River race is the biggest ever with 150 boats taking part

All hands on deck as Ancholme Rowing Club members get the rescue boat out of the river at the annual Head of the River Race. EMN-141017-125535001
All hands on deck as Ancholme Rowing Club members get the rescue boat out of the river at the annual Head of the River Race. EMN-141017-125535001

The biggest ever Ancholme Head of the River Race attracted 150 boats to the banks of the river.

It proved a real challenge of management to the Ancholme Rowing Club, so much so that the club committee took the decision no members should race on the day, but as many as possible would turn out to provide the necessary volunteer workforce.

Club spokesman Jim Copson said: “I have been involved with the club for 20 years and this is far and away our biggest entry to the race.

“So we soon realised we needed just about every member on board to organise the event rather than rowing in the race. It’s great that so many took this on board.”

Bridge Street was packed with trailers from rowing clubs from throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire carrying their boats to the town. Boston and Lincoln Rowing Clubs led the home county contingent, while St Peter’s York, Bradford and Doncaster Rowing Club all sent crews.

“We had a veteran rower of 80 years of age come up from the Thames. That was 
really special,” added Mr Copson.

Gill Mordue, another club official, said: “We were really disappointed last year when we had to cancel the event due to adverse weather conditions. So it has been good this year to see so many rowers coming.”

There were morning and afternoon events, where boats rowed from Castlethorpe Bridge to Point End and winners were decided on a time trial basis.

The unselfish volunteers at the club made the day so special and so appropriate too as the race was the first ‘Head of the River’ since long service Club President Mike Hookham died in the summer.