Aberdyfi Rowing Club sent two crews – a ladies team and a mixed team – to Shrewsbury to take part in the Montford Challenge Row on Saturday, 25 March, writes Doris O’Keefe.

The event is a two-stage time trial organised by Shropshire Adventure Rowing Club and open to Celtic and Pembroke longboats. It is always a tough challenge and this year was no exception with rising water on the Severn and a very strong flow and fast currents.

Both Aberdyfi teams rowed very well with the mixed crew winning the Mixed and also the Super Vets Class.

The Challenge row is in two stages – the first stage is an eight-mile time trial upstream from the host club Pengwern Rowing Club in the centre of Shrewsbury, to finish at the most northerly point of the Severn ‘North Pole’.

The second stage is a six-mile time trial downstream back to Shrewsbury to finish at Pengwern Rowing Club.

The mixed crew on the Severn
The mixed crew on the Severn (Tracey Evans, Sam Woodward)

Aberdyfi ladies captain Isabel Bottoms said: ”Everyone who rowed today gave everything they had. It was an extremely tough race and an amazing result for our mixed team.”

She added: “Our ladies team rowed brilliantly – we were a lot quicker on the second leg coming back downstream.

“It was really challenging for all on the first stage, rowing against the very strong currents and all in all we were in the boat for nearly five hours.

“Hard work , but we did it and really gave it our all and relished the challenge! Congrats to everyone who took part.

The ladies team relished the challenge
The ladies team relished the challenge (Tracey Evans, Sam Woodward)

“Many thanks to the S.A.R.C. organisers and hosts Pengwern Rowing Club for the great hospitality. This was the first competitive row for us in 2023 so we are pleased with the re sults and it was great to meet up with other clubs at the event.”

Matt Mayne, organiser and Commodore of Shropshire Adventure Rowing Club said: ”A massive thankyou to everyone who contributed to a great day of racing – especially hosts Pengwern Rowing Club.

“It was indeed challenging rowing conditions – all crews did extremely well to achieve what they did against a strong river flow. We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s Montford Challenge Row.”

Aberdyfi Mixed crew were Mary Upson, Tracey Evans, Kevin Evans, Peter Ince and Jo Gittins. Ladies crew were Izzy Cloves, Isabel Bottoms, Elin Angharad Evans, Amanda Martin and Livvy Woodward.