Borth Rowing Celtic Challenge 2010

We entered for the 2010 Celtic Challenge (on Friday/Saturday April 30th/May 1st 2010).
Borth set off at 2pm on Friday 30th April with the Mixed and Ladies teams, but unfortunately had an issue with the Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), which is used to transfer crews from the support boats to the Rowing boat. The RIB’s outboard engine failed to start when we tried to initiate our first transfer. Whilst the first crew continued to row efforts were made to fix the boat, and we also came up with a stop-gap method for transferring using the boat tethered to the Support Boats. We eventually made a crew change after a valiant two hour effort from the first crew. The next crew rowed for one and a half hours, whilst a mechanic came to look at the outboard.
After three and a half hours the Mechanic told us that there was nothing he could do whilst at sea. Reluctantly, we made a decision that in the increasing swell and with an overnight row ahead we couldn’t continue to transfer safely without a fully functioning RIB.
Our attempt was therefore called off and the second crew was taken with some difficulty onto the support boats.
We continued on to Aberystwyth in the support boats towing the RIB and our Celtic Longboat.
We were disappointed that we could not continue but hope that you will continue to support our efforts to raise money for Mind.
JustGiving - Sponsor me!

Event Report – Bala 29th November 2009

Borth decided to organise a day out at Bala Lake. The weather was threatening all week, and although a cold North-West wind blew, it wasn’t very strong. We all wrapped up warm, and most of us took our own lunch (which proved to be a good idea).

There were nine of us available for the trip. So we only took one boat, as we weren’t sure how busy the lake would be. As it turned out we shared the lake with only half a dozen canoeist who were practising by the town beach. The rest of the lake was ours :D.

We arrived about 10:40am and sent out Sarah, Jenny, Isaac, Dan and Gav. They had a good long row, taking turns to cox, and looked good from where I was watching on the bank. Upon their return the Dave, Martyn, Rob and Tim went out with Sarah Coxing. We rowed up the Lake and had a good hard pull on the way back, with Sarah encouraging us all the way. There was no rush, and the first crew having eaten and drank, went out for another row. When they returned the lads went back out. We set off for home at about 2:30pm and stopped for a coffee at the Little Chef.

It was a really good day out, and our reconnaissance trip has given us ideas for the next time. We intend to make a full day of it and bring both boats so that we can have some races on the water.

Crew: Sarah R, Dave R, Martyn, Jenny, Isaac, Gav, Dan, Tim and Rob.

Race Report – Aberystwyth 27th September 2009

Again Borth fielded 2 and 1/4 crews for this event; a Ladies crew, a Mixed crew and one of our ‘boys’ joined the Aberdyfi SuperVeterans for the Seniors race. The weather was very settled, no wind and the sea was extremely flat, leading to good competitive racing with some close finishes.

The Ladies crew had worked extremely hard all the way around the course, and finished 6th out of 9 in the Senior Ladies event (I think they were 8 of 12 for the whole event). The boats that finished 3rd(Llangwm), 4th(Pembrokeshire), 5th(Mochras) and 6th(Borth) finished within yards of each other after a fantastic race. With Porthmadog Vets having pushed us all the way and finishing close behind. Everyone was delighted with how close the race was. It was really nice to be in amongst the action.

The mixed crew also fared very well, they came 9th out of 12, and again were within touching distance of a couple of boats in front of them. They were actually overlapping Aberystwyth Vets as they crossed the finish line. Adam and Rob are both in their first season and found it a really good experience to be in the middle of the pack and competing all the way around the course.

Dave R joined the Aberdyfi SuperVets for the Seniors event and they came 2nd out of 3 SuperVets, losing the event to Porthmadog by 1 boat length after 4 gruelling miles battling almost side by side. A disappointing result, but great racing.

Overall it was a great event put on by Aberystwyth Rowing Club, a great day out and a great set of results for Borth.

Having demonstrated this level of competitiveness gives us a lot of motivation to improve for next season.

Ladies Crew: Sarah T(Bow), Gabrielle, Rachel, Sarah R(Stroke), Dave R(Cox).

Mixed Crew: Sarah T(Bow), Adam, Rob, Sue(stroke), Sarah R(Cox).

Aberdyfi Mens SuperVets: Dave R.

Race Report – Aberdyfi 13th September 2009

Borth fielded 2 and 1/4 crews for this event; a Mens crew, a Mixed crew and one Lady joined the Aberdyfi Ladies Veterans for the Ladies race. The event was very well run by Aberdyfi RC, and the weather was very kind with blue skies and not a cloud in sight all day.

The mens crew had Adam rowing in his first regatta, so congratulations to him. Adam found out how hard the mens races are. The course was the full 4 nautical miles to the outer buoy and back. We unfortunately came 14th out of 14, but it was a game effort by everyone.

The mixed crew fared better, they came 12th out of 13, but were within touching distance of a couple of boats in front of them. The whole mixed event was a much closer race. It was also Gwenan’s first regatta (although she has previously competed in the GRR).

And the winner is; Sarah R. Sarah R joined the Aberdyfi Ladies Vets for the event and they came 5th overall (out of 9) but won the Veterans event (out of 3 Vets crews). So Sarah won a Trophy, admittedly for Aberdyfi, but it reflects well on how we are progressing at Borth.

Mens Crew: Adam(Bow), Rob, Martyn, Dave R(Stroke), Sarah R(Cox).

Mixed Crew: Sarah T(Bow), Gwenan, Dave R, Martyn(stroke), Sarah R(Cox).

Aberdyfi Ladies Vets: Sarah R.

Race Report – Mochras 5th July 2009

We set off from Borth with the first Mens crew that we have been able to put out in years. This was Mochras’ first event, based at Shell Island, and it was well run. The Weather was a bit mixed, we had some sunshine with showers, the sea was a bit lumpy with a fresh wind from the south which affected the second (longest) leg of the race.

The crew performed reasonably well, with this being Rob’s first regatta (well done on that) and Dave T’s second. We had a very slick launch through the break, but then were hit by a big wave which swamped us. After bailing out we were late getting ready for the start and thus set off slightly behind. The field was very experienced and we were not quite up to speed, coming last. We managed to catch a good wave and surf in to the beach with some style! I think it was a great experience and we will all be better for it next time.

Sarah was asked by Mike from Ynys-Mon whether she would help them make up a Mixed four so that his Mum, Jackie could compete. It was Jackie’s first regatta, so Sarah sat in with the Ynys-Mon four. Unfortunately they came last as well, but they had a good row.

Mens Crew: Dave T(Bow), Rob, Martyn, Dave R(stroke), Sarah R(Cox).

Race Report – Aberaeron 14th June 2009

It was a lovely sunny day down at Aberaeron, and we enjoyed some great racing.

Borth Ladies came 8th of 13 in their event. A really good improvement from last week. They went out hard and maintained their form throughout the race. A great performance. Everyone rowed really well and it was gratifying to see them put in such a good performance.

The mixed boat set off after a good start but got into a clash and lost their rhythm a little bit, which resulted in them getting into another clash (we apologise to Pembroke and Porthmadog for slowing them, but after a short while everyone got into their stride, hope it didn’t spoil your day Pembroke/Porthmadog). We managed to get ourselves into a creditable 10th out of 14 position.

As our racing experience improves we hope to a) avoid clashes and b) improve our results. Thanks to everyone for making this a great day out.

Ladies Crew: Rachel(Bow), Gabrielle, Sarah T, Teresa(Stroke), Dave R(Cox)

Mixed Crew: Clare(Bow), Martyn, Dave R, Sarah R(stroke), Sarah T(Cox).

Race Report – Aberdyfi 7th June 2009

The Aberdyfi results have been posted on the WSRA website.

Although the Ladies came 12th of 12 I can’t believe that the ladies were only 2 seconds behind the next boat. If only we’d known I’m sure we could have squeezed a bit more out. That is the trouble with timed races rather than a massed start. Ah well, at least it shows we were not far behind. As for the mixed result then I think we should all be really pleased with that – especially Dave Tompkins and Clare Thompson as this is their first race and they have only been rowing a couple of months.

Ladies Crew: Kathy(Bow), Sarah T, Teresa, Sue(Stroke), Sarah R(Cox)

Mixed Crew: Clare(Bow), Dave T, Dave R, Sarah R(stroke), Sarah T(Cox).

Event Report – Aberaeron to Borth Row May 2nd-3rd 2009

Aberaeron Rowing Club arranged a row to Borth on Saturday 2nd May. They had two Celtic Longboats and a support boat, allowing them to change some of the crew en route. Borth set off from the RNLI Station in Borth to meet them at Aberystwyth. We took a crew of six (Martyn, Dave R, Rob, Rachel, Sarah R and Sarah T). The waves were about 2 ft and we all got a bit wet whilst launching. It was on the edge of what we would consider safe to launch, which made it all the more fun!!

On our row to Aberystwyth we were supported by Sarah T’s Mum and Dad in a Yacht, which stayed with us until we got to Aberystwyth Harbour.

Outside the harbour we all met up (Aberaeron and Borth) and rowed together back to Borth. The waves had lessened a bit and we had a relatively easy ride into the beach. The two Aberaeron boats took a passenger each from their support boat (which couldn’t land) and came in fairly easily. Then one of the boats went back for the other 3 people who were to come off the support boat. In order to do this they rowed out with just two rowers, and picked the others up. They came back in and didn’t get enough speed to ride the waves, causing them to turn sideways and slide in on the top of the wave (everyone getting wet and Chris hurting his leg whilst breaking an oar, fortunately the oar gave way first).

After all the fun and games we went to Kathy’s camp site (Ty-Gwyn in Ynyslas) for a meal and a social, and the Aberaeron team camped overnight.

On the Sunday the weather forecasts were sufficiently bad to abandon thoughts of going further along the coast (mainly due to the winds). It was decided that we would row up the Dyfi Estuary and guide the Aberaeron teams around our local waters.

We set off from the Ynyslas Boatyard, by kind permission of Lloyd. All three boats set off across the estuary to Aberdyfi where we all beached and went for a cup of tea. After that we rowed up to the end of the estuary and back with only a few stops as crews ran aground on the sandbanks. I won’t spill the beans on which members of Borth were responsible for failing to guide our colleagues with any degree of accuracy. The Borth “guides” were Sarah R, Teresa, Dave R and Sue, in one grounding all 5 of the crew had to get out to re-float the boat (I will tell you who was guiding at the next club meeting – unless she admits it first).

The sun shone for the whole weekend and we all had a great time. It was great to see the three boats landing on the beach at Borth on Saturday and on the estuary on Sunday, and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the Aberaeron crews.

Race Report – Return of the Cleddau April 4th 2009

Borth fielded a mixed crew for the 2009 Return of the Cleddau. Martyn took part in the race the last time Borth entered, but he was injured at the time (see previous report), and it was the first race of this length for Sarah R, Dave R, Kathy and Rachel. It was difficult to pace oneself, and also difficult for the coxes to work out the best line to take on an unfamiliar river.

Having said that Borth fared well on the day. We came 31st out of 32 starters, and last in out event, but we were close behind others in our category (and with a bit more experience we will be better placed next time). The results have been published on the the Welsh Sea Rowing Association site.

It was a thoroughly good day, the weather was great and our time of 01:56:28 was creditable.

There are some photos of the event published by Pembrokeshire Photography Events at Pembrokeshire Photography Events – Cleddau Longboat Race 04.04.09. These are also published on Facebook which I have linked from our Facebook Group Clwb Rhwyfo BORTH Rowing Club.

Race Report – Aberdyfi Regatta July 20th 2008

We fielded a ladies crew for Aberdyfi and with a start time of 10am we decided we would row over to Aberdyfi rather than trailering the boat around (apart from Gabrielle – she was the sensible one!) So we set off with Simon Tudor coxing and Dave Reynolds rowing with the girls (Sarah, Sarah and Sue). We had left it a bit late and had to put quite a bit of effort in to get there at 10.01 only to find out that there was plenty of time before the coxes briefing.

We discussed tactics before the race started and decided we would have some!! We would go out hard and try to stay with all the other crews as long as we could. We agreed it was better to blow up and stop than to get to the end and have fuel left in the tank. So with this in mind we set off to the line. Sarah T was cold in her vest on the start but she needn’t have worried about that!!

All the crews went out hard knowing that the men’s race had been shortened due to the roughening conditions. We were well up in the field at the first buoy and took a good line to the second. We arrived at the second buoy with two boats outside us overlapping. The outside boat attempted to cut in to the buoy. The second boat shouted “water” and moved into the buoy. Dave kept his cool – well, sort of, and shouted “WATER”‘ and drove through on the inside. We did have right of way… honest. We left the rest of the field in carnage at the buoy and started the second lap – much to Gabrielle’s dismay as she had given her all not realizing there was a second lap!!

The girls dug in and found deeper reserves than they knew they had. Luckily the second lap was only a short one out to a buoy and back, and we managed to keep it together until the line to finish eighth out of sixteen.

A great race. Good coxing, great effort and determination from the crew resulting in a good finishing position. Sarah T said it was the hardest she had ever worked!!

And then all we had to do was row home against the tide – fantastic coxing from Simon Tudor made it possible.

Well done to everyone concerned.

Ladies crew: Sarah R(stroke), Sarah T, Sue, Gabrielle and Dave R(cox)

Race Report – Aberaeron Regatta June 8th 2008

A beautiful sunny day and Borth fielded just one crew – mixed. So we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, watch the men’s race and enjoy the sunshine (and 5 bacon butties!) before we had to start getting the boat off the trailer.

We were first to the start line and waited for the rest of the crews to arrive… and waited… and waited. Eventually the flag dropped, gun sounded and we were off. On the first leg we were ahead of one boat and overlapping the Aberaeron mixed vets. We didn’t manage to hold our position to the buoy and rounded it in a rather familiar last place. On the second leg we settled into a good rhythm and started to make up ground on the Aberaeron boat. Rounding the last buoy with a good distance still to row we upped the rate and pressure and pursued Aberaeron. We were closing on them throughout the last leg and they only just managed to hold us off. Their comment after the race was that “if there had been another 100 metres you would have had us” – always supposing our crew could have rowed another 100 metres!

This was a very courageous and determined row, particularly the last leg. All we need to do now is go like that from the start!

Mixed crew: Dave R(stroke), Martyn, Kathy, Rachel and Sarah R(cox).

Race Report – Aberystwyth Regatta May 25th 2008

Borth fielded 2 crews for this regatta and we arrived in Aberystwyth to grey skies and a North Easterly wind. Because of the weather the course was set up to run South from the harbour which unfortunately made it less spectator friendly.

The ladies got off to a great start only to be called back due to another boat jumping the start! Our second start was not quite so good as the cox (me) was taken by surprise when the flag was dropped despite one boat being about 2 lengths over the line. Despite this the ladies started well and were racing crews from Aberaeron and Aberystwyth all the way to the first buoy. My lack of coxing experience showed again at the buoy as I allowed the two boats to take the inside line and get away from us. Despite this the ladies dug deep and rowed well on the second leg and finished strongly to bring up the rear of the field with a very respectable performance.

The weather had worsened by the time the mixed crew boated and the start was difficult as the whole line was being pushed southward. We started down on the rest of the field and fought to keep up with them to the first buoy. We rounded the buoy in last position and despite rowing as hard as we could for the whole of the second leg against wind and waves we were unable to make good headway and fell back from the rest of the field and finished in last position. However, being last into the bar had the unexpected bonus of being the first let into the rather tasty buffet!!

Ladies crew: Jen(stroke), Teresa, Gabrielle, Sarah T and Sarah R(cox)

Mixed crew: Sarah R(stroke), Dave R, Martyn, Sue P and Teresa(cox)

Race Report – Barmouth Regatta August 5th 2007

Borth put out a mixed crew for Barmouth regatta. The weather was sunny and calm and the crew enjoyed ice creams on the front at Barmouth whilst waiting for the race. As the juniors rowed at the same time as the ladies race we had to hurry to boat in time as our race was brought forward. A nice gentle row out to the start helped to settle the nerves but then as usual the adrenalin kicked in on the start line. We got off to a good start and were mid-field as we got into our stride along the first leg heading north parallel to the beach. We were still well amongst the field at the first buoy and turned so tightly we managed to clip another boat (oops!). That shook our rhythm but once we got back in time and moving there were still several boats behind us. We rowed well back along the second leg and were still in contention (not last) when we rounded the final buoy. From then on things did not go so well. We managed to find the stream of the ebbing tide which was creating a standing wave and however much we piled the pressure on we just could not break free of it. We could only watch the other boats catch up and pass us as they took different lines into the harbour. Somehow we did eventually manage to punch through against the tide and made it home in last place totally drained, but still pleased and proud of how we had rowed particularly up to the last buoy. A good effort and an enjoyable day out – topped off by a great buffet.

Mixed crew: Sarah T(stroke), Dave R, Sarah R, Dave McK and Sian(cox)

Race Report – Aberdyfi Regatta July 22nd 2007

Borth fielded 2 crews for the Aberdyfi regatta in somewhat mixed conditions. The ladies race started on a flooding tide with a south westerly light wind making outward rowing tough but easier on the way back in, using the waves to our advantage with a bit of surfing. Once the water flattened back in the estuary the ladies lengthened their stroke and glided past Barmouth’s crew though everybody had to work at full throttle to get there. With a 3 mile course they all did really well.

The weather changed in time for the mixed crew race with the wind picking up and a downpour of rain. The course was altered half way through the race due to worsening conditions leaving us slightly disadvantaged as we were in a great position for the original course. However, we managed a top notch turn around the marker buoy gaining advantage over the Barmouth boat just ahead of us. The mixed crew also managed to pass Barmouth once the water flattened and the stroke lengthened. We did really well in both races, turning well and really stretching out on the flatter water, and keeping in there over the choppy lumpy stuff on the way out.

Well done everybody. Looking forward to the next race – Barmouth 5th August.

Ladies crew: Sian(stroke), Teresa, Gabriel, Rachel and Sarah R(cox)

Mixed crew: Sarah T(stroke), Dave R, Sarah R, Dave McK and Sian(cox)

League Racing

Great River RaceIn 2007 and 2008 we entered a mixed team and a womens team rowing in the league. There is a northern and southern rowing league in Wales and we attended several of the races from the Northern league, plus some “friendlies”. League races are generally on Sunday and with travel time take up the whole day, although the actual race lasts about 40 minutes to an hour. Friendly and non-league races are generally longer and more about endurance.

Return of the Cleddau 2005

Fantastic first race of the season on Saturday April 2. 12 miles downstream (with tide but against a strong SE wind) on Saturday 2 April down the Cleddau to Neyland. Only 25th (out of 25!!) for the Mixed Team, but weren’t far behind the others and we did finish alive (just!) Geraint and Lynda were brilliant, and kept smiling despite the shock of a 2.5 hour row at full tilt for their first racing experience, Cathy did the complete motivational work-out on us all the way there, and Martyn (or is it Martyr?) didn’t tell us until the end that he had an injured shoulder. We certainly had the right spirit, even if we’ve work to do on our skills. Good to know that the only way is up. (Teresa Walters, Women’s Captain).

Celtic Challenge 2002

Borth completed the course in 2002. The race was cancelled in 2004. It’s a 96 mile row from Arklow, Ireland across the Irish sea to Aberystwyth, run bi-annually in the Spring. We need 12 fit rowers (or even couch potatoes keen to transform into fit rowers!) for the team.