Pengwern Wins Masters World Gold Medals
Several members of the Pengwern Masters group attended the Masters World Championships, held this year in September on Lake Bled in Slovenia. The event attracted more than 4,700 rowers worldwide, the largest ever event of its kind, rowing in age categories from 27 years old upwards.
Annabel Foulger and Rose Manger successfully defended their Women's Masters E (average age 55 – 59) pairs title. " The conditions were windy and choppy but we managed to increase our lead from 6 seconds at half-way to 9 seconds at the finish, beating competitors from Australia, USA and several larger London clubs. The setting was absolutely stunning. Because we row so much on a calm river, we struggle to get much experience on lakes with multi-lanes but thankfully on the day it all went well, though the boat bounced around a lot! It leaves you wanting to do more."
They also raced for Pengwern in the Women's E coxed 4 with Jane King, Jinny Price-Owen and cox Bethan Grech. Beth has been coxing them since she was a fifteen year old junior and Jane promised her that it would be "just one outing". She is now captain of coxes at her university. The five have won golds at the British Masters Championships (with Ann Rogers too), Henley Masters Regatta and the World Championships 2016. This year their race was one of the closest of the championships, with Pengwern finishing third, just 3 seconds behind the winners, a London composite, and Latvia in second. The 4th boat was just half a second behind Pengwern! They led until 700 metres. It was amazing that they managed to compete at all, as Jinny Price-Owen had been in hospital the week before the championships with renal colic and was still awaiting an operation when they flew out. "It is a team effort and we are so grateful to Gordon Woods for his coaching and support."
Rose and Annabel also raced for Masters International in composite crews with American rowers, winning two more golds in Women's E coxless 4s and women's F coxless 4s (average age 60 to 64).
Pat Ward also competed for Pengwern, joining rowers from Nottingham Boat Club and Henley to win in both coxed and coxless fours (average age 80 and over) beating crews from Australia, USA, Germany, Canada, Norway and Poland and just missing out on a medal after a collision before the start saw his double scull damaged and "virtually sinking when we reached the finish only a length or two down."
Pat first rowed for Pengwern in 1955 and has combined working around the world with competing at many other World Masters Championships over the years. At Lake Bled, Pat was one of several 80 year old competitors awarded a special medal for competing at such a senior level. He is already training for the next World's at Lake Sarasota, Florida, and he hopes to be joined by other Pengwern members.
Dave Webb also competed at Lake Bled, rowing with Bridgnorth in several events including pairs and fours. Through his friendship with Alan Champion at Bridgnorth, the club has been able to make some strong links and we are very grateful for Bridgnorth's help with towing the boats out to Slovenia.
Intermediate Squad Success in Stratford
The Intermediate squad had a great day at the recent Primary event in Stratford. One crew, spurred on by their shouty, super-competitive coxswain, managed to win both of their races. There were close encounters with the wildlife and indeed other crews!
Well done to all that took part. Pengwern's competitive future looks bright.