ROWERS from the district have scooped a spectacular medal haul at a national event.

Members of Hexham Rowing Club won five gold medals and a silver at the British Masters Rowing Championship Regatta, at Strathclyde Park, near Glasgow.

Crews from across England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales travelled to the regatta, on the seven-lane international course under variable weather conditions.

First up for Hexham were Catherine Bowman and Kevin Oates in the the mixed C double sculls championship.

After a disappointing start, they fought their way through the opposition to win silver.

Oates and Bowman then joined Graeme Wilson and Anna Johnson in the championship U50 mixed quads. They adjusted their start for the worsening conditions to cope with the increasing waves, and quickly established a commanding lead. They were well clear of all the trailing crews at the finish line to win Hexham’s first championship gold medal and national title of the year.

With weather conditions deteriorating further, Elizabeth Waterman and Claire Rowlson held their nerve in the headwind to win gold in the women’s A U35 double sculls.

Another outstanding performance by Waterman and Rowlson in the non-championship U35 double scull led to a second gold medal for the pair.

The mixed over-50s quad of Beverley Beattie, Andrew Corder, Ben Haywood-Smith and Fiona Stephenson, did not enjoy the best of starts, but went on to win Hexham’s second non-championship gold during a memorable regatta.

Then a composite over-50s eight, featuring Hexham’s Oates in the stroke seat, along with members of Tyne Rowing Club, based at Newburn, were gold winners.

Hexham Rowing Club’s Graham Marples said: “It was an impressive overall performance for Hexham, up against the biggest clubs in the country, and a testament to all the hard work and dedication they all put in over the winter and during this year’s regatta season.”

Also putting in good performances were the quad of Rob Aubrook, John Young, Rob Patterson and Bruce Howorth, and a women’s composite eight of featuring Waterman and Bowman. Haywood-Smith had a credible race in his over-50s non-championship single, while George Doody in the over-70s singles battled through the waves to put in a good performance.