The Southwest Coastal Rowing League lived up to its name on Saturday 6th October as a coastal experience for the rowers in the ‘Pier-to-Pier’ regatta in Torquay. The most challenging conditions of the season to date awaited the crews from Exmouth Rowing Club (ERC), Plymouth’s Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club (MORC), Teignmouth’s Teign Scullers (TS) and Torquay Rowing Club (TQ). A simple course from Torquay Marina to buoys located off Paignton Pier and back looked relatively calm from the shore, however on the water with the wind blowing at Force 6 gusting to Force 7, and waves towering to 4 metres when in the trough… the rowers and coxes were in for a battle with the elements as well as against each other.

In typical fashion, the Ladies 8km started the day with seven quad entries. MORC (A) began strong and lead the way for the majority of the race closely followed by TS(A). The spectators on the harbour wall were treated to a spectacular finish; TS(A) managed to take advantage of a good run in the conditions to pass the lead boat in the last 1000 metres to claim victory in a time of 41 minutes 46 seconds closely followed four seconds later by MORC(A). TS(B) followed in third with ERC(A) in fourth.

The second race of the day saw the Men’s 8km take to the water with seven quad entries and one double scull entry. TS(A) and MORC(A) dominating the race from the start, a close battle ensued throughout the race, the smallest of errors could prove costly in the challenging conditions. TS(A) finishing with a time of 38 minutes 53 secs, MORC(A) claimed second 20 seconds later with ERC(A) third in a time of 40 minutes 24 secs. The TQ double scull entry completed the course in 47 minutes 56 seconds.

Race three was the five entry Masters (50+) 6km race, the conditions were at their worst but that didn’t stop the dramatic racing. ERC(A) and TS(A) fighting less than a metre next to each other in the challenging waves, demonstrating the coxes confidence in the boat handling whilst the rowers steamed on. Fighting till the very end in front of the spectators, an exhausted TS(A) crossed the line in 35 minutes 44 seconds with ERC(A) seven seconds later. MORC(B) claimed third 5 minutes later just ahead of the MORC(A) boat.

The fourth and final race of the day was the 6km Mixed with six entries. MORC(A), TS(A) and ERC(A) all starting strong, halfway through the race with the waves coming from the side, whilst chasing the stern of the leading MORC(A) boat, the seat of the rower in bow of the TS(A) came off – the rower having to ship oars to re-affix the seat saw MORC(A) pull ahead further with ERC(A) closing down on the TS(A) boat; once the seat was fixed into place, TS(A) fired-back in a fantastic effort to claim first in a time of 32 minutes 40 second just three seconds ahead of the MORC(A) boat, ERC(A) followed for third.

Teign Scullers the overall victors of the day. The teams head to Exmouth  for the ‘Exe Raid’ regatta on Saturday 20th October 2018.