Thirty five intrepid rowing club members made it to Kortgene in Netherlands to take on the world. All the photos can be accessed here.
Here is a snapshot of what happened.
Day 0 - And so it began!
The formalities kicked off with the official opening by the Kings representative and a row-by from all skiffs. And what a wonderful sight it was. The NB crews for the next day were then able to head out to row the course ahead of the racing starting for real. Team NB were buzzing with excitement and hopes were high that all the hard work over the winter in the pain cave and then the last few months on the water would pay off.
Day 1 - Lift-off
The racing kicked off with vengeance. We had sunshine and torrential rain and even news of a tornado nearby! Racing was paused until conditions settled which caused some confusion in revised start times as communication were “patchy”.
All three NB crews reached their respective finals. The 60+ ladies came a gallant 7th in a top class final and the men’s 280+ were just pushed out of the medals finishing in 5th. The mixed 50+ were very unfortunate to be placed 4th as the crew, cox and watching hordes had celebrated what was thought to be a bronze medal. A formal discussion followed, however the umpires stayed with their original decision.
An eventful first day to say the least but all the crews did NB proud and set us up for the rest of the week!
The sun was out and shining as once again all 3 crews battled their way to their respective final in convincing fashion.
The ladies 50+ then produced a gutsy row in the final battling it out with 4 other crews to secure a brilliant bronze medal!
The 50+ men cruised through their heat as winners however despite a fantastic burst to the line in the last 300m of the final they couldn’t close the gap and ended up with a very creditable 5th place.
Last up were the 280 mixed crew who boasted representation from Ullapool and Lake Champlain and a brilliant result saw a bronze medal secured.
A great day and no pressure for the reinforcements arriving that night!
Day 3 - Broken Blade!
The third day competing in Holland was another amazing and eventful day of racing. It was a very hot day so conditions were hard in the heat with minimal wind but the water was gorgeous and flat.
Mixed 40+ had a very eventful row as 500m into their heat, Robbie's blade snapped in half. Unbelievably they managed to come 3rd in their heat despite rowing with a broken blade. Unfortunately despite their incredible performance they didn't qualify for the finals.
Mens 60+ stormed their heat coming second and had a very exciting final, where they battled it out for fifth place, over taking three boats for the final push to the finish line!
Lizzie stroked for Broughty Ferry in the 40+ mixed which they stormed and won their heat and placed 7th in the final.
Millie rowed for USA team Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for the under 40 women where they placed 9th in the heat.
Day 4 - Gold Medal!
All North Berwick crews reached the finals today placed us in the top 10! First up we had the mixed 60+ who won their heat and then placed 5th in the final. An outstanding performance in a very tough and close category.
Then we had the women's 40+ who stormed their heat leading the pack by over 10 seconds. For their final the rain held back but the wind picked up. The crew were 5th or 6th round the buoy but managed to reign it back with an unbelievable performance and brought home our first Gold medal of the championships! The most exciting race of the championship so far and a very well deserved gold for our ladies 40 +!
Finally we had our men's 40+ who did fantastic and came third in their heat. They qualified for the final which was tough with lots of strong crews. The heavens opened and poured down on them, they placed 10th in the final, an outstanding performance!
Our very own Norma was on the commentary today doing a sterling job rallying the crowd on the grand stand!
Day 5 - Another day, another gold!
Our juniors entered the arena and what an impact they made! The under 17 mixed crew (average age 14) rowed the race of their lives and only missed out on a medal by 1sec. The under 19 crew also battled away into increasingly strong headwinds to secure another 4th place. What an effort. Both of these results helped us gain a strong position overall.
The men were very unlucky in their open race as a huge squall hit their heat just as they were turning for home so despite coming in a close 2nd to Eastern the weather meant that their time was not enough to make the final. Eastern went on to win silver in the final which puts the NB men’s effort into perspective.
There was NB presence in the Eastern boat in the mixed under 26 race finishing a creditable 7th in their final.
However the outstanding performance of the day was undoubtedly the ladies open crew who demolished the field to storm to gold in front of their adoring fans. They were just phenomenal and we are all so proud of them.
The Final Day - Another day and more medals!
Our under 17 junior lads put in a big shift and came 5th in their final. Fantastic strength and resilience from our young junior boys!
Under 19 boys had a helping hand from Eastern to make up a crew and broke an oar during their warm up! Thankfully they were able to get a replacement for the race and came 6th.
The under 26 ladies was a composite team with 2 of our NB girls with 2 Eastern girls racing for Eastern and they absolutely smashed their final and brought home a silver medal!
Finally we had our Mixed Open Crew who won their heat whilst being chased down by Golspie. They then had one of the closest finals of the championships, an absolute dog fight to the end racing the two boats either side of them to get a podium finish. They pulled it out the bag and won a bronze medal, being 1 second faster than the fourth boat and only 4 seconds between them and the first boat over the line, it was a tough, tough final. What a result.
Overall North Berwick Rowing Club came 4th out of all the clubs that competed ! We are chuffed to bits with the performances our crews put on during the week and all the hard work that's gone into these championships. We were in every single final of each category this week except one, which one of our crew broke an oar in!
Thanks too to all the supporters who cheered on the crews every day.
The Dutch put on an incredible week, so big thank you to the wonderful Dutch hosts!