Porthmadog Ladies, rowing in a Celtic Longboat, pulled off a coup to bring home the Tina Channons trophy from the 22nd Great London River Race on Saturday 5th September. The crew of 6, Sue Andrews, Catrin Ellis, Elaine Hackett, Maxine Jenkins, Nicola Jordan and Tina Skinner
- Ladies Celtic Champions GRR 09
were ecstatic to complete the 22 mile Marathon ahead of all the opposition. Crowds lined the banks of the Thames and cheered from the bridges all the way from Greenwich to Richmond. The men’s crew, Bill Andrews, Pete Hughes, Alan Johnson, Edw Jones, Steve Pass, Simon Pendrell, also did well finishing 22nd out of a total 293 boats in a time of 2 hours 33 minutes – the 6th Celtic to finish. This spectacular event with over 2,500 competitors, attracted craft from as far afield as Denmark, Ireland and the Scilly Isles and included Dragon boats, transatlantic rowing boats, ancient lifeboats and other traditional vessels. The crews were welcomed back to a champagne reception by other rowing members of Porthmadog Yacht Club and showed off the magnificent trophy which features a Welsh dragon and a Celtic Longboat.
The two crews set off early on Friday after loading up all their gear in a hired minibus.
Geoff and Pete drove us all to London where we stayed in an Ibis Hotel on the Isle of Dogs
We soon were dragged eagerly to a great Thames-side pub by Edw.
We followed that by dinner at an Italian restaurant where the red wine flowed copiously.
Some of us followed the Italian by a quiet game of pool before going to bed whilst others headed back to the pub for more booze and entertainment only getting to bed at 3.30 am.
Next day we drove to the start and prepared the boats, carrying them to the launch site from their overnight storage.
We were 22 seconds late and the ladies 54 seconds late at the start.
After the race we went to Ham campsite where we were greeted by Sheena, Terry, Jan and David who had driven down in their camper van and set up all our tents for us.
We partied into the night ecstatic to have won a trophy.
Next morning we had a group shot before we left.
Simon and Bill did the roof this time.
Catrin, who couldn’t have been more excited if she’d won the lottery, clung onto the trophy all the way home.
Ceinwen, Manon, Sarah, Shakey and Dave welcomed us back with two bottles of champagne and we all felt like we’d done the club proud.