West Midlands Inaugural Explore League – Hereford

Hereford Rowing Club, sitting on the  most scenic part of the river Wye, was the host for the inaugural Explore League in the West Midlands last weekend. Showing no sign of the heights of the floods of the past, the event was bathed in glorious sunshine for the whole day. 

With a typical warm up for a race being a  recline on the deckchair  in the sun, the event showed that taking part and competing is what you make of it, although the effort to win races and gain points for the prizes at the end of the series was fierce. ( local brewers Weston Cider and Tyrell Crisps kindly donating prizes for this event).  As the series progresses, participants will find the allure of the locally sponsored prizes hard to resist! 

The league was organised and supported by British Rowing’s Explore Programme Manager Jo Atkinson , who saw the local Sea Cadet unit camp taking place at the same time, but compromise is the name of the game for any event and everyone enjoyed their own particular brand of rowing on the Wye – with bragging rights for the driest crews going to Rowing after one of the Cadets crews capsized.   

7 Crews from Bewdley, Hereford and Ross took part in the new League competition with men’s, mixed and women’s crews  each racing 4 times over a short course. The action was enjoyed by spectators and participants alike. 

Hosts Hereford’s Castaway crew accumulated 4 points, with Ross Maiden’s crew finishing in a very close second with 3points, whilst Ross n Roll, Hereford’s Sink or Swim and Ross Rockets all finishing with 2 points,  Bewdley Aces finished the day with 1 point whilst Bewdley Blazers propped up the league and so are looking for revenge when the League moves to their home water in two weeks’ time on August 1st . 

As one participant reflected  “ I caught 2 crabs in the first race, 1 in second and none in the third and we won that one, so perhaps I’ll practice now!” 

With most Regions now running an Explore Rowing League series, if you have not seen a flier or poster and want to know more, contact your local Area Participation Manager – names and contact details can be found at http://www.britishrowing.org/about-us/contact-us/staff

Quote from Tim Ball – Ross Explore Coordinator:

‘The first WM Explore Rowing Regatta held at Hereford has given Ross RC Crews a real taste of first competition and side by side racing, they all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and are looking forward to the next event in Bewdley where the aim is to top the league!’ 


About Explore Rowing

The Explore Rowing programme is our flagship project to increase participation at grassroots level. British Rowing have part funded stable boat packages in 51 clubs and watersports centres. The venues then run learn to row courses following a structured programme. This initiative has led to an increase in membership for the clubs/venues involved.

 The Explore leagues, as part of the Explore Rowing programme are starting up and growing in many regions – the format can be short distance side by side races, skills events or short head races. The emphasis is on fun (and safety) with the host club providing stable boat equipment. Teams are made up of up to six people – with any four to race, allowing for holidays or weekends away without worrying about your ‘crew’ are not able to take part. The social element to the day is very important, a BBQ or cup of tea and cake alongside rowing is a great way to enjoy your time down at the water.