Successful Merseyside Regatta for Liverpool Victoria

On Saturday (3rd May) Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club hosted the annual Merseyside Regatta on the West Float. The day started cold, overcast and windy with choppy waters that brought cautious warnings to competitors, but within a few hours the wind had died down and the sun was breaking through.

The sprint regatta was the first of the season for many clubs, and for the first time a number of J13 and J14 categories were divided into two divisions, A and B, racing in a round-robin format. The Regatta Secretary Maureen Kenny and Club Captain Mike McDonough both commented how the format made everything much easier to manage and the competition ran more smoothly and calmly than previously.

It was appreciated by the regatta’s visitors too, including Michal Palamarczuk from Royal Chester Rowing Club, who said, “The round-robin racing is a good idea for the youngsters – the first-time racers. It means they can have several chances and so build up experience and confidence.”

Of the 50 events, 36 were for juniors with a handful of novice, master and IM races. The overall winners of the day were hosts Liverpool Victoria who won 11 of the events. Trentham Boat Club with seven and Warrington Rowing Club with six wins were second and third respectively.

Hollingworth Lake RC had an outstanding day, with Juniors Molly and Hannah of winning three gold medals each in J13s single, double and quads.

The day saw a number of first-time competitors, particularly in the J13 category, several of whom represented Merchant Taylors’ School BC who had 14 crews competing. The Head of Rowing, Mr J Carew, commented on the “excellent organisation and the fact that not many regattas actually run ahead of time”. Promising squad member Lucy Gillbanks, a J16, rowed up two years to win the WJ18 single by one and a half lengths. 

The months of winter training was put to the test over the 500m course – for some racing nine times throughout the day in different categories, events and divisions. With gold medals for the winners and silver for runners-up, every placing was hard fought, and the round-robin format saw some crews win three out of four contests – only to take second place in the final race.

The day was a great success for Liverpool Victoria and visiting crews forming a memorable start to the regatta season ahead. 

For more results, visit www.lvrc.co.uk.

Andrew Lowe

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