‘Fabulous’ regatta thrills star-studded field of rivals

Jersey Offshore Rowing Regatta women’s doubles race race Taye Le Monnier and Sarah Earles (left) took the win from Rosie Adamson and Flo Thomas (right) Picture: JON GUEGAN

JERSEY Rowing Club played host to a star-studded field at the inaugural Jersey Offshore Rowing Regatta over the weekend.

Organised at short notice, following British Rowing’s postponement of the British Rowing Offshore Championships earlier this month, on the grounds of insufficient entries, the competition attracted more than 100 entrants in 85 different crew combinations across the two days of racing.

Olympian Charles Cousins claimed gold in both men’s singles – ahead of GB teammates Jerry Owen and Hal Flowerdew – as well as the mixed doubles with Clare Jamison.

Cousins said: “Jersey Rowing Club put on a fantastic event, and it was lovely to come across for it.

“The venue was amazing, with incredible conditions.

“It was good to come over here and practise a full run and it’s set us up nicely for the European Champs,” he said.

Held in stunning conditions, the regatta proved the perfect opportunity to showcase Jersey as a venue in all its glory, as well as provide local rowers with the opportunity to pit their skills against Olympians, Team GB rowers and French champions, across the 13 singles, doubles and quad races.

World Rowing medallist Jamison added: “The regatta was a fabulous event with fantastic organisation by Jersey Rowing Club – even more so given they only had a few weeks to pull it together.

“It’s great that rowers from “the rest of the world” came over to Jersey to race and that there was some racing in composites and new crews, to make a very fun atmosphere on the beach.”

JRC vice captain Sarah Earles was equally impressed.

“We were thrilled with the outcome of the event.

“Both days were packed with thrilling races which saw local talent go up against some of the best coastal rowers from across the UK and Europe.”

The regatta kicked off with the women’s doubles race, which proved a tight affair at the front between Girls That Row crew mates Taye Le Monnier and Sarah Earles and the recently-returned-to-rowing duo of Rosie Adamson and Flo Thomas. After a tough battle, Le Monnier and Earles pulled away to claim gold.

In the Masters and U19s John Searson pipped Tim Fenemore to gold, while JRC Youth Academy’s Poppy Pendergast and Kimberley Holland put in a strong performance in their first international race.

French champions Pierrick Ledard and Arthur Sanson were clear winners of the men’s doubles, as James Hart and Paul Coutanche claimed silver.

Girls that Row (Sarah Earles, Taye Le Monnier, Abbi Syvret and Natacha Searson with cox Susan Huelin) took gold in the women’s quad, 13 seconds ahead of Laima Pacekajute, Hayley Cook, Rosie Adamson, Flo Thomas and cox Rick Rouille.

Earles said: “We’d been training incredibly hard to try and retain our British Championship gold, so to win over the weekend made all of the hours worth it and has given us a confidence boost as we prepare for the European Champs in a couple of weeks.”

Flying Phoenix (Sue Clinton, Frankie Le Quelenec, Tina Tidy and Christine du Heaume and cox Sue Cubbon) took gold in the women’s Masters and were third boat home.

Jersey Men’s quad (William Le Quelenec, Chris Moreshead, Joshua Watkins and James Hart) took the win – the third of the day for cox Taye Le Monnier.

The masters class was won by Tim Fenemore, Tony Burrows, Jon Osborn, Rick Rouille and cox Sue Clinton.

Sunday was the turn of the mixed races, as the quad race saw ten boats compete on the 4km course, with GB sprint team members Clare Jamison, Natacha Searson, Jerry Owen and Hal Flowerdew, coxed by John Searson, getting the better of a JRC crew of Katie Guest, Kirsten West, William Le Quelenec and Andy Bowman, coxed by Susan Huelin.

Earles said: “It was great fun competing against my teammates in the mixed doubles, who were paired up with other JRC male rowers, and later joining up with GTR team mate Laima Pacekajute and Leo Baton and Quentin Langlet from Carteret Rowing Club, coxed by JRC’s Sue Cubbon and finishing in third in the mixed quad.”

First masters crew home was PG’s Rick Rouille, Tim Fenemore, Sue Clinton and Verity Thomas, coxed by Carl Clinton. They were followed 16 seconds later by Mark Hill, Jo Ahier, Paul Le Gros, Abi Searson and cox Ian Anderson, rowing together for the first time.

In the Junior mixed doubles, Fulham Reach’s duo of Herbert Sloan and Freya Gordon beat youth academy’s George Amos and Tilly Woodall.

Elsewhere, husband-and-wife Tony Burrows and Maria West-Burrows took the masters mixed doubles with Christine du Heaume and Ian Anderson in second.

JRC captain Gerald Howe said: “The camaraderie has been phenomenal and everyone pitched in.

“In all, the races were a real advert for rowing crews to come and enjoy the facilities Jersey has to offer on the international stage.

“This included moving boats, timekeeping, general safeguarding, first aid, manning the ribs and laying out the course markers, not to forget the ladies who generously supplied delicious cakes to keep us going.

“And finally thank you to the volunteer team who helped competitors clear the beach of boats prior to the medal ceremony.

“I would like to thank Condor for bringing the Swift boat trailer across, and Ports of Jersey, Jersey Water and Waitrose for their help in making the event happen.

“Thanks also to Tim Fenemore and Coastal Barbarians for supplying the medals – and to Tim for making a spectacular trophy – awarded to Jersey or the ‘Rest of the world’ for the medal tally. This year it went to Jersey.”

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