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6th July 2011 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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The weekend of Saturday, 25th and Sunday, 26th June saw more success for Ross Rowing Club at Peterborough and Ironbridge. On the Saturday, Ross Rowing Club Junior Academy travelled across the country to compete at the Peterborough Junior Championships, held over a very scenic 1km, four-lane lake course at the Peterborough City Rowing Club.

The Championships were for J12 to J14 age groups only, the Ross squad of 21 athletes making up a total of 13 crews competing in ten events. All members of this young squad competed admirably on the day. The competency and technique shown by the Ross crews was definitely amongst the best on display. A fantastic eight crews reached finals with six of them winning medals.

The J13 boys double came through an extra race (a repechage) to qualify for the final but finished fourth, as did the J14 girls B-quad, but both crews did superbly well to qualify for their finals. The J14 girls A-quad won a bronze medal in a tough final, a result that was matched by the J13 girls double. The J14 single sculls resulted in a gold medal and the J14 double won silver. The girls WJ13 quad had to compete against three crews from Headington School in the final but managed to split them up by winning a brilliant Silver medal. The day finished brilliantly with a gold medal in the WJ13 singles sculls.

Mark Scott, Junior Captain said, 'The whole of this young Ross squad deserves great praise for the spirit, togetherness and technical skill they showed all day. They once again represented Ross Rowing Club superbly well.'

The Junior Squad at Peterborough.

Success continued during the weekend for the Ladies Section at Ironbridge Regatta, putting out 7 crews competing over both days. On Saturday (1000m) the WVetC 4+ of Nicky Wild, Annie Williams, Dawn Evans and Rowena Pollock, coxed by Karen Blackwood gave an excellent strong performance against two crews winning their final by one and a half lengths. The WIM3 4+ of Sharon Finch, Julie Brandram Jones, Karen Blackwood and Sheron Dean-Lucas and coxed by Ellie Blackwood had a number of hard races against university crews in their category but kept good pace and timing, and with Julie, Karen and Ellie sitting in last minute, the crew did very well to maintain a good consistent standard.

On Sunday (500m short course), with the river rising fast and debris coming down, the WIM3 8+ of Sarah Sykes, Alison Griffin, Alison Barker, Pam Ball, Elaine Powell, Julie Brandram Jones, Anne Morris and Jess Jordan put up a very commendable performance against a more experienced Liverpool Victoria crew. The bad river conditions coupled with a difficult start meant that the Ross crew started on the back foot. However, they gained ground considerably over the 500m length of the course, losing by just half a length.

Bethan Hunter and Sally Pettipher, and Kerry Meek and Rosie Brandram Jones competed in the WIM3 2x. Kerry and Rosie did well in their first heat noting they had not doubled together for some time but unfortunately lost to a stronger Stourport/Worcester composite who eventually won the final. Bethan and Sally had some excellent rows to reach the final against the same composite crew, but lost by a short margin.

The WIM3 4+ with their normal crew resumed of Sharon Finch, Alison Griffin, Anne Morris and Sheron Dean-Lucas, coxed by Kerry Meek in the first heat came up against the same university crew as the previous day, however they managed to maintain a good course losing by just 2 lengths after a very good effort and a technically better performance than their opposition.

The WVetB 4+ of Nicky Wild, Annie Williams, Dawn Evans and Holly Campbell coxed by the Junior Academy's Skye competed in a straight final against an overall younger crew from Warrington. It was a hard race with both crews determined to take the lead and keep off their opposition. Ross came off the start first with a half length lead and maintained that lead until the final bridge when they took the pace up and left the Warrington crew behind to take the race by a boat length.

The final race of the day was the MxIM3 4+ crew of Geraldine Calcraft, Richard Jennison, Dawn Evans and Richard Ceci, coxed again by Skye. Their opposition was a younger crew from Trent. The mix had a very good start but raced neck and neck down the course against Trent, vying for first place. So close was the race that neither crew knew when they crossed the line which had won until they got back onto the steps - Ross fortunately winning by just two feet. A really fine performance noting that the mix had only had two practice outings the week before. Unfortunately they were not able to compete in their final against young Northwich crew as all racing was abandoned at 6.30pm by Ironbridge due to the dangerous water conditions and the backlog in crews and times.

Ladies' Captain, Dawn Evans, said, 'This has been a really good weekend for all crews in terms of experience and competing in such appalling water conditions. We are really proud of our coxes, for making it such an achievable weekend, a weekend that the Ladies Section can be really proud of.'

Nicky Wild, Annie Williams, Dawn Evans, Rowena Pollock and Karen Blackwood

Ross Rowing Club's Junior Academy continued their success last weekend, with wins at Stratford Regatta. The WJ12 quad of Jess Saxon-Macrostie, Anna Barker, Gabby Howell and Frankie Crilly, coxed by Ollie Sturgess rowed up against a WJ13 quad from Worcester in their heat. They made a great start, pulling away from the older, bigger crew, beating them by three lengths. They met a WJ13 crew from Cardiff Vale in the final, rowing well and winning easily.

The WJ12 double of Naomi Banks-Martin and Jess Saxon-Macrostie won the WJ12 battle of the Ross crews. WJ14 single sculler Georgie Jones went one better than at Worcester, beating her Evesham opposition by a handsome margin in her final, and the younger academy members also gave a fine performance in the WJ12 sculls, eventually losing out to a strong sculler from the Upper Thames Rowing Club.

In the novice singles, J16 Charlie Green beat his Stratford opponent to victory easily. There was success for the seniors too. The ladies' novice four of Sarah Sykes, Alison Barker, Julie Brandram-Jones and Pam Ball, coxed by Sheron Dean-Lucas gave a strong performance to beat their opposition from Evesham Rowing Club, achieving the senior status that they have worked so hard for over the last 12 months. The final Ross win came when a mixed double crew of Pam and Tim Ball won their final against Stratford.

Junior Captain, Mark Scott said, 'It was a really excellent day for Ross Rowing Club. The spirit in which the Juniors and Seniors raced was a credit to themselves and to the club.'

A very successful weekend for these ladies.
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