Northern rowers defy wind at Agecroft Small Boats Head
On a bright Autumn day in the heart of Salford Quays, 185 boats, spread over 3 divisions, took part in the Agecroft Small Boats Head. The course of approx. 3,050m on the River Irwell took rowers past views of Old Trafford (Manchester United Football Club), the Imperial War Museum North, and brought them to a finish line facing Salford’s Media City.
Division One was devoted to 75 single scullers who completed the course in very windy conditions with the first 2000m struggling against a strong head wind and the final 1000m being helped along by a following wind after a very welcome sweeping bend. Tim Booth of Hollingworth Lake RC who came second in the race said, “It was tough…you just had to dig deep and get through that head wind, but when you came round the bend it was a welcome break and helped drive on to the finish.” The division was won by Lawton (J17) of Northwich RC with an impressive 12 second margin. Northwich had an excellent day with 10 category winners throughout the 3 divisions.
By the time the Division Two race was under way the wind had dropped slightly. The fastest time of the day was set in this division by an IM3 eight from the home club with a time of 10 minutes 32 seconds. With a mix of eights, quads, fours and doubles it was an impressive flotilla that headed towards the footbridge that served as a finish line. The spoils were shared amongst 8 different clubs with Northwich and Agecroft taking three wins each. The fastest quad of the day was the Northwich J18 coxless quad who stormed to the finish in 10:41.
The mix of boats competing in the afternoon’s Division Three included 5 pairs with both pairs races being won by King’s School Chester. Trentham BC won 3 races including the J14 and J15 doubles, as well as the WJ16 coxless quad. Schools were well represented with Merchant Taylor, Bradford Grammar, Kings School Chester and Grange School all having strong teams competing.
It was a well organised day, co-ordinated by a few of the seasoned Agecroft members and assisted by many first time helpers at the club. The three divisions ran smoothly and there was a great sense of enjoyment amongst competitors and spectators alike.
Results can be found on the www.agecrofthead2014.org web-site.
By Andrew Lowe
Photos by Andrew Archbold