Helen Pryer, Liz Palmer, Miranda Lam and Angela Holford make full use of ‘being single’ to take to the water at West Norfolk RC.Picture: SUBMITTED.

ROWING: West Norfolk rowers have been embracing the single life.

Since restrictions eased and West Norfolk Rowing Club was able to devise and implement full safety protocols, members have been quietly enjoying rowing outings on the River Great Ouse for exercise and training. 

The sport comes under the regulation of British Rowing, so all their restrictions, as well as Government guidelines, have had to be incorporated into safe practices in order to access rowing outings. 

For the first couple of months back, only rowing in single sculls has been permitted, with the exception of a few household doubles. Once members are launched, a clear distance is naturally maintained between scullers. It was also necessary to allow only very restricted numbers on the club site at any time, with no access to the clubhouse and thorough cleaning regimes for all equipment, boats and oars. 

Single boats are quite a change for those used to crew-rowing but it has allowed safe access to the sport. Fortunately, the club has a range of single boats, and by booking and staggering launch times across the week it has been possible for members to get back out. A small sense of communal rowing has been possible with several singles on the water at a time. 

The club’s committee has been working behind the scenes to keep up with changing advice and rules from British Rowing and Eastern Region Rowing Council. It has been possible to reintroduce some coach-supervised outings for juniors within safe practices, and a buddy-system for less experienced adult rowers to have company on the river. 

However, it has not been possible within the restrictions to offer the Learn to Row courses for beginners and the club has a long waiting list for places when they so become possible.