Over the past year, Martin Judson and David Walker have been training out of the University Boathouse and as part of Durham Amateur Rowing Club’s veteran squad. Apart from the reunion of the Newcastle University 1976 crew 2 years ago, it is 25 years since David and Martin last raced.
Martin and David were entered in veteran E VIIIs & vet E pairs. In the eight they drew national Vet E champions Nottingham in the 1st round. They had already lost to them twice this year by 1 length 1st time at Nottingham City Regatta and by 3/4 length at the national championships. At Henley, they lost by 1/2 a length. Nottingham raced over at a very respectable 39-40 strokes per minute, Martin said ‘this was too hot for us to handle at our more sedate 34.’
In the pair, they drew X-press Rowing Club on the Friday. They had already beaten them at the nationals & did so again with an official “comfortably” verdict. In the final, the competition was very much hotter in the form of Colin Cusack of Wallingford & his Thames Tradesman colleague. They have been a force in pairs rowing since the 70s & have dominated veteran pairs rowing in recent years. Martin and David got off to a bit of a wobbly start but soon settled. Sitting 1/2 a length down to about Barns where a Cusack burn took the lead to a length. In pairs rowing, a length isn’t such a strong lead & both pairs were working hard to gain an advantage. With about 20 strokes to go, it became evident that they were not going to turn things around and the final verdict was a length and a half.
This was Martin and David’s third ever event in the pair since 1981 and Martin said after the race ‘ Racing is definitely different with the balance between the pace of the boat & pacing of the body being very different now. We look forward to building on what we have learned this summer. Our next key events are the World Masters at Trakai in Lithuania in September & probably the Pairs Head in October.’
The club would like to wish Martin and David the best of luck at the World Masters at the start of September.