Sudbury Rowing Club continued its early success in January into 2019. Although the 23rd of February started foggy, an uncharacteristically warm and sunny day greeted SRC competitors for the Norwich Head of the River Race.
The Women’s Junior 15 quad of Grace Power; Emilie Larkin; Evie Prager; Amy Wallace and cox Amelia Moule took their second win in a time of 08:20, following on from their fantastic debut win earlier in the year.
More wins followed with the Men’s MasE VIII of Helen Sharp (cox), Lee Adams, Paul Adams, Stephen Nichols, Tim Hysom, Pete Donovan, Adrian Ablitt, Mike Arnott and Keith Paxman. They competed against two younger crews in their handicapped event over 5 Km. They set off last of the three, but quickly overhauled the crew from Norwich RC, passing them within the first two kilometres of the race. Sudbury maintained a strong rhythm through the middle twisting section of the course, and mounted a spirited final kilometre to finish in an adjusted time of 17:30.
In the Women’s single, Jen Titterington won first place in 22:04 with Amelia Moule taking 2nd place in 22:36. Titterington and Moule went on to win their Women’s double in a time of 20:51.
The Mixed MasB-D double of Jeremy Milbank and Kate Wallace came third in an adjusted time of 22:04 beating the Mix MasB double of Poppy Grosch and Tim Wallace into 4th place with a time of 22:51. This was Grosch and Wallace’s first race of the day, they then went on to win their second race in a time of 08:46.
In the afternoon, the Men’s MasD crew of Lee Adams, Tim Hysom, Paul Adams and Stephen Nichols competed as a coxless IV, although they had no opposition, and so were rowing for a time only. This was only the third time they had rowed coxless but they performed well against the Open crews around them to finish in a creditable time of 20:26.
There were also a number of very good races achieving second and third places with the Men’s MasD double of Simon White and Robin King coming second in an adjusted time of 19:01.
The Junior 15 double of Harry Moule and Fergus Grant came second in a time of 07:44 and the J18 2x of Byron Bullen and Sam McLoughlin came second in 19:51.
The Women’s MasD quad of Teresa Moriarty; Tracey Muir; Rosemary Hogsbjerg and Sarah Stirling also achieved second place in a time of 21:10.
Mens MasE single of Sean Moriarty came third with a time of 28:03 and Moriarty also achieved third place together with Stirling in a Mixed MasD double with a time of 23:08.
St Neots Head of the East
Just over a week later saw several more SRC crews travelling to St Neots to compete in the inaugural Head of the East race. In total contrast to the previous weekend’s weather, the competitors had warning of Storm Freya and with some trepidation set off to race in their events.
The first and second division races were a little windy with a hint of sunshine at times. These more reasonable conditions benefitted the Women’s double of Jen Titterington and Bev Goodchild (IPS) who, picking up a nice tailwind won their race with a time of 08:19.
Titterington also won her women’s single race in a time of 09:00, narrowly beating her doubles partner Goodchild (IPS) by just 4 seconds.
Mixed Masters E double of Pippa Kerry and Jeremy Milbank (above) achieved second place in a time of 09:14, with strong cross winds to contend with and very choppy conditions.
The Mixed MasB double of Tim Wallace and Poppy Grosch also endured tough and very windy racing conditions and with blisters to show, also achieved second place with a time of 09:27.
Sadly, race officials had to take the decision to cancel Division 5 towards the end of the day. The wind had significantly gathered strength and even the river’s swans and ducks had got out of the water, taking shelter on the grassy banks instead.
This meant that SRC’s newly formed Ladies Quad of Debbie Nott; Jackie Lloyd; Veronica Yates; Angela Sayer and cox Pippa Kerry, looking to compete in their first race together in the ‘New To Racing’ category, had to be postponed. The crew took their disappointment in good spirits and de-rigged their boat after a very long day of anticipation.
A huge well done to all the SRC crews and competitors. Looking forward to the next race at the Vesta Vets Head of the River on March 31st.
If you are reading this article and thinking you or someone you know may like to try rowing, Sudbury Rowing club’s next Learn to Row course for Adults starts on the 13th April.