MORE than 30 local rowers turned out for a regional event in Newcastle at the weekend.

Representing Hexham Rowing Club, they competed in the Tyne United New Year’s Head at Newburn on Saturday.

The eight local crews clocked up some impressive times over the 4.5k course, especially in the morning session, when they were aided by a fast incoming tide.

Hexham’s Kevin Oates raced in a composite masters CDEG eight, with members of host club Tyne United Rowing Club, which recorded the fastest time in the afternoon division.

Hexham’s masters 4x-F crew of Bruce Howorth, John Young, Graham Marples, and Rob Aubrook, completed the course in a respectable time of 17m 3.9s. The time was was adjusted to 15m 34.9s.

However, they were beaten by strong opposition in a very wide CDEFG category, with the first-placed crew including former World Masters medallists from Durham ARC. However, Hexham had the consolation of finishing ahead of the host club.

Doubles crew David Brown and Neil Wilkinson took third place in their open 2x (B2) class behind two crews from Lakeland.

Hexham’s WJ15 4x+ girls crew of Hayley Hannant, Ciara Duncan, Lucy Thorpe, and Toni-Louise Brown, coxed by Lili-Mai Harrison, had no opposition in their category, but used the event for training for next month’s junior inter-regional trials, and recorded a time of 18m 5.9s.

Hexham’s masters E crew of Rob Patterson, Keith Hutton, Mark Styles and David Gold, coxed by Beverley Beattie, also had only the clock to beat with no competition in their class, and came in at 18m 30.5s, adjusted to 17m 14s.

Conditions for the afternoon division were less favourable, but Hexham’s open 4x- crew of Stuart Heslop, Chris Burn, Neil Watson, and Sam Earnshaw, put in a gritty performance to finish in 18m 3s, behind an impressive crew from Berwick.

The ladies’ masters C quad of Sue Burn, Jenny Ludman, Elizabeth Waterman, and Catherine Bowman, took on stiff competition.

They finished third in their category, behind Cambois and Tyne United, with an adjusted time of 19m 14.1s.

The ladies’ masters F quad, of Deb Aubrook, Karen Spurr, Jill Young, and Gill Patterson, struggled against several younger crews but recorded a gallant time of 23m 48.4s.

Hexham’s J15 boys dug in despite having no opposition in their category.

James Turnbull, Aidan Wright, Archie Stewart and Gabe Wells-Johnson, coxed by Ben Watt, came in at 18m 31.4s, again using the event as training for the inter-regional trials.