THE Isle of Wight was represented by Ryde Rowing Club’s Sharon Ayles at the inaugural Commonwealth Beach Rowing Sprint Championships in Poole.

At the event, held at the prestigious Sandbanks venue, Sharon represented England, who were up against countries such as Barbados, Canada, Namibia and Vanuatu, as well as the home nations.

Sharon, supported by Wightlink under the Isle of Wight Council’s talented athletes scheme, was coxswain in the England crew in the mixed coxed coastal quad races.

An experienced rower, Sharon also supported the management and coaching of the England squad during the competition.

In this style of racing, in FISA coastal boats, rather than typical club-type boats, all the events started on the beach with a sprint to their boats, which were held in place on the water by marshals.

They then slalomed out to sea for 250m, before they turned around the final marker buoy for a straight sprint back to shore.

When they reached land, one member of the crew jumped out and sprinted back up the beach to cross the finish line.

Unfortunately for the English crew, who experienced some difficulties with their boat, they were beaten in the semi-finals by Wales.