We had a slightly diminished Peterborough Summer Regatta this year due to holidays and injuries, but our women's masters four still managed another excellent win, and many club members took advantage of the 500m course on the Sunday to get in some valuable and fun race experience... me included!
Winners: WMasDE 4+: Karen, Paula, Helen S, Suzanne, cox: Chris, 1/3 in straight final in 4:00.4
Our dependable women's masters squad once again delivered the goods with a confident race. They had a handicap in their favour this time, but didn't need it, finishing well ahead of their opposition.
Winner: WJ15 1x: Izzy, 1/4 in heat in 4:14.5, 1/4 in final in 4:12.1
Izzy technically was racing for Bedford, but she trains with Action4Youth and is coached by John and her parents both row with us, so we're totally going to count this as an MK win! Well done Izzy.
Op 2x (Band 3): Leo, Alex, 4/4 in heat in 4:28.0
Great race experience for the Alex and Leo, and impressive to be racing a double together without (really) practising! Alex was very happy to have improved on his previous time from racing at Peterborough in spring.
WMasEF 2x: Liz F, Trish, 4/4 in straight final in 4:46.9
A much more successful race for Liz and Trish than St. Neots, partly because of the lack of gazebos on the course, but mostly because the straighter course and re-jigged crew order meant they were both much more able to focus on their rowing and less about steering. It will be great to see them continue to improve.
MasEF 1x: Rod, 2/4 in 4:17.1
Rod had a handicap to make up in this race, and try as he might he couldn't make much headway against the F 1x, but he was able to confidently stay ahead of the other E 1x for second place.
W 8+ (Band 1): Karen, Paula, Jo, Kate, Hayley (super-sub from Peterborough), Suzanne, Helen S, Jen P, cox: Chris, 3/4 in straight final in 3:40.6
Things didn't look good for the 8, with Trish having to rush off before the race to look after Liz and no suitable MK rowers around to sub in. Some quick searching though found a Peterborough masters lady rower who very generously subbed in so that the crew could still race (even though she had just been beaten by our E4+...). The race itself was very similar to Peterborough Spring Regatta where our Masters 8+ also got moved to the top senior band, with the ladies holding a consistent high and powerful rate that kept them right up with the other crews, giving a close race even though not a win.
Op 4+ (Band 2): Shaun, Luca, Leo, Alex, cox: Paula, 4/4 in heat in 1:48.0
A slightly improvised crew of all the younger men who were keen to get some racing in, the guys had a good row and enjoyed themselves, and will hopefully for up for some more racing at Cambridge and MK. Paula now joins the select group of people who have coxed Pitch in a race!
Op 4+ (Band 2): Phil C, Lee, Mike P, Chao, cox: Jen P, 4/4 in heat in 1:47.4
Our men's masters 4+ had a slightly iffy start that put them a little behind. Once they hit their stride they pulled back, but not enough to change their position. Congratulations to Jen on coxing her first regatta race!
W 1x (Band 3): Alice, 1/4 in heat in 2:08.6, 3/4 in final in 2:02.7
Alice had an awesome heat, coming first by several lengths. In the final she had a tougher race on her hands and upped the presssure and rate, coming a very creditable 3rd out of the 11 competitors overall.
Op 1x (Band 3): Shaun, 2/4 in heat in 1:58.2, 3/3 in rep in 2:00.4
Shaun had his 1x heat literally straight after his 4+ heat, which was tough! Heading straight up onto the stakeboat meant he was not exactly prepared for the start, but he still managed to beat two of the other scullers to come second and make it into the repechage. With much better preperation for the rep he was hopeful of getting through to the final, but sadly it was not to be... next time!
Op 2x (Band 3): Malcolm, Chao, 4/4 in heat in 2:16.9
Malcolm hit the water at Peterborough for his first ever race, aided and abetted by Chao. They looked good during the race, and as Malcolm told me afterwards, he is keen for more!
Op 2x (Band 3): Luca, Alex, 4/4 in heat in 2:02.1
Swapping a Leo for a Luca, Alex was out doubling again on Sunday. These guys had a similar level of preparation and a similar race to Saturday, gaining some very useful and fun race experience on the multi-lane course.
MasDE 1x: Rod, 2/3 in straight final in 2:05.3
Rod was really hopeful today having beaten one of his opposition the day before over 1km. He was initially up on the other sculler, but lulled into a false sense of security by the empty lane (due to a scratching) next to him he strayed a bit close to the lane buoys, which put him off his stride and sadly allowed his opposition to just sneak in front.
WMasA 4+: Jo, Kate, Alice, Jen P, cox: Chris, 2/4 in straight final in 1:55.1
Our younger masters 4+ were excited to try and match the E 4+'s acheivements the day before, but were up against some unknown crews from Lea and Peterborough. They had a very good row, and although the Peterborough crew shot out in front, they had a close race with one of the Lea boats for second, which they most definitely won.
Mx 2x: Chris, Jo, 4/4 in heat in 1:59.0
Mixed boats are always one of the highlights of summer regattas, so Jo and I thought we'd get in on the action. There were so many mixed doubles in fact (24), that there were two bands of us on Sunday! We enjoyed the race and were quite close to the 3rd place crew, although we'll definitely try to do a bit more practice before any others :-)
Chris The weather may not have been quite as hot as we were hoping, but we still had a great weekend at St. Neot's. We had a lot of crews make it through to finals and quite a few wins on the Saturday - let's hope for the same at Peterborough in 10 days time!
Winners: WMasC 8+ Karen, Paula, Jo, Jayne, Lisa, Suzanne, Alice, Jen, cox: Chris W; beat Broxbourne in final by 1/4 length
This was a straight final but a really exciting and deserving win. The ladies were behind off the start, but never panicked and hung right on to Broxbourne, gradually pushing past in the last third of the race to secure the win.
Winners: WMasCDE 4+ Karen, Paula, Jo, Suzanne, cox: Chris W; beat Star in semi final by 2 lengths, beat St Neots in final by 2 1/2 lengths
In both races our Masters C 4+ had to overcome an 18 second handicap to beat the other crews, who were Es. For our Henley veterans though this was no problem!
Winners: W 4x Maude, Jen, Jayne, Alice; beat Lincoln Rowing Centre in semi final easily, beat Isle of Ely in final by 4 lengths
Who says we can only sweep row? Some excellent steering by Alice (always useful at St. Neot's!) and good sculling by the rest of the crew saw them cruise to victories in both their races.
Winner: MasCDE 1x Steve L; beat Old Monmothians in heat by 3 lengths, beat Yare in semi final by 4 lengths, beat Rod in final by 1/2 length
MasCDE 1x Rod; beat Norwich in semi final by 2 lengths, lost to Steve L in final by 1/2 length
Sadly there was no competition for Rod and Steve's pair... so they ended up racing each other instead! Both of them made it comfortably through to the final, where a close battle in the wind (to quote Steve, "I survived the conditions better) saw Steve just come out on top.
Open 4+ John S, Charlie, Shaun, James, cox: Steve B; lost in heat to Norwich/Wallingford composite by 3 feet
This was one of our closest races of the weekend, with the crews very close all the way until the guys just lost out on the line. The crew were unlucky to come up against the eventual winners in their heat, and the fact that they lost by a smaller margin than anyone else means they are claiming a technical second place ;-)
Open 4+ Benn, Callum, Luca, Paul, cox: Steve L; lost in heat to Cygnet by 2 lengths
Our other 4+ came up against the other finalists in their heat, and couldn't quite get the better of them. Bearing in mind that they were racing in the top band, that this was Luca's first proper regatta, and Paul has been rowing less than a year, that's still awesome!
Open 4- James, Luca, Paul, Benn; beat London Otters in heat by 4 lengths, beat Lincoln Rowing Centre in semi by 1 length, lost to Northampton in final by 1 1/2 lengths
This crew had several really impressive races, especially from Luca who was at his first proper regatta. The final was a local derby against Northampton Rowing Club, which despite coming 2nd was actually an amazing result seeing as it was against a crew that had trialled at Henley this year.
Open 2- Charlie, Shaun; disqualified in heat
Shaun referred to this race as a "win on the water". Unfortunately some steering issues (totally understandable in the wind and narrow lanes!) meant that they were disqualified for interfering with the other crew a bit more than the other crew were interfering with them.
Open 2x Callum, John S; beat Curlew in heat easily, beat London Otters in semi easily, lost to Leeds in final by 1 1/2 lengths
Callum and John had two very impressive wins in the heat and semi-final, before coming up against a tough Leeds crew in the final, and not quite managing to come out on top after all their other racing that day.
WMasDEF 2x Trish, Liz F; lost to Sudbury in heat
Out racing for the first time, Trish and Liz struggled a little in the wind, but even more with the gazebo that was blown onto the course! It certainly made for an eventful first race.
WMasEF 1x Liz F; lost to Lea in semi final
Liz was racing in a regatta in her single (more than I've ever done...) and given the windy conditions was happy with her race. Hopefully she has learnt a lot and is looking forward to her next race, hopefully when it's a bit calmer.
W 8+ Karen, Paula, Jo, Suzanne, Alice, Clare, Jayne, Jen, cox: Chris W; lost in semi final to Maidstone Invicta by 1 length
With no masters competition on Sunday the ladies were up against a much younger crew than themselves. They gave it everything but couldn't beat Maidstone. Maidstone went on to beat the other crew in the final by 4 lengths, so it's a moral second place!
Open 4+ Band 1 John S, James, Shaun, Charlie, cox: Chris W; beat Leeds in semi final by 1 length, lost in final to Old Novicensians by 3/4 length
This crew had two good rows and couldn't have put in any more in the final, especially given all the other races they'd been doing in between! They all enjoyed the races, even if they sadly didn't come away with any pots.
Open 4+ Band 2 Benn, Les, Leo, Paul, cox: Steve B; beat London Otters in heat by 1 length, lost to City of Sheffield in semi final by 3 lengths
Our other 4+ couldn't quite find the rhythm of our first, comfortably(ish) despatching Otters in the first round, but losing out to Sheffield in the semi.
WMasCDE 4+ Karen, Paula, Jo, Suzanne, cox: Steve B; beat Star in semi final by 1 3/4 lengths, lost to Star in final by 3 lengths
Once again our masters women's 4+ had stiff handicaps to overcome, doing so in style against the first Star crew, but not managing to against the second.
Open 4- James, Les, Callum, Benn; beat Curlew in semi final easily, lost to Norwich in final by 1 length
Our men continued to have success in the coxless, winning their semi-final easily before losing to Norwich in the final. It's been ages since we've seen the men's squad racing in coxless boats - if they're this good then hopefully we'll see them again in the future!
Open 2- Charlie, Shaun; beat Leeds in heat by 3/5 length, lost to Bedford in semi final by 2 lengths
Overcoming their steering issues of the day before, Charlie and Shaun won their heat by an unusual winning margin. Perhaps struggling a bit with all the races they were enthusiastically having crammed into their afternoon, they couldn't beat Bedford in the semi.
Open 2x Band 2 Callum, John S; lost to Leeds in heat by 3/4 length
Callum and John had a good race but came up against a tough Leeds crew who they couldn't quite get the better of.
Open 2x Band 3 Chris H, Ian; lost to Norwich in heat
Chris H had great fun in his first proper sculling race - always a bit of an experience!
W 2x Jayne, Alice; lost to City of Sheffield in heat by 4 lengths
Thrown in with all the women's scullers in one big band, Jayne and Alice were unlucky to come up against the eventual winners (by some margin) in their heat. Hopefully they won't be disheartened and will be keen to keep up some sculling racing!
W 2x Maude, Jen; lost to Leeds in heat
This was a great experience building race for Maude and Jen, who moved on from the quad yesterday to a double today, just to see if they could.
WMasEF 2x Trish, Liz F; lost to Oundle in semi final by 4 lengths
Out racing for the second time, Trish and Liz again struggled a little in the wind, but hopefully enjoyed the experience and will keep up their training for lots more races in the future.
MasEF 1x Steve L; lost to Nemesis in semi final by 5 lengths
Steve came up against a club he is familiar with of old, his Nemesis, and sadly couldn't repeat his success of the day before.
WMasDEF 1x Trish; beat City of Sheffield in semi final by 4 lengths, lost to Lea in final by 1 length
Trish had a great row in the semi for her first single scull race for ages (ever?). She had a close race in the final and didn't quite win, but should be really happy with the results.
Open 1x Band 3 Ian; lost to Leeds in heat
Up bright and early, Ian had a good race but couldn't beat the man from the north in the other lane.