On Sunday 13th July two crews from Sudbury Rowing Club made their way to Bedford, one of the club’s favourite venues, for the ‘Quarts’ Regatta. The event is so named due to the 2-pint tankards given as trophies for winning crews; an added incentive to do well over the 600m sprint course.
First off for Sudbury was the men’s novice four of Paul Hamblett, Sam Dixon, Tony Hogsbjerg and Aaron Hogsbjerg, coxed by Jessica Dixon. The crew rowed well technically and their strong performance gave them a win over Lea Rowing Club’s ‘B’ crew by an impressive 3 lengths. The race was well coxed by Jess in her first Regatta.
In the bright sunshine of the middle of the day the men boated for their semi-final, also against Lea Rowing Club and this time their A crew. Not quite such a dramatic margin between the crews on this occasion, but a win for Sudbury nevertheless, by a quarter of a length, to gain their place in the final against Merton College.
Towards the end of the day’s racing the men set out for their final. It proved to be a nail-biting race for the supporters, who found it difficult to anticipate what the outcome would be, but the Sudbury novice crew won by 3 feet.
The loss of novice status was particularly satisfying for local farmer Tony Hogsbjerg, having in previous years missed the majority of the regatta season due to his farming commitments. After seven years of rowing this was a sweet moment indeed.
The women’s squad were looking forward to their racing with optimism but some trepidation. The crew would not be the same as had raced successfully at Reading, and then at Henley Women’s Regatta, due to some members’ non- availability. The Women’s Senior 4 eight of Tricia McGrillen, Katherine Cass, Laura McGrillen, Sue Kean, Dawn Frost, Rosemary Hogsbjerg, Julie Sutton and Claire Everest, coxed by Aaron Hogsbjerg, quickly made up the deficit from the stagger on the start in their race against City of Cambridge. The crew settled into their rhythm, but perhaps became a little too complacent in the middle of the race. Their opposition were at one point three quarters of a length up, until the Sudbury crew started to wind for the last 200 metres. hey finished a disappointing one third of a length behind City of Cambridge.
With minor crew changes for the straight final of the Women’s Senior 3 eights event, Tricia McGrillen, Melanie Stanton, Laura McGrillen, Katherine Cass, Dawn Frost, Rosemary Hogsbjerg, Julie Sutton and Claire Everest, coxed again by Aaron Hogsbjerg, pushed off from the bank with a great deal more aggression and resolution than in the previous event. Once again up against a City of Cambridge crew, Sudbury were determined that the results at the end of the day should read Cambridge 2, Sudbury 0.
Sudbury got off to a flying start, making up the distance on the stagger within 5 strokes, and then powered on. At no point in the race did City of Cambridge look like catching up on Sudbury, who won by a notable length and three quarters, to ensure that Sudbury Rowing Club came away from Bedford with fourteen two-pint tankards in total – a good days’ work!