It was fast and furious racing as York City Rowing Club members joined forces with their North East colleagues to take on the rest of the country at the inaugural British Rowing Power 8 Sprints tournament on Bristol Harbour on the 22nd July.
The Power 8 Sprints, an exciting new knockout-format where eights go head to head over 350m in races lasting only a minute, pitted crews from eight cities against each other – London, Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham and Newcastle – as the showpiece for the Bristol Harbour Festival.
Four YCRC rowers were selected for Team Newcastle, alongside a host of other rowers from Tees Rowing Club, Yarm School, Durham University and others. Club Captain Dan Lewis sat at stroke in the Newcastle Men’s eight with Women’s Captain Sophy Nicholson, Louise Hawkyard, and Helen Waller in the stern of the women’s boat.
Racing got underway in glorious sunshine, against the backdrop of the historic harbour and ongoing festivities, with only a slight wind and launch washes troubling the crews. A victory was not, however, on the cards for Team Newcastle. The men’s crew came up against a formidable crew from Cambridge in the heats, who proved too strong for them, and the women fought hard against home favourites Team Bristol, but were also sent packing after 350m.
Despite the outcome, it was a fantastic experience for all involved. Helen said: “It was really great to be able to compete at such a high-profile competition, especially in its first year. Getting to row with women from other clubs in the area was brilliant too, and shows how club rowing in the North East is going from strength to strength.”
Thanks to all who supported the squad in this new event, especially Coach and Team Manager Extraordinaire Kate O’Sullivan. See you next year!