The NB wagon train headed west this weekend to Stranraer to take part in the home clubs regatta and provide the opportunity to test out next years World Championship course. 


Wagons (or rather tents and mobile homes) were circled on the Friday night at the local reservation and Big John told tall tales round the camp fire of his experiences with the restless natives. 


The next day it was down to shore and the first view of the course. 15 lanes, 1km out, round the buoy and 1km back. No problem. Other than the other 14 clubs trying to get back before you! 


The state of the water initially confused the NB rowers as it was ....ummm what’s the word? Flat! What was this sorcery we thought. However we decided against lodging a formal complaint and row anyway. 


It was soon evident that the quality of the opposition was high and we would have to be on top form to compete for podium spots. 


It was just as well that we were then! The early races saw the men’s and ladies open as well as the 50+ men all register 2nd places just behind a trio of Irish boats who showed strongly throughout. 


After a short break for lunch it was back on the water and the strong NB performances continued to come thick and fast. First of all the standout performance (in this authors humble opinion) saw the women’s 50+ storm home in first place. This was followed up by a win for the mixed open crew who showed great resilience by pipping Strangford for gold in a thriller. 


The mixed decades crew then made it a hat trick of wins leading home Sketrick. Finally the 3rd place finish by our mixed 220+ crew in highly competitive race saw us over the line to win the overall club title ahead of Strangford and Sketrick. 


A successful day all round with the hospitality and organisation of Stranraer promising a wonderful 2019 World Championship to come next year. 


Duncan McKay