The 41st Hong Kong Rowing Championships, were held in Hong Kong on the Shin Mun river on the September 21st / 22nd weekend. Singapore’s Easter Rowing Club had a successful campaign, with a record number of 5 entries for our club the open class, resulting in one gold and one bronze medal. Furthermore, three gold medals in the masters events show the broad foundation which rowing has achieved in Singapore.
National rower Joan POH wins the open women’s single
Joan POH who represented Singapore just a few weeks ago at the World Rowing Championships in Linz (Austria), won her heat in the open class women’s single sculls which qualified her straight for the A-final to happen on Sunday. In exceptionally rough conditions with a strong tail wind and breaking waves along the 2km course, she proved her metal and won the final in a thrilling sprint to the finish line. Taking home her well-deserved gold medal, she helped Easter Rowing Club win its first ever open class gold medal for at a national championship. Congratulations!
Men’s open four wins bronze medal
The open men’s four with Felix KOTTMANN (stroke), Weeliem SEAH, Oliver ARSCOTT and Philip BAZANY (bow) had a bumpy start into the race weekend with a third place in their heat, but eventually qualified via the repechage to a slot in the A-final. In that decider, the crew managed grab third position and held on to that till the finish. This bronze medal represents a remarkable improvement compared to last year when the same men’s four finished 5th.
Masters squad wins three gold medals
With the women’s masters A double with Joan POH (stroke) and MAH Shi Min (bow), Easter Rowing Club sent a very strong duo into that race. The two ladies left no doubt, and won their race by a comfortable length. The men’s masters D quad with Fritz REICHENBACH (stroke), Josip MLADENIC, Jason HUMPHRIES and Steve DAVIES (bow) won their race by a comfortable margin before a Hong Kong crew from Lion Rock RC. The Men’s Masters A eight race, as always, proved to be one of the highlights in the good-natured rivalry between Singapore – Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, since many overseas rowers had to withdraw prior to the event, ERC and Shanghai Rowing Club fielded a joint team consisting Felix KOTTMANN (stroke), Philip BAZANY, Oliver ARSCOTT, Weeliem SEAH, Fritz REICHENBACH from ERC and William VANBERGEN, Marc FERNANDEZ-CASTILLA and Charles INGREY-SENN From SRC. After a furious start, the crew positioned itself half a length ahead of the field and managed to increase the margin to more than a length on the finish line to win the gold medal before the crew of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
Father – son double qualifies for A final; small boats fight with choppy conditions
In a now-or-never move, the father – son combination Josip (stroke) and Matteo MLADENIC (bow) entered the open men’s double and caught the audience by surprise when they won their heat and qualified directly for the A-final, in which they finished 6th. Matteo MLADENIC entered the men’s single, but narrowly missed qualifying for the A-final with a third place in
the repecharge. In truly challenging conditions, Steve DAVIES finished third in the masters D single, Josip MLADENIC finished third in the masters C, and Jason HUMPHRIES ended his first race in a single in the Masters D single in 5th. The master’s D double with Josip MLADENIC and Steve Davies finished 2nd,before Fritz REICHENBACH and Jason HUMPHRIES who finished 4th.
Unfortunately, our very strong rower Steen PUGGAARD who had made very promising entries in the open and master’s single events had to withdraw after he fell sick after the first training day in Hong Kong.
This year’s champions dinner, a rare occasion to air the club blazer, which is hosted every year by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club was attended by a handful of our team since the rest departed early to fulfil work commitments on Monday morning, or just to watch the F1 final back home in Singapore on Sunday evening.
Easter Rowing Club Singapore sends a big thank you to the Hong Kong, China Rowing Association for the professional organisation of the event and is looking forward to next year’s edition!