Novices to the fore at Berwick Trades Fours

Berwick Amateur Rowing Club hosted the Trades Fours at their boathouse on Saturday, with seven men’s, six women’s and three mixed crews battling it out on the River Tweed.

The annual event brings together novice rowers – with a maximum of one club member per boat and fancy dress encouraged – and usually proves to be an enjoyable and successful day, with Saturday’s staging no different. 

With four weeks of training down at the club prior to event, this year’s water sessions took place in largely favourable weather conditions. So it was typical that, when it came to race day, the wind proved to be a problem with gusts of up to 30mph throughout the afternoon.

Despite that, the first race of the day got underway between Rolliecoasties and The Scallies in the men’s draw, with Rolliecoasties taking the win to put them through to the semi-finals. They were joined by Average Joe’s and Act Your Shoe Size, who beat the Barley Shop Boys and Goldilocks & the Three Bears respectively. The T-Birds received a bye.

In the women’s draw, the Jus-Rol Land Girls and the Floating Fairies were eliminated in the opening stages. In the semi-finals, Mrs Gray’s Girls beat Do It Like It’s Hoffs and Pink Ladies secured the win against Crab Catchers, who won the coveted consolation prize of best fancy dress. 

With just three entries in the mixed category, Simpson’s Malt Mixed missed out on the chance of a final place and Greased Oars took the honours over Kelso Krazy Katz.

Usually crews which go out in the early stages are put into a secondary competition, but with a filling tide and a strengthening wind making water conditions hazardous, a priority was made to run just the winners’ section. In the men’s semis, T-Birds beat Rolliecoasties convincingly and Average Joe’s overcame Act Your Shoe Size in a tight encounter.

Average Joe’s remained in the boat and went straight back up to the starting line for the final, but T-Birds were too strong and claimed the victory. In the women’s final, Mrs Gray’s Girls rowed to a comfortable win over Pink Ladies.

Berwick ARC would like to thank all the local businesses for their continued support of the event and to the local community who made the day a successful one.

Photos from the event are available now on the Northern Rowing Facebook Page. For more information about Berwick ARC and the event, visit

By Martin Inglis