RYDE Rowing Club held a reunion for past and present members who had rowed around the Isle of Wight. 

Held at their Appley clubhouse recently, with representation also from Shanklin Sandown Rowing Club (SSRC), the event honoured the crews and scullers who had completed the gruelling 55.2-mile row.

Although SSRC and other Solent clubs have completed the row, Ryde historically hold the record for the amount of times the feat had been completed — 15 in all — since the first-ever one in 1880.

Ryde's rowing captain, Paddy Kearney, welcomed all those past round-the-Island rowers and their partners who were able to attend, with club president, Steve Cook, introducing members who shared their experiences of their rows.

They included Jim Webber from the 1964 crew, and Roy Terry, who joined Jim for the 1965 row, which broke the round-the-Island rowing record.

Also present were Bob Haward, Paul Young, Steve Bull and Graham Reeve from the 1979 crew — the first crew to complete the row in a sliding seat coastal of four. 

The 1995 crew was represented by Mr Cook, and Steve and Helen Dear (cox), which broke — and still holds — the record for a coxed four.

An all-ladies crew from the club, which comprised Jo Hanks, Tanzie Hersey-Page, Cathy West, Nikki Orchard and Sarah Elson, with Steph Hickman coxing, in 1999, completed the row — still believed to be the only all-ladies' crew to have completed the feat.

The whole crew was in attendance at the reunion, together with Ina Lennie, who provided their safety cover in his boat. 

In 2003, the youngest Ryde crew, all aged under 20 years, completed the row, with Ollie Bottrell and Stu Johnson representing the crew. 

Ryde member Nick Pike, who also attended the reunion, remarkably completed the row in a single scull in 2005.

He then joined Ian Hayden, Mick Jenner and Russell Page, who were also at the event, to complete the row in a coxless quad in 2008, to claim the record.

Dave and Nigel, the sons of Roy Fountaine, who had completed the row in 1949, together with Richard Broadhead and Ian Thomas, of SSRC, who had also completed the row as members of separate crews to complete the row in 1974.

"Ryde Rowing Club has not completed around the Island Row since 2008, so it must be time for another attempt," said Mr Bull.