HEXHAM rowers went up against hundreds of crews from across the UK at the Durham City Regatta, and got themselves among the medals.

Both senior and junior members of Hexham Rowing Club revelled in the sunny conditions, with occasional showers of rain, for two days of sprint racing on the River Wear.

First up over the 700m course on Saturday were Kevin Oates and Catherine Bowman, who got through their first heat and into the final of the of the Open 2x, but were beaten by a crew from Berwick.

Undeterred, Oates then stepped into a Tyne/Hexham composite eight, which won the Masters D 8+ category, defeating Durham F in their heat, and Durham D in the final.

Oates was again in action in the open masters D coxless quad in a Hexham crew with Graeme Wilson, Steve Ludman and Clive Routledge. They beat Durham in their heat and a crew from Doncaster in their final.

Bowman joined Hilary Cairns from Berwick to win the W2x class in a straight final against a crew from the hosts Durham.

The Open 4x- class saw Stuart Heslop, Sam Earnshaw, Andrew Bainbridge, and Chris Burn win their heat against Doncaster, but they were disqualified after clashing blades with their opposition and were judged to be at fault.

Hexham were back to winning ways moments later, however, in the Open Masters E-G 4x- category, with their G crew of Jonno Ewen, John Young, Graham Marples and Rob Patterson, who beat a crew from Chester-le-Street and then stayed on the water to overcome Talkin Tarn in the final.

The Mixed 4x- crew of Oates, Bowman, Graeme Wilson, and Anna Johnson, won their final against Talkin Tarn.

Hexham’s juniors were also out in force and turned in creditable performances over both days, with many of their youngest rowers gaining hugely valuable competition experience.

A highlight of the weekend was the straight final win in the WJ13 4x+ class by Martha Wells-Johnson, Laura Goldsmith, Katie Littler and Rose Nicholson, coxed by James Turnbull.

Turnbull also won in the J15 doubles, teaming up with clubmate Archie Stewart to take their two heats by three lengths each time before winning the final by a length.

Gabe Wells-Johnson had three heat wins in the J15 singles, but lost the final by a length. Hayley Hannant and Ciara Duncan had heat wins in the WJ15 doubles, but were pipped by half-a-length in the final.

Even closer were Ciara, Ellie Watt, Hayley and Eliza Nicholson, coxed by Tom Shovlin, in the WJ15 4x+. They powered through two good heat wins only to lose out in the final by just a bow-ball.

Their J15 counterparts, Gabe Wells-Johnson, Aidan Wright, James Turnbull and Archie Stewart, again coxed by Shovlin, lost their final by a quarter-of-a-length after impressing in the heats.

Despite the disappointments, it was a good weekend for the junior squad, and provided a great boost in confidence for the less experienced rowers who took part in the event.