Rowers reflect on remarkable record thanks to Wightlink
Support from Wightlink has helped power an Isle of Wight rowing side to a remarkable year.
Ryde Rowing Club had a number of successes in 2014, and the cross-Solent ferry operator is credited with helping members compete at mainland competitions that, without Wightlink's support, would otherwise would have been impossible.
In summary, 2014 saw the Men's Coastal Junior Senior Four become Champions of the Hampshire and Dorset Amateur Rowing Association, winning all but one of the ten races held in this status. This was the club's forty-third Hants & Dorset Championship and led to their selection to represent the Associations at the South Coast Rowing Championships in Swanage. It was the thirty-seventh time the club has represented the Association - remarkable, as it is one of the smallest clubs.
Mark Persad, Wightlink's Head of Marketing, said: "Being part of Island life, whether it's through helping local charities or supporting our sporting stars of the future, is central to our company's ethos. It's so important that last year we backed Island organisations to the tune of £350,000 and we believe that our continued backing for clubs like Ryde Rowing Club shows our commitment to helping Islanders excel at the highest levels".
Elsewhere, the Ladies Junior Pair won four events during the season, sharing this unofficial championship with Westover, and the Men's Novice A Crew snatched a win near the end of their season, promoting them to Coastal Junior status.
At the South Coast Championships Regatta, where the Junior Senior Crew finished third in the Championship race, the club had two wins in the open events, with both the Men's and Women's Open Senior fours completing comfortable victories helping the association to win the Aggregate Trophy, where Ryde contributed the second highest number of points to the Association's total.
In total, the club has competed at seventeen events during the season, the majority of which were on the mainland. Steve Bull from Ryde Rowing Club, thanked Wightlink for their backing: "We are very grateful for Wightlink's support in getting on and off the Island with a minibus and boat trailer. Without the ferry company's help, it would be very difficult to compete in the many mainland events and we would be forced to drastically reduce our racing program, in particular for our very successful Junior section.
"It's not just the ferry crossings where Wightlink's support is so vital; the support we receive at the terminals, in terms of assisting with manoeuvring the combination is also vital".