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downsmail.co.uk Golden oldies row to finals


MAIDSTONE rowers are proving to be veritable ‘golden oldies’ when it comes to taking on other veteran oarsmen from around the UK. The veterans from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) achieved their best results to date in the Masters National Champ- ionships, bringing home two gold medals and two silvers. They recently raced at Barnes


and Mortlake and came second overall after heats, reaching the final, where they were beaten by half a boat length. Although the term ‘veterans’ is applied to any rowers over the age of 28, their alphabetic listing rises with age – thus the Maidstone Vet G crew has an average age of 67. The foursome had their first win


of the season, at Bedford, compet- ing against much younger rowers. As there are notmany rowers left


still competing at 65, they took on teams of Vet Fs – whose average age is a mere 60. The four chaps who make up the crew are Roger Mobbs (65), Tony Marshall (66) and Robin Chapman (64), all from Maidstone and 73-year old Keith Jones from Heathfield. Tony has spent 11 of his 45 row-


John Clayton in 1984, the club is still based alongside the river in Maidstone – next to the Gallagher Stadium – and visitors are always welcome. The club hosts taster sessions on


The triumphant Bedford four has an average age of 67


ing years with the Invicta club, rowing on the Tyne for 17 years prior to that. He said: “Rowing is a good all-


round sport, great for cardiovas- cular exercise and good for all round health – and it’s something that men and women of all ages can do. “I’ve heard of some people row-


ing well into their 90s – although not in Maidstone…yet!”


IN the national championships, held at Holme Pierrepont, Notting- ham, it was the middle-aged vets who came away triumphant. Racing on a glorious sunny day,


with fairly placid conditions, Brian Humphris from Linton and Richard Ridgway from Hunton were awarded gold in the Novice B2x


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Juniors can join MIRC from the


age of 10 and cox with the junior squads, before moving into the sen- iors at the age of 18. Club spokesman Richard Bald-


win said: “The juniors and the vet- erans are the mainstay of the club, as many of the seniors go off to col- lege or university and only come back to race in the summer.” This year marks the 30th an- niversary of MIRC. Founded by


final, with a comfortable seven-sec- ond victory over their nearest rivals. Brianwent on to win a silver med-


al in the Novice C1x event. Lewin Hynes dominated his B1x event, going through the heats easily and winning the final by six seconds. Lewin, from Canterbury, contin- ued his longstanding doubles part-


the first Sunday of each month when, for £10, people can have a go at rowing on dry land before taking to thewater with real oars. Richard said: “If they like what


they see, they can then go on a six- week beginners course before join- ing a crew.” With a host of different competi-


tive events, including time trials and regattas, both at home and away – and for all ages – the club believes it offers the ideal facility for a fun and get-fit family activity.


Middle-agers invade Nottingham to bring homemedals


nership with Maidstone’s James Knight, with the pair winning a sil- ver medal in the B2x event, nar- rowly missing out on gold by 1.5 seconds. The rest of the 16-man squad put


in sterling performances, particu- larly the G4x and B4x who both just missed out on medals.


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