SUCCESS came in twos for Hexham Rowing Club’s junior and senior rowers at the annual Yorkshire Head on Saturday.

The senior section were out in force at the 5k time trial down the River Ouse into the centre of York.

The event attracted 200 crews from all over the country and the weather stayed kind for competitors, supporters, and the hundreds of tourists enjoying the spectacle.

Ladies’ captain Catherine Bowman was the first to taste victory, posting a time of 24.48.3 in her single in the morning’s first division. This put her a full minute ahead of rival scullers from Marlow and Bradford in the women’s masters C 1x class.

Not content with one medal, she competed in the afternoon’s second division, stepping into a quad with Hexham colleague Anna Johnson, Talkin Tarn’s Jo Lewis and Hilary Cairns from Berwick Rowing Club.

There followed an all-out battle with a crew from Doncaster Rowing Association in the W4- class. Doncaster pressed them every bit of the way, but the composite crew managed to pull away in freshening conditions towards the end of the course to win by just 10 seconds.

Other medals went to Hexham’s mixed masters G coxed quad of John and Jill Young, and Gill and Rob Patterson. They were pushed all along the course by their expert cox Elizabeth Waterman and beat a rival C crew from the home Guy Fawkes Rowing Club by 20 seconds in raw time, which stretched to two minutes when adjusted for age.

Hexham’s juniors also achieved double success at the Junior Inter-Regional trials at the Cambois club on Saturday.

This event dictates which junior crews represent the North-East in the regional championships, which will take place at Peterborough in April.

The trials were rowed in a heads race (time trial) format over a 1k course and five divisions. The event had been postponed in February because of high winds, and last weekend’s Storm Freya threatened to do the same again, but the winds relented and racing went ahead.

Hexham’s WJ15x+ crew of Hayley Hannant, Ciara Duncan, Lucy Thorpe and Ellie Watts, coxed by Tom Shovlin, beat their closest rivals from Durham ARC by just a second. Hayley and Lucy then competed in the WJ15 doubles and recorded an impressive 4.17.1, four seconds ahead of second place St Leonards from Durham.

Sadly for the girls, they became a victim of their own success, as crews were allowed to compete in just one event, which meant

Hayley and Lucy were not allowed to double up. The comparatively small Hexham squad showed a lot of promise for the coming regatta season, which starts in April.