The weekend of June 13 & 14th saw a small group of Llandaff Masters compete and return with a Gold and a Silver medal at the British Rowing Masters Championships at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham.
Rosa Baik and Mary Yee won their silver in W MasC Nov double in a thrilling race for spectators. With all 6 lanes taken up, and Llandaff in Lane 1, Rosa and Mary racing together for the first time (and Mary’s first sculling race ever) set off at R36 and settled for R32 all the way. Within the first 20 strokes, they were in second place, fighting for first place with Ardingly Rowing Club. Throughout the race, Llandaff was closing on their opposition only for them to pull away each time, but in the last 50m, Ardingly just had that extra strength to stay on top, beating Llandaff by 1 length. A great silver medal!
On Sunday, Dave Simmonds and Stewart Griffiths took gold in the MasG IM3 double. With only 2 crews in their category, it was disappointing to hear at the last minute that their opposition had scratched, leaving them to win Gold with a row over. But if ever a medal was well-deserved for dedication and effort to long winter training, it was theirs.
There was competitive rowing too from other non-medal Llandaff crews throughout the weekend despite a very wet Saturday and unsettled conditions on Sunday afternoon.
Gareth Beech entered the MasC Nov 1x, his first sculling race in a single, and rowed exceptionally well, staying with the mix, but beaten by some tough competition.
The MasF IM3 quad of Gary Brace, Dave Simmonds, Gareth Beech and Stewart Griffiths, had a fantastic race finishing in 3rd position out of four E and F crews. They were pleased with their 3’55” time, considering Gary who stroked the boat, was in his first competition since his hip operation 8 months before.
Building on their previous success at the recent Monmouth regatta, Dawn Brace and Sue Hoddell rowed in a Llandaff/Swansea composite MasD IM3 quad, but this time unfortunately with no win. Sue and Mary also rowed a Women’s Mas D IM3 double but were disappointed with no win.
Our Llandaff members also contributed to other clubs’ competition, with Dawn racing for City of Swansea in their Mixed 8+ and a Women’s Mas D quad, and Mary coxing Ardingly’s MasF 4+, missing out on a bronze medal in the finals by just 2 feet.
The group’s success comes from a committed autumn and winter training programme of two ergo sessions, circuits and double water sessions per week. In May, a small group went on a rowing camp to Ardingly Lake, where they had an intensive weekend training session, coached by Llandaff Vice-President and Trustee Steven Denley-Hill.
The small group of Masters, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the British Rowing Masters Championships 2015 and looking forward to building on their achievements next year.