A South Hams rowing club has left London’s River Marathon, ‘The Great River Race’ with a “major” achievement.

‘The Ladies Vets’ and ‘Mixed’ teams, both from Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club “trained hard” for the race which took place last Saturday, September 8.

Coxed and coached “brilliantly” by Chris Spencer Chapman, the crew improved last year’s result of third place and took an impressive first in the Ladies Vets (over 40s) category. The dedicated training also paid off when the team achieved second fastest ladies team of all the ladies teams entered.

Salcombe’s Mixed team encountered unfortunate circumstances and were unable to complete the race “through no fault of their own”. Team member Karen Arscott said: “They showed true stoicism in the face of disappointment.”

Each year, the 21.6 mile race attracts more than 300 crews, 2,500 rowers and coxes from all over the world. The boats leave Millwall Dock and pass under 27 “iconic” bridges, finishing in Surrey.

The race begins on a ‘slowest first, fastest, last’ ‘handicap’ basis, giving all crews an equal chance. For example, “Cornish pilot gigs leave just ahead of dragonboats, outriggers, waterman’s cutters, and Celtic longboats.”