ROWING: Two novice crews from West Norfolk Rowing Club battled it out with crews from Isle of Ely and St Neots over a three-event series for the inaugural Charles Stanley Cup. 

The challenge series was devised by the three clubs to build on the success of recent learn to row courses and to give new adult rowers a taste of inter-club competition in a friendly atmosphere.

Each club hosted one event, including side-by-side sprint racing, skills challenges and timed 1km head racing, using stable coxed quads, donated to the region by sponsors Charles Stanley, through British Rowing.

West Norfolk hosted the skills test event at their club at Denver Sluice, devising a river rowing challenge with a slalom course between a set of buoys, requiring manoeuvring to pick up a float, turn the boat round and back it down to a designated point within a time limit. 

All crew members in each coxed quad had to work together.

Safety knowledge and skills were also tested for more points.

West Norfolk finished with top scores in the skills event, putting them joint first position with St Neots going into the final event of the series. Ely were not far behind.

For the decider, crews raced at St Neots, being timed over a 1,000m course. 

Each crew had a chance to race twice to see if they could improve their time. 

West Norfolk crew West Norse Folk took an impressive 21 seconds off their first time when they raced again. 

Clubmates Sluice Women equalled the quickest time in their first division and then took a further nine seconds off this in their final race to post the fastest time of the day, four minutes, 47 seconds.

With crew times combined, however, St Neots won the head racing event, which placed West Norfolk second overall for the Charles Stanley Cup.

In action for West Norfolk over the course of the series were: Helen Pryer, Mandy Prior, Rosie McGeachy, Vicky Alexander, Sandy Convoy, Angela Holford, Becci Brown, Tom Bennett, Fliss Davidson, Simon Prior, Raffie Cowie-Stewart and Jane Frusher.

The participants enjoyed the whole experience of the series and look forward to developing their rowing skills and representing the club at all levels.

West Norfolk plan to run learn to row courses for adults and juniors in the spring. 

For more details, email the club at