Exmouth Rowing Club - 26 years and counting for a special local club

PUBLISHED: 08:54 16 October 2019

Exmouth Rowing Club members at one of many events the club has been involved with in 2019. Picture ERC

Exmouth Rowing Club members at one of many events the club has been involved with in 2019. Picture ERC

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Exmouth Rowing Club celebrates its 26th anniversary this year, writes Richard Robinson.

Members of Exmouth Rowing Club outside the club. Picture ERCMembers of Exmouth Rowing Club outside the club. Picture ERC

The club has an active membership of over 80, ageing from 15 to 79 years young!

One member even returns annually from Australian to enjoy our summer waters!

The club is grateful to this season's sponsors, 'Rockfish' and 'The Beach', whose support is emblazened on the bows of the club's bright red Saffran training quads.

Joining the fleet of competition quads this spring was the aptly named 'Ruby', christened in his mother's name, designed, built and jealously guarded by Mike Drew, the club's boat captain and local craftsman.

Exmouth Rowing  Club members at the annual Exmouth Festive Swim. Picture ERCExmouth Rowing Club members at the annual Exmouth Festive Swim. Picture ERC

So, what's left for budding novices and seasoned oars-folk as autumn and winter bring their seasonal challenges?

Well, the straight answer to that is - plenty'!

The club is throwing out a wide invitation for allcomers to attend the club on Saturday, October 19, to row the twice round the 11km course of the historical Townmen's Challenge from the mid-channel number 10 buoy near the clubhouse, which is found at the Old Lifeboat Station, to Topsham and back.

Then, on Christmas Day, members of the rowing club will join the hordes dipping in the sea with the motto of all sea-farers: "You don't have to get wet…but it happens"!

Exmouth Rowing Club members. Picture ERCExmouth Rowing Club members. Picture ERC

If you are interested in joining the club then please do read the following….

'I moved to Exmouth in March knowing hardly a soul and not knowing the town, but joining Exmouth Rowing Club was the best thing I could have done.

'It is the most friendly, welcoming and inclusive club I have ever joined, and they are all so passionate about the sport and excited to teach beginners.

'No matter what age, fitness level, background or experience, they spend endless time with each individual ensuring that you quickly pick up the basics and get on the water to experience the excitement that is coastal rowing.

Action from one of the many Regattas that Exmouth Rowing Club crews took part in in 2019. Picture ERCAction from one of the many Regattas that Exmouth Rowing Club crews took part in in 2019. Picture ERC

'And from that day on they keep on helping you, with no question too silly and no mistake too hard to fix.

'I have never learnt so much in such a short space of time. The team are truly inspirational and the feeling of inclusiveness and "being part of a family" is just amazing.

'I have been a member of a number of sports clubs, but never before experienced such a well run group, with so many opportunities to take part, learn, develop and grow - a fantastic example of how a local sports club can be run.

'I'm incredibly proud to be part of ERC, and I think the profile of the club is illustrated by the number of people who chat to us on the beach and in the cafes after rows. It is a fantastic illustration of the friendliness of the town and the opportunities available to us all.'

You could be forgiven for thinking the club is dominated by competitive activity, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it's recognised that recreational rowing is the bedrock of the club, and the reason for its formation in 1993 at The Beach pub.

The majority of members will engage in both aspects of the club, including fun events such as the Spring Hare.

A great source of fun is to take members off on social rows.

They offer an opportunity to launch new members on extended rows, supported by experienced rowers and a safety boat.

They always offer a break, including the opportunity for a meal and a drink.

These have proven a great vehicle for increasing confidence, and breaking down barriers through the social inter-reaction.

The most common destinations include Turf Locks, Teignmouth, Shaldon and Topsham.

The club takes pride in not only raising individual fitness, but also in raising skill levels, offering courses to create two levels of coxwains.

Through this program opportunities are created for a number of experienced launch coxes to launch crews outside standard club sessions, supported by club procedures, including VHF communications.

You will often see such crews out during weekday mornings, rowing just for the fun of it.

Quite frankly, it's fair to say, within the Exe Estuary and Lyme Bay, you never know where an Exmouth Rowing Club boat may turn up.

Why not join us at our regular club session which takes place on a Sunday from 10am to noon.

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