Norwich Rowing Club, the organiser of the annual race, has added "Festival" to the title of this invitation event. What a well chosen word. The whole day was a joyous celebation of rowing. Even the weather was just right; cold, but with bright sunshine and not a cloud in sight.
Crews of all ages, from juniors to the frankly ancient, were out on the water from 9 a.m.racing on the rivers Wensum and Yare from the centre of Norwich to Thorpe St Andrew, continuing a tradition, which has been in existence since 1813 at the latest.
For the second year NRC invited traditional boats to the event and ten took up the challenge, ranging in size from Jumping Jennie (14'skiff) sculled by Frances Warns to the Williams brothers' six oared pilot gigs, Phantom and Sowenna.
The Langstone Cutters Rowing Club made the arduous journey from the south coast to Norwich, entering Millie (Tiefi skiff) and Bembridge (4 oared Solent Galley), the latter taking the prize for the fastest boat on handicap, beating Phantom into second place by 24 seconds on corrected time.
The crew of Bembridge received their trophies at Norwich Rowing Club after the event and the Harris family(Raineach) were awarded the Norfolk Skiff Club trophy, as the first family crew to finish.
Finally David Bolton, chairman of Norwich Rowing Club, invited the traditional boats to return next year.