Tamar and North Esk crews feature strongly at Australian Masters Rowing Championships

TEAMWORK: Margaret Earles leads the way as stroke for her team of North Esk rowers. Picture: Phillip Biggs
TEAMWORK: Margaret Earles leads the way as stroke for her team of North Esk rowers. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Northern Tasmanians have prospered better from the difficult home conditions that had greeted competitors on Lake Barrington over the second day of the Australian Masters Rowing Championships on Friday.

The best of the locals came off the back from a thrilling men’s H double sculls final over the 1000-metre course.

Tamar rowers Alan Kitto – in back-to-back days – with Richard Norton won gold but by just 1.14 second margin.

The winning pair fought off a gallant John Bugg and John Campbell-Smith, the North Esk rivals being forced to settle for silver medals.

North Esk oarsman Patrick Bird gave his club plenty of reason for more celebration, claiming his first gold medal of the championships during the B singles final.

Ulverstone husband and wife pair Michael and Sandra Wilson came away from the mixed D double final with a well-earned silver in a tight race all the way to the line.

They finished ahead of the fourth-placed Paul Francis, from North Esk, and Robin Kiely, of Tamar.

Tamar collected a further series of medals from the women’s E quad fours final when Lou Archer, Neroli Ellis, Maree Coulson and Jane Hawkesford cross together for bronze.

But it was the 92-year-old South Australian sculler Ted Jones who stole the day out on the water.

The oldest competitor at the championships braved the inclement weather to clinch three gold medals.

The masters’ blue-ribbon events will resume again on Saturday.