Tough test for rowers

- Advertisement -

In a race dictated by a strong tide and prevailing wind, no records were broken and the last stretch of water, from the Paternosters to Bonne Nuit Bay, was particularly difficult.

‘We thought the wind would cancel the tide once we cleared the Pats,’ explained Hinks, ‘but instead of that neither the wind, nor the tide, did us any favours.

That was one of the hardest races I’ve been in.

The last 20 minutes were especially hard, when our stroke rate went right down.

I’m pleased we finished first but, right now, I’m completely knackered.’ Hinks’ Jersey Post team also had to withstand the determined challenge of St Ouen’s Youth Club, who finished a superb second behind boat 69 in 2.21.56.

Having won the race back in 2004, the St Ouen’s four of Lee Jégou, Phil Mourant, John Payne, James Miller and cox Jarlath Dervin had matched the Hinks team for the first mile of the course but, after that, were always going to finish in second place.

‘Our plan was to get in front from the start,’ said Jégou, ‘but the hardest part was keeping up our rhythm and keeping our stroke rate together.

We were neck and neck to begin with, but early on they went in front and we couldn’t keep up with them.

Our average age is 17 or 18, so I’d hope we’ll be back in the race again next year.

The Sark to Jersey is more a mental rather than a physical challenge .



.’ The first pairs team home were Alan Bertram and Sam Horsfall.

They finished in a time of 2 hr 31 min 09 sec.

‘It doesn’t get any easier as you get older,’ said Bertram.

‘but it was more comfortable than ’95, when virtually everyone had to be rescued!’ ‘And it helps to have a decent boat and a decent partner,’ added Horsfall, whose fixed boat was only seconds ahead of John Searson and Paul Le Gros, who were the first paired boat home in a sliding seater.

Having started half an hour after the fixed seater boats, they finished in a time of 2 hr 5 min 52 sec.

First single oarsman home was John Fowler, in 2.44.38.

‘I felt under pressure at the start,’ he said, ‘but after two miles was 200 yards in front of my main rival, Colin Hidrio.

‘By then I felt I was always going to stay in front of him, although it didn’t get any easier towards the end.

I wasn’t helped at the Paternosters, either, as I had a choice of two guard boats and couldn’t decide which one would give me the best course to follow!’ Most of the boats went too far east early on from their starting line at Dixcart Bay, which meant that against the wind and into the current no new records were likely to be set.

However, Frankie Le Quélènec, a veteran of the Sark to Jersey, was happy with her time (2.19.39) and by her decision to change from a pairs to an open slider fours.

‘It was easier this year, and I definitely like having someone to cox for you,’ she said.

‘Our guard boat gave us a fantastic course and once we’d pulled away from the all-Guernsey ladies’ fours – which was unexpected as they had two Atlantic rowers in their crew – we knew we could win.

You can go faster in a slider.

Our next challenge is the worlds, in September .


.’ While Le Quélènec, Christine Pallot, Helen Tyler, Gina Le Claire and cox Jeanette Carre were the first ladies’ boat home, veteran of 39 races, Guernsey’s Brian Staples in his sliding fours was happy just to finish.

‘This was my 40th and last Sark to Jersey,’ he said, ‘although I’ll still be competing in Guernsey.

But for a team of mainly over-50s, with Tony (Plumridge) and Stuart (Horsepool, cox), the youngest at 48 on the boat, I’m just pleased to have finished.

‘The Sark to Jersey is like a disease.

I’ve competed every year for the last 40 years and yes, I know that I’ll miss it.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.