Sudbury go to Henley

On a stormy and cold April 29th our two para rowers sculled on the world famous Henley Royal Regatta stretch of the River Thames.

The event was hosted by the prestigious Phyllis Court Club, taking place over a 620 metre course, running upstream from Upper Thames Rowing Club and finishing at the Phyllis Court Club flagpole.

We were delighted to be invited along with only four other clubs to compete in this, the most important and inclusive time trial event in the rowing calendar for para rowers and their able bodied doubles partner rowers.

Our para rowers Sophie Brown and Luke Payne, closely watched by Sophie’s dad and our adaptive co-ordinator Angela, competed very ably despite the weather. River conditions were more akin to rowing on the sea and a far cry from our sheltered River Stour. The marquee took off. Hats blew off. Nonetheless, Sophie who loves this stretch of water, rowed the course three times and both Luke and Sophie agreed that it was a great day. Course times for everyone will be very helpful as a benchmark for the new regatta season.

During the day we also received much encouragement from other clubs. They all also competed in supported doubles together with their own able bodied club members in specially modified double sculling boats. By the end of the day we had gained the expertise to achieve this for Sudbury. Next year we hope to be back with a stronger squad of both singles and supported doubles.

Sophie Brown

Luke Payne

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