Madog MYC Rowing registered several wins in the opening WSRA Northern League races of the 2017 season on Sunday 8th May which saw boats from Conwy to Aberdyfi taking part. Conditions on the Menai Straits opposite Beaumaris Castle where all the races started and finished were pretty much perfect, with glorious sunshine reflected off the almost mirror-like surface of the sea.
First off were the Ladies, with a total of seven boats entered. As there was only one boat entered in the Novice race, Madog MYC’s “Ysbryd Eryri”, this boat raced alongside the Ladies bringing the total number of boats lined up facing towards Llandudno to eight. Madog MYC’s Ladies Veterans team in “Fleetwing” got off to a great start, heading the fleet east. But a youthful Ynys Môn Ladies crew were hot in pursuit. As the small armada shrunk into the distance “Fleetwing” maintained the lead, being pushed all the way by Ynys Môn. This was still the position at the buoy turn, about a mile and a half away, but shortly after the Ynys Môn crew stepped up the pressure, and with a mile to go pulled ahead, finishing the race in first place in a time of 29 minutes 36 seconds. “Fleetwing” crossed the line just under a minute later in 30:35, and winning the Ladies Veterans race, with Beaumaris in third place (31:05). The biggest, and most welcome surprise of the race though was the fourth boat in, Madog MYC’s novices (with one novice rower borrowed from Llanberis) in “Ysbryd Eryri” in a very competitive time of 32:10; all the more remarkable as all four rowers were racing in their first ever race. Madog MYC’s Ladies Supervets crew in “Madog” came second in their category behind Beaumaris.
Next up were the Men’s race, with ten boats entered and lining up in the opposite direction to the Ladies on a course of nearly 5 miles to Bangor pier and back. For the first half mile past Beaumaris pier, there was very little between any of the boats, but then the stronger Aberdyfi and Ynys Môn crews started to pull ahead, followed by Madog MYC’s Senior Supervets crew, again in “Fleetwing”. In the blazing sunshine Bangor pier seemed to take forever to reach, with the crews knowing that they had the same distance to row back to Beaumaris. With the leading boats forging ahead, there were several duels between other boats in the race, notably between Madog MYC’s Senior Veterans crew in “Madog” and Beaumaris which maintained a lead of between three and five boat lengths for most of the race. Each time the Madog crew stepped up the pressure, Beaumaris responded.
Aberdyfi Senior crew were comfortable winners in 37:22, with Ynys Môn Senior Veterans coming in second (39:18), and winning their category, followed hot on their stern by Madog MYC Senior Supervets in “Fleetwing” in 40:12, also winning their category. Meanwhile the battle between “Madog” and Beaumaris was hotting up, and with less than half a mile to go, “Madog” finally caught up with Beaumaris and took a lead which they would maintain to the finish, coming second in the Senior Veterans race.
With less than a thirty minute break, several of the participants of the Men’s race were back in their boats for the Mixed race. The course again headed towards Bangor pier, but this time turned back about half a mile short of this point, giving a three and a half mile race. With a total of eleven boats this was the most contested race of the day. Once again it took a good half mile for the race leaders to start to emerge, with two Ynys Môn boats and three Madog MYC boats taking the early lead. There wasn’t much between the leading boats all the way, with some jostling for position on the buoy turn as some boats fared better than others. As they crossed the line there was just two and a half minutes separating the first five boats, and six minutes between all eleven. First home was Ynys Môn Mixed team in 28:04, with their Mixed Veterans crew in second place (28:44), winning the Veterans category. They were followed by three Madog MYC boats, the Mixed team in “Fleetwing” in 29:33, the Mixed Supervets in “Madog” (30:01), winning the Supervets category, and the Mixed Veterans in “Ysbryd Eryri” in 30:34.
Following the race, Lawrence Washington of Club Sponsors Purple Moose Brewery congratulated the Madog MYC crews, “All in all an excellent result for Madog MYC with great wins in each of the four races.”
Thanks go to Beaumaris Rowing Club for a well organised race meeting and for arranging the beautiful weather.