo crossed the line in one hour, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, breaking the previous fastest time, which had stood since 1992.
Guernsey men’s fours Julius Bear came in second ahead of Jersey’s Just Do It team, who crossed the line third. But the winning crew – all in their early 20s – are currently students and semi-professional rowers who train for four hours a day. Not only are they the top French national team but also 2007 sea rowing world champions.
Tim Rogers’s up-and-coming Jersey men’s fours made an impressive debut in their first big race. The crew, most of whom are former triathletes, reached Carteret in just under two hours and ten minutes.
Jersey dominated the ladies’ fours class, with on-form Aztec Prowlers coming in first and with Jersey-based French rower Stephanie Gallienne in the bow seat for them in the spirit of Anglo-French co-operation.
The top CI men’s pairs came up against each other in their new boats, with Guernsey’s Joe Paul and Paul Issacs victorious over the Jersey Caversham pair of Ian Blandin and James Ramsden.
Jersey ladies’ pairs Tracy Mourant and Karen Rankine put in their strongest performance of the season. Having steered a good course to take advantage of the tides, especially on the leg up to the Ecreviere Buoy, they were able to stay ahead of an experienced Guernsey pair that included one Atlantic rowing veteran. They crossed the line in a well-deserved third place in two hours 37 minutes and 25 seconds, shaving more than 16 minutes off their time of the previous year.
Pictured: Frankie Le Quelenec’s boat at the half-way point