Dartmouth, Bideford and Eton Dorney? - Saturday 10th September 2011
The final two WEARA Regattas saw our Ladies Senior C Four chasing a place at the South Coast Championships and the chance to row on the lake at Eton Dorney, the venue for rowing events at the 2012 Olympic Games.

First was Dartmouth where the conditions were against everyone with a strong wind blowing down the course and some rough water to contend with. Tieneka and Charlotte were the first to take to the water and continued to impress in the Ladies Novice Double Scull, beating five boats to take the trophy. The Ladies Senior C battled strong winds and a chaotic start. Having an unbelievable four false starts and being blocked in the fifth start (which led to the disqualification of a Dart Totnes crew), they got off to as good as start as possible, taking third place behind Exeter and the remaining Dart Totnes crew. Not bad with a heavy weight rower as cox! In slightly calmer conditions, the Ladies Novice Four were not quite able to keep up with Exeter but took a creditable second place by a length.

In the Mens racing, Nick and Gary rowed well to take second place in the Coxless Pair. Nick then carried on his impressive form in the Senior A Single scull taking second place only a couple of lengths down on GB hopeful Elliot Barton. The day was completed with a good row in the Senior A Mixed Fours although the Torquay crew didn't quite make it into the top three places.

On to Bideford Regatta, where qualification for the South Coast Championships was still not decided for the Ladies Senior C crew. In not perhaps their best row of the season the Ladies Senior C Four finish third behind the emerging Bideford Blues crew and Exeter. They finished joint second in the Senior C Championship which was enough for them to be invited to represent the West of England at the South Coast Championships.

Nick and Chris had a good row in the Open Coxless Pairs finishing second and might have done better if not crowded out by Bideford Blues at the start, while Nick was just pipped to second place by Dan Wilmington of Exeter in the Senior A Single Sculls.

Torquay were at Dorney Lake, near Eton, for the 2011 South Coast Championships. With the racing being competed over 2000m in coastal boats that were bow rigged, it could have proved to be a tough challenge, but one they rose to well with confidence. Sarah moving up the boat to the stroke seat was able to set and maintain a good rate all the way down. Whilst having a good start neither of the WEARA crews were able to keep up with the Hants and Dorset and Coast boats but fought neck and neck, with Exeter just managing to hold off our girls.

Everyone had a fantastic time enjoying the Olympic Venue experience. Many thanks to Lymington ARC for their help on the day and the loan of a Coastal 4+. Also big thanks to our friends and 'rivals' at Paignton ARC for cheering us on and getting our blades there.

The day was topped off with the rest of the ladies crew finding the energy to, almost, run back from the car park when tipped off by Tieneka that Olympic rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave was around for a chat and a photo opportunity.
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