Three members of Sudbury Rowing Club journeyed to Portugal in mid August to take part in the Portugal Rowing Tour, hosted by Ginásio Figueirense Rowing Club, and joining other participants from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, UK and Portugal.
This year’s tour was in mid Portugal; a rugged, hilly, forested area through which runs The Zêzere River. Rising at the highest point of Portugal, it is their second longest river and in general is wider than the length of the River Stour that Sudbury Rowing Club is able to use. The scenery is stunning.
The weather was sunny and hot for the duration of the tour and on occasions it was also very windy. Crews were put together prior to the morning and afternoon sessions, mixing nationalities and clubs in what is loosely termed ‘leisure’ rowing. How leisurely it was depended on the personalities within the crews and on the weather conditions. During one outing, the three Sudbury Rowing Club members along with two from Bewl Bridge Rowing Club in Kent, battled in a coxed quad at firm pressure against the winds, sculling as if they were in a race. With a great feeling of achievement at the end of the session, they congratulated each other on how hard they had worked and how well they had done!
The group of 60 participants mixed well together socially during ‘down’ periods when they took full advantage of the hospitality laid on by the host club. Superb three course meals were provided to fuel the athletes and there was plenty of fun and conversation amongst the various nationalities.
Sudbury Rowing Club members Keith Paxman and Maria Vigneau recently represented GB in The World Rowing Federation’s (FISA) World Rowing Tour.
Keith and Maria were selected to represent GB in the July 2019 World Rowing Tour, which was a 100 mile row over a four day period in Finland. Rowing through the region of North Karelia, the course leads through the heart of the North Karelian Lakeland.
Forty rowers were selected from 13 countries extending across Europe, North America, Australia and Africa.
Traditional Finnish Church Boats are used, which have sliding seats, sweep oars (one oar each) and are crewed by 14 rowers plus a cox.
Maria Vigneau said, “It was a unique opportunity to enjoy rowing with others from all over the world and share experiences. Many friendships were made as well as plans to visit other rowing clubs in the future. It was a true honour to have been selected to participate in a World Tour”.
The World Rowing Federation, FISA, is the governing body of the sport of rowing. It is empowered by its 155 member National Rowing Federations, the National Olympic Committees and the International Olympic Committee, to govern the sport of rowing.
Back in the UK, members of Sudbury Rowing Club competed at St Neots Regatta over the weekend of July 27th-28th.
It was an exceptionally wet, cold and windy July weekend with almost no let up in a seemingly unending torrent of rain. Nevertheless, the Sudbury rowers braved the inclement and chilly conditions.
The Juniors performed very well starting on Saturday, where the WJ18 double of Amelia Moule and Martha Bullen won easily against Peterborough and Sam McLoughlin won in his J17 single against Star club, by 1 foot.
Continuing into Sunday, the J15 double of Evie Prager and Emilie Larkin won against Peterborough by 2 lengths, the B2 open single of Morgan Moriarty won by 1 1/4 lengths against Northampton and the B1 Women’s quad of Amelia Moule; Martha Bullen; Natasha Treagust and Amelia Maskell won against Newark RC by 1 length.
Martha Bullen won by 3 feet against Peterborough in the WJ18 single and in the Women’s MasABC single, Kate Wallace also achieved an excellent win against Peterborough by 2 1/2 lengths.
A large number of very close second places were also achieved by Sudbury rowers in exciting and close races.
The 3rd of August 2019 saw Sudbury Regatta on Friars Meadow at its finest. It was a gorgeous day with brilliant sunshine, blue skies and perfect rowing conditions. A beautiful summers day on the picturesque meadow, now packed full with competitors, boats, trailers, tents and spectators sitting expectantly on hay bales along the river bank waiting for the racing to start.
By 8am competitors were on the water and ready to race in the planned 204 races over 87 events! Sudbury achieved a brilliant set of wins, many excellent semi final races were seen from all crews and Sudbury set some new course records
Wins came from our Juniors in the WJ14 2x from Amy Wallace and Grace Power who won easily in a time of 03:05. In the WJ15.2 1x Evie Prager also won easily in 03:00 and set a new course record. In the WJ18 2x Martha Bullen and Amelia Moule won in 4 lengths in a time of 02:32.
The Mx 4x composite crew of Amelia Moule; Martha Bullen; Byron Bullen and Ben Mackenzie (PCRC), also set a new course record winning by 4 lengths in 02:07. Jen Titterington won as part of 2 composite crews with Lea Rowing Club in the W 8+ and W.1 4x, winning in a time of 01:09 and by 2 lengths in a time of 02:23 respectively (which was a new course record).
One of Sudbury’s new categories, the Parent and Child event saw a great win from Tony and Harry Moule, who looked supreme, winning in 5 lengths in a time of 02:28. Kate and Amy Wallace came through their Parent and Child semi final race to easily win, however they lost in the final against Gillian Lindsay and her daughter Emily from Wimbledon High School. G. Lindsay was a silver medalist at the Sydney Olympiad in 2000, so only losing by 3 lengths was still a great achievement for our Sudbury mother and daughter double!
The Adult squads also gave great performances and set several course records. Callum Power and Lucy Freeman (UTS) won the Mx.1 2x, setting a new course record, by 1 length in a time of 03:01. Mx MasE 2x of Sean Moriarty and Sarah Stirling won by 2 lengths in 02:44, with S. Stirling going on to win the W MasE 1x race by 1ft in a time of 03:01 and setting a new course record.
Robin King and Simon White won the Op MasD/E 2x in 02:30 by half a length (setting a new course record) and Sophie Lovegrove and Jen Ward continued their successes with a win in the W MasD 2x in 02:55 by one and a half lengths.
The Op. MasD/E 4+ of cox Tricia Fincham; Lee Adams; Stephen Nichols; Tim Hysom and Paul Adams also took a very well deserved win in 02:21 by 2 lengths.
The Sudbury Men’s 8 wowed the crowds with their stunning performance in the Sprint Eights. Expertly coxed by Tricia Fincham they took an excellent racing line just pulling ahead at the halfway point with the other crew then pulling almost level again and racing side by side down the second half of the course.
The bank of spectators waited with baited breath to hear from the umpire that, (from bow) Tim Wallace; Robin King; Mark Tyrie; Pete Donovan; Tim Hysom; Stephen Nichols; Paul Adams and Lee Adams had indeed seized their triumph in a time of 01:04, winning by a nail biting quarter of a length!
Sudbury Regatta was once again a tremendously pleasurable and successful event. The club members worked tirelessly over 3 days to ensure that all visiting club’s rowers, spectators and Sudbury Town had an entertaining and memorable event to visit and watch. We thank all of the visiting clubs and rowers for their participation, enthusiasm and brilliant rowing, who helped to make the event such a delightful one and a fantastic day of racing was enjoyed by everyone!
Sudbury Rowing Club held a boat naming ceremony on Saturday the 20th July in honour of Richard Kemp, the local councillor for Long Melford. Richard is a local businessman who has been involved in local politics for 45 years, as a Babergh District Councillor, Magistrate & recently retired as a local Parish Councillor.
As a thank you for his continued support of Sudbury Rowing club over many years, the club wanted to name a boat in his honour. He has supported grass roots sports in the area, and in particular Sudbury Rowing Club for many years, even as budgets have diminished he has tried to give something each year from his locality budget to support local sport and in particular youth sport.
Mr Kemp chose for the boat to be named “Richard Luff-Kemp” in honour of his family’s history. Mr Kemp & his wife joined the Rowing Club for the traditional naming ceremony on Saturday morning.
The club also named a coxed four in recognition of a recent bequest from another local benefactor. Mr Brian Weedon made a significant donation to the club in his will last year and in honour of this gift, and with a distinct nod to his sense of humour, the boat was named “Life of Brian”.
You will be able to see both the “Richard Luff-Kemp” and “Life of Brian” in action on the water, competing at Sudbury Regatta on Saturday 3rd August.
Sudbury Rowing club held its annual Pudding Races on the 22nd December.
The event, which saw the rowers compete against each other in a bid to win the grand prize of Christmas Puddings (and the honour of best fancy dress) was again well attended.
Many friends, family and past members came along to cheer on the 40 rowing competitors who were split into two teams of 20, namely Team Chestnut and Team Sprout.
The teams were split into different boats, eights; quads; double sculls and an adaptive single, and each pair of competing crews raced along Friars Meadow three times, with the start adjusted each time to accommodate the winning margin from the previous race. The winning team was decided by the number of crews on each that won their ‘best of 3’ races.
The winning rowing team of SRC’s 2018 Pudding Races were ‘The Sprouts’!
The best fancy dress prize in the Junior squad was awarded to Amelia Moule and Pete Donovan won the title in the adult squad.
Great fun was had by everyone and the Sprouts all took home their puddings!
Sudbury juniors Martha Bullen and Amelia Maskell will be representing the Eastern Region at the Inter-Regional Championships later this month in Nottingham. Their previous results were used in the selection process and they will compete in the girls Under 16 double sculls category.
Six members of Sudbury Rowing Club completed the Sudbury Fun Run before attending the Rowing Club Good Friday Opening. Club Captain Sean Moriarty led the way, followed by Sam McLoughlin, Amelia Moule, Byron Bullen, Martha Bullen and Amelia Maskell.
They then joined other club members at the Rowing Club to celebrate the official start of the season and competed in some very exciting races along Friars Meadow.
Back at the Clubhouse the Deputy Mayor raised the flag, Club Chairman Stephen Nichols gave an inspiring pre-season speech before Easter Egg prizes were presented to the winning crews and Hot Cross Buns were enjoyed!
The next event will be Bedford Small Boats Head.
Sam McLoughlin, Byron Bullen, Martha Bullen, Amelia Maskell, Sean Moriarty and Amelia Moule.