The last Saturday of October coincided with the final regatta of the Southwest Coastal League season which descended on Plymouth. The ‘Muddy Rubble’ regatta hosted by Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club is considered by some participants as the highlight of the regatta season and long awaited after two previous weather postponements.

The Ladies and Men’s 8km course rounding various buoys and markers starts opposite Mayflower Marina, proceeding to a buoy located off Mutton Cove, then to the Muddy Rubble buoy, passing back opposite Mayflower Marina with the rowers proceeding to the bridge buoy markers located off Mount Edgecombe Park, rounding Drakes Islands to then pass Devils Point with the finish line opposite Mayflower Marina.

The participants included the hosts Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club (MORC) of Plymouth, Exmouth Rowing Club (ERC), Teignmouth’s Teign Scullers (TS), Torquay Rowing Club (TQ), as well as numerous independent rowers; special guests were the Welsh Sea Rowing Association (WSRA) who recently competed at the World Coastal Rowing championships in Canada.

The Ladies 8km with five coxed quad entries started the day. With the outgoing tide and a strong wind, the start of the race was always going to be tough. At the start, TS(A) pushed ahead taking a line closer to the seawall; MORC(A) and ERC(A) fought out side-by-side to the first buoy and second buoys. As the race progressed, the TS(A) boat managed to pull ahead to secure first place in a time of 42 minutes 10 seconds; the ERC(A) boat managed to pull ahead of the MORC(A) boat which claimed third – a respectable position with only two of the regular A crew rowers. MORC(B) finished fourth in a time of 53 mins 39 secs.

The Men’s 8km with six entries took to the water. At the sound of the klaxon, the battle commenced towards the first buoy. ERC(A) and MORC(A) both off to flying starts closely followed by TQ(A), WSRA and TS(A); rounding the first buoy, the racing though still close started to open up with TS(A) and MORC(A) battling out just a boat length ahead of WRSA and ERC(A). As the boats passed the halfway mark on the water between Mayflower Marina and Mount Edgecombe Park, the spectators could see just how close the battles between first and second; third and fourth positions were being fought. TS(A) managed to push ahead to claim first in a time of 37 mins 5 secs with Mayflower just 31 seconds later with guests WSRA putting in a valiant effort to finish just 8 seconds behind fin a third position.

The 4km masters, which omitted the rounding of Drakes Island saw twelve entries consisting of four coxed quads, two double sculls and six single scull boats. At the sound of the klaxon, the racing commenced with the quads and doubles at the front. Exmouth and Mayflower started head to head followed by doubles. After a couple of collisions and blade clashes Exmouth came first in 20min 45 seconds, followed by Teignmouth and Mayflower. The double was claimed by Teignmouth and single was claimed by Bob Cottell.

The final race of the day and season was the Mixed 4km. 7 entrants took to the water. MORC(A), TS(A), ERC(A) all off to a flying start and all the way till the last buoy turn; with the three leading boats in close proximity and with MORC(A) closing the gap on the leading TS(A). The victors TS(A) in 19 minutes 8 seconds, followed by MORC(A) in 19 mins 26 secs with ERC(A) in third in a time of 19 mins 33 secs.

Teign Scullers again displayed an impressive performance being claimed the overall victors of the day and of the South West Coastal League 2018. Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club will be present at the West of England Amateur Rowing Association President’s Dinner in Exmouth on Saturday 3rd November where the Southwest Coastal Rowing League awards will be presented to the overall winners in each category and 2018 champions awarded the Gill Mannings Cox Trophy for the Champs of 2018.