ROWERS from the district capped a memorable year with success at a national event.

Hexham Rowing Club members took on opposition from as far afield as Aberdeen and London at the Rutherford Head, on the River Tyne at Newburn.

Seven crews from Hexham competed, and the club’s masters F quad won their category in Division One with an outstanding performance. Bruce Howorth, Rob Patterson, John Young and Rob Aubrook’s winning time of 18m 35.1s saw them finish over 14 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals.

Other Hexham crews narrowly missed out on top spots in their respective categories. The Masters E quad of Kevin Oates, Graeme Wilson,and Steve Ludman, rowing with Paul Freeman from Cambois RC, posted a time of 16m 40.4s, but were pipped by 3.8 seconds by a crew from host club Tyne RC.

The ladies’ Team Northumberland masters composite eight of Berwick RC, Cambois RC and Hexham RC, paddled impressively in a time of 19m 21.9s, with Catherine Bowman and Elizabeth Waterman representing Hexham, but they were unable to match the speed of a drilled ladies eight from Tees.

In Division Two, the men’s Team Northumbria masters eight, of Kevin Oates, Graeme Wilson and Steve Ludman, coxed by Hexham’s Elizabeth Waterman, romped home with Hexham’s second win of the day in a time of 16m 46.7s, to win the fastest masters eight title of the day.

Hexham’s senior men’s quad of Andrew Bainbridge, Stuart Heslop, Chris Burn and Sam Earnshaw were second, just five seconds behind the winning Tees RC quad with a time of 18m 54.2s.

Hexham’s J16 coxless quad of Aidan Wright, Gabe Wells-Johnson, and Archie Stuart, with Lucy Thorpe sitting in at short notice, posted a time of 19m 48s, which was not quite fast enough to win in a very competitive junior category.

A ladies’ composite quad of Yarm, Berwick, and Catherine Bowman of Hexham, posted a time of 19m 03.8s, but as they were competing against older crews who had the benefit of age time handicaps, the quad were placed second, 7.4 seconds behind the winners.

Kevin Oates said: “To get any wins at Rutherford Head for a small club like Hexham is a huge achievement, so to come away with two wins and three close seconds is an outstanding demonstration of the dedication and input of the club’s members.”