The Deputy Lord Mayor was joined by Rebecca Romero MBE, to present the prizes. Rebecca, who lives locally, was the first British woman to compete in two different sports at the Olympic Games, winning a silver medal for rowing at Athens and a gold for cycling in Beijing.
Royal Chester, last year’s winners, led off the race, followed by Agecroft, previous winners four times, St Edward’s School, Derby, University of Liverpool and University of York. Royal Chester forged ahead of the field to win in 15min 9.1sec, the fastest time on the day and 4.1sec ahead of St Edward’s School who overtook Agecroft. Royal Chester retained their ‘Head of the River’ status in what is the club’s 185th anniversary year. Grosvenor, Warrington and University of York also won medals in their status events.
In the afternoon race, Royal Chester, Grosvenor, Agecroft and Pengwern from Shrewsbury were all medal winners.
There was a strong junior entry of eighty boats with rowers aged 14-18. Local clubs, Queen’s Park High School, The King’s School and a little further away, The Grange School, all collected medals.
The best afternoon time of 17min 12.8sec was posted by the women’s junior 18 crew from Shrewsbury School. They won the fastest women’s crew trophy together with medals and special new junior prizes, smart unique water bottles signed by Rebecca Romero. Rebecca added words of encouragement and advice at both presentation ceremonies about improving performance, even for the winners.
Graham Miller, Chair of the event committee, said, “We are grateful to the Deputy Lord Mayor and Rebecca Romero for giving their time to support and celebrate this big event for Chester. Rebecca is an inspirational role model and we hope she will visit us again to encourage our junior rowers in particular.”
Andrew Firman, Chair of Royals, said “This successful and enjoyable day’s racing could not happen without the detailed planning and organization of our Open Events Committee and the volunteers who filled 274 roles across the day. Thank you to all of them, to our guests of honour, local businesses Chester Boat, Snugbury’s, Hickory’s Smokehouse and The Moorings and of course to all our competitors and supporters for being here.”