MEDICAL students Natacha Searson and Hal Flowerdew were the star performers in the Jersey Rowing Club’s first race of the 2023 season.
The Newcastle University undergraduates – rowing in their first coastal race together – completed the 7.8km course in St Aubin’s Bay on Sunday morning in 39min 15sec, not only posting the fastest time but also crossing the line in the class event first.
Overseas club member Flowerdew has previously represented Great Britain in beach-sprint rowing, while Searson recently represented the Island at a Commonwealth Rowing Association beach-sprint competition in Namibia.
Flowerdew said: ‘It was an amazing new experience for me in some very tricky conditions but Natacha and I managed to follow our race plan and got the result we set out for. We hope to continue our success racing at the Welsh Championships in a few weeks’ time.’
The young mixed pair were not the only crew to have a strong first race of the season, which took the 23 crews through some lumpy and challenging seas.
Men’s double Josh Watkins and Des Nevitt were second fastest round the course – which took the rowers from West Park to St Aubin’s Fort and back via the Baleine Buoy – in a time of 39.29.
The fastest quad on the day, Bay Boys (Mick Mayo, Will Le Quelenec, Andy Bowman, Paul Coutanche and cox Charlie Bowman), finished just 12 seconds behind.
A consistently strong performer, Laima Pačekajutė, was the only women’s single rower in the race, completing in the course in 51.10.
John Searson was the fastest solo rower, finishing after 46.49 of powerful rowing.
Youth crew Juliette Walton and James Lewis belied their age with a brilliant row to cross the line after 53.29 of racing.
There were a number of novice crews in the race with boat 104 (Sean Kevanny, Richard Mawson, Lucy Duggan, Marie-Julie Crudde and cox Caroline Terburgh) laying down a strong marker with a 54.39 time.