YOUNG rowers from the district made their annual visit to Boston in Lincolnshire.

But this was no tea party for members of Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School Rowing Club. For they set two new records and were successful in four different categories.

QEHS had three competitors in the single scull - Ben Wilkinson (J18), Ryan Walton (J16) and Lewis Blair (J16). Ben was successful in winning the J18 event category in a time of 4h 27m, knocking 25 mins off his previous best. For Lewis and Ryan it was their first real test in a single and both beat personal targets of under five hours.

Lewis won the event category in 4h 50m, while Ryan was second in 4h 58m.

The J19 coxless quad of Harry Andersen, Tom Archer, Dan Jones and Tom Mawson set a new J19 record. However, they feared their hopes had been dashed after a slight mistake on 13k at Bardney Lock caused Harry to break a blade.

Undaunted, the other three rowed on for 12k until QE support vehicles could get a replacement set of blades to Harry at Kirkstead Bridge. Once back to full strength they made a concerted effort to make up for lost time, setting a record of 3hours 57min. They were also presented with the School’s Cup for the fastest school crew. In doing so, they retained the cup won last year by QEHS pair Tom Archer and Tom Smith.

After setting a time of 4hours 28min, the crew of Christian Ryan, Robert Collen, Will Dyer, Ben Archer, Ben Ryrie, Joseph Taylor, Ivor Evans, Daniel Curtis, Nathan Muse, Adam Sayburn and Ned Gibbard, were proud recipients of the Cross Pens award.

The final crew to win their category was the WJ15 crew. QEHS have an abundance of girl rowers and had three crews entered in this category. The crew of Violet Barrass, Fleur Forster, Zara Holtham, Freya McDermott and Ellen Siddle, were the top ranked QEHS crew and won the event in a time of 5h 36m

Hexham Rowing Club’s Hayley Hannant filled a spare seat in the WJ16 coxless quad vacated by QEHS rower who had to withdraw on medical grounds.

The Queen Elizabeth Rowing Club’s Pauline Higgins said: “Thanks must go all to all the parent support workers who made this event possible, and to Hexham RC for allowing Hayley to fill the spare seat.

“This event was a major fund-raiser for QEHS as every rower is sponsored, and sponsorship this year will go towards a much needed new boat. QEHS Rowing would welcome interest from any local company keen to promote a healthy lifestyle in young people.”

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