On Sunday, many crews from Sudbury Rowing Club competed at the Great Ouse Marathon. This long distance race of 21.5 Km is run on the Great Ouse from Denver Sluice upstream back to the Cathedral City of Ely. The event has been running for decades and attracts crews from across the country – this year from as far afield as Worcester, Bradford, Warwick, Shrewsbury and Bideford – and Sudbury crews have set many of the course records over the years.
This year’s entrants included Stephen Nichols, Mike Arnott and Andrew Blit who were part of the ‘Sudbury Lifeboat’ crew of 2017 who had stopped to rescue a fisherman, this time competing in their single sculls, finishing 3rd, 3rd and 5th in their categories respectively.
The fourth member of the Lifeboat, Keith Paxman, crewed with Luke Payne this year. One of Sudbury RC’s para-rowing squad, Luke is able to row with his arms and shoulders and has equipment specifically adapted for his abilities. Having competed against potential Olympians in the summer, Luke was determined to take on this next, massive challenge with Keith as his crewmate. Keith and Luke were first across the start line and set a new course record for ‘assisted double scull’.
Competing in Mixed Double Sculls were Pippa Kerry with Jeremy Milbank and Sophie Lovegrove with Pete Donovan. Kerry and Milbank were up against some of the strongest competition in the country at Masters D (50 – 55) and were a very respectable 3rd out of 5 crews. Lovegrove and Donovan, however, were able to repeat last year’s triumph and win at Masters C (43 – 49), beating the next crew by almost 8 minutes.
An even more convincing win was recorded by the Women’s Masters D Double Scull of Teresa Moriarty and Tracy Muir who managed to win their category by more than ten and a half minutes.
All the athletes returned with sore hands and aching limbs but having enjoyed a winning expedition to a most friendly event. We look forward to many more triumphs over the winter.
Tracy Muir and Teresa Moriarty – Women’s Masters D Double Sculls
Sophie Lovegrove and Pete Donovan – Masters C Double Sculls.