Strong show from rowers

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JERSEY rowers put in strong performances against world-class competitors at the recent European Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprint Championships in the south of France.

Jersey Rowing Club members Chris Thompson, Hylton Harvey and Hal Flowerdew joined two athletes from Tynemouth RC to form a men’s quad and finished sixth in the mixed quad A Final, which was won by a crew from the Central Sport Club of the Army of Defence Forces of Ukraine. They completed the 6km course in 25:18:26.

Natacha Searson was ninth in a federation competition, in which she was representing Great Britain. She was the highest placing Briton in that race, finishing the course in 32:08:02.

Abbi and Emma Syvret, Connie Huelin, Sarah Earles and cox Sue Huelin were 11th in the A Final of the women’s quad club event, which was won by a Spanish crew in 29:48:85.

Josh Watkins won the 4km B Final of the club men’s singles in 23:47:03, with Chris Morshead finishing second in 24:40:33.

Hector Harvey came sixth in the men’s junior beach sprints head-to-head, missing out on fifth by a fraction of a second.

Jersey rower Laima Pacekajuté, who was representing her native Lithuania at the championships, came second in the 4km B Final of the federation women’s singles (22:26:18). She also came 14th in the beach sprint time trial and reached the second heat of the beach sprint head-to-head competition.

JRC captain Earles said: ‘Jersey can definitely be proud of its performance. We have a small but incredibly experienced and supportive rowing community in Jersey that is continuing to produce athletes that demonstrate we can perform well alongside world-class competition.

‘The event provided a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded athletes from across the continent. Through our quad’s Instagram profile, GirlsThatRow, we’ve been building a network of other rowers, female and male, so it was great to meet some of them in person.

‘The style of racing at these events is also totally different from what we would experience locally and that adds another element of challenge and excitement both as a participant and as a spectator.

‘Our crew is really thankful to be supported so strongly by our sponsors Highvern and Nexus Technologies, our coach Des Nevitt, the Strive Academy team and Jersey Sport.’

Hylton Harvey said: ‘The Euros were a great chance to try coastal rowing at the international level. None of this could have happened without the support of Jersey Rowing Club for our water training and Strive Health Club for our land training.

‘We learned a lot from the aggressive racing style of the other crews; I have never before experienced intentional crashes in racing! We are all excited for the chance to compete at this level again and hope international medals will be on the horizon for Jersey crews in the near future!’

Pacekajuté added: ‘It became very apparent what skills are required to be a successful coastal rower and the need to master the rough seas and waves is just as important as excelling flat and hot conditions.

‘While it wasn’t the most successful weekend positioning wise, it was a great learning experience and racing with Europe’s best is just as exciting as it is nerve-wracking.

‘The sport is becoming more popular too with entrants from countries never attending previously such as Latvia, Czech Republic, Romania – more and more river rowers start coming to try their luck at coastal. This also lifts up the technical standard too, especially when it comes to calm seas.’

Many of the Jersey athletes are now training for the World Coastal Rowing Championships and World Beach Sprint Championships, which are taking later this year.

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