ROWERS experimented with their annual regatta last weekend, racing along a different stretch of water with an emphasis on having fun doing their favourite sport.

They are already considering a repeat after a successful two days on the River Weaver.

“We enjoyed support from other clubs that came to our new event, and they helped make it a success,” said Clare Briegal, who chairs the regatta committee at Northwich Rowing Club.

“As a club, we were delighted to be part of the wider river festival – it was a wonderful occasion.”

On Saturday, boats raced side-by-side along a 900m course that ended outside the Odeon cinema in the town centre.

Huge crowds watched on in the sunshine, and Northwich crews were among those to celebrate a victory.

George Lawton joined forces with Lucy Gillbanks, back from a first year at university in Nottingham, to win in a mixed double scull.

Patrick Brogan was the pick of the under 15s boys’ scullers, while a women’s masters eight took first prize in their category.

Mel Bishop, Del Clemett, Rachel Redshaw, Carole Riddell, Claire Miller, Kerry Clarke, Clare Holt, Elaine Young and cox Andrew Morrison made up their crew.

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich Rowing Club's masters women's eight defeated rivals from Runcorn to claim victory in their boat class during Northwich Regatta on Saturday

A senior men’s quad made up of Lawton, his older brother Finn, Rhys Coffey and Oliver White also savoured success on home water.

In keeping with the spirit of the regatta, a composite crew made up of members from Northwich and Trafford Rowing Clubs was the best in their boat class.

Aaron Bennion and Aidan French, of Northwich, combined with Trafford’s Dani Gallagher and Eleanor Fitchett – and cox Max Heathcote – to claim silverware on offer in the under 14s mixed quad sculls.

“It was a good day,” said Tim Preece, a coach at Northwich.

“The Trafford girls enjoyed themselves, and their coach told me afterwards it had been an excellent ice-breaker as he didn’t normally enter mixed crews in a race.

“They had never rowed together previously, and showed a great attitude.”

Matt Langridge, who won gold with Team GB’s men’s eight at the Olympic Games in Rio last summer, presented the prizes exactly one year on from his finest hour.

On Sunday, Northwich hosted an inaugural Super Sprint competition over a shorter distance from the start-line at Anderton Nature Park.

A mixed team of George Lawton, Coffey, Gillbanks and Jess Swindells were among the Northwich winners.