Olympians come to row in the Porthtowan surf boats!

Porthtowan Surf Boat Rowing crews (part of Porthtowan SLSC) had some very special guests at their training session on Thursday 13th September, when they were joined by seven of the Team GB Olympic Women Rowers. Annabel Vernon, Helen Glover, Jessica Eddie, Heather Stanning, Louisa Reeve, Frances Houghton and Beth Rodford came down to Porthtowan to watch the teams training, and see what surf boat rowing is all about. Porthtowan Men’s A recently won the European championships, with both Men’s and Ladies A holding the current UK Open titles, but yesterday they rowed with a whole boat load of British Olympic medalists.

Helen, Jessica, Heather, Louisa and Frances mixed in with experienced rowers from the Porthtowan Men’s and Ladies’ A crews (Blue Bali, and the Black and Blues) to tackle the 3ft plus, choppy swells, whilst Helen and Beth watched. The Olympians were expertly swept by Gary Walters, whilst Khalil Isaacs swept the second boat, and gave the Porthtowan Men’s A, Ladies A and Men’s J24 crew some extra training in some chunky waves.

The ladies caught some waves, managed to trail (amid shouts of excitement), and the sun shone, so the day was an all round success. Lots of spectators came down to watch, including pupils from Mount Hawke primary school, who collected some autographs, and were photographed with the Olympic rowers and their medals.

Helen Glover commented on how much fun the sport was, and Annabel Vernon also said that it was more exciting than on the flat – the girls had some chunky waves to contend with, which you don’t get in the fine boats! The Porthtowan Ladies and Men’s A crews were delighted to have a chance to row with the girls, and all crews finished off the day with lunch at the local Blue Bar. Kim-Marie Clothier, one of the Porthtowan rowers said ‘One of our men’s crew saw that the ladies were having a go in a gig, as part of the Cornish rowing challenge, so I dropped Annabel a line to see if they fancied turning their hand to surfboat rowing. I was delighted when she said yes, and brought another 6 girls with her. It’s been a fantastic experience rowing with some of the country’s elite rowers, and I think they enjoyed the thrills and spills of surfboat rowing too. They are welcome, any time, and we hope to get them in the boat again soon’.

Olympic rowers


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