Minerva Bath and Alkmaar rowing twin test finishes level
Minerva Bath and their counterparts from twin city Alkmaar shared the honours on the 25th anniversary of their Challenge Shield competition.
With Minerva hosting the event, a day of racing on the river was followed by clay pigeon shooting, curry and skittles in the village hall at Newton St Loe.
A total of 14 Minerva crews, including two masters boats, competed alongside their Dutch visitors in the Monkton Bluefriars head race and – after the shooting and skittles were taken into account – a dead heat was declared.
There is no more room for winners' names on the Challenge Shield so it will remain in Bath for the time being and be returned to Alkmaar every six months. A new trophy will be fought for in April when Minerva members make the trip to the Netherlands.
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Minerva chairman Elaine Hoyes said: "Aside from all of our racing and socials through the year at Minerva, the challenge with Alkmaar represents a great competitive and fun point in our calendar twice every year.
"Having the opportunity to visit each other's clubs for the weekend is great fun, keeps getting more popular as the years go on and really adds to our members' enjoyment of the sport. I can also say that we are pretty pleased to be keeping the shield at Minerva and it will be put at the club for all to see. Now we just need to plan how to win in April."
Hoyes partnered Helen Atherton to a new personal best time at the Pairs Head in London, despite two blade clashes with other boats.
Minerva's Tom Wallis joined forces with fellow Royal Navy rower Chris Matthews to clock a time of 13mins 1sec. Laurence Birdsey rowed for Minerva with his partner from Cardiff City and they came 21st overall in 11:46.