Sudbury Rowing Club’s New Year got off to a tremendous start at Bedford Star’s Head of the River Race on Sunday 13th of January. It was a bright but cold and windy day and the course was slightly shortened due to a fallen tree near the race starting point.
A grand total of 8 wins were achieved with the Junior squad delivering a fantastic performance, winning 5 of the first places.
Starting with Harry Moule in the J14 1x with a time of 6:06; Fergus Grant in the J15 1x with a time of 7:53; and Amelia Moule, WJ18 1x with a time of 7:55.
Junior doubles, Amelia Moule and Martha Bullen competed in the WJ18 2x with a time of 7:02 and Sam McLoughlin and Byron Bullen in the J18 2x with a time of 6.44. The Women’s crews also put in a brilliant performance with the Master’s double of Sophie Lovegrove and Jen Ward winning both of their races with a best time of 07:44 and the Sudbury/Ipswich double of Bev Goodchild and Jen Titterington with a time of 06:55.
In addition to all of the club’s wins there was some very close and exciting racing seen for a number of second places in very windy and choppy rowing conditions. Promising new racing teams took their first competitive steps, notably the Junior Girls coxed quad of Grace Power; Emilie Larkin; Evie Prager; Amy Wallace and cox Amelia Moule, achieving a time of 7:53, racing for the very first time along with a mixed Masters Double of Tim Wallace and Poppy Grosch, who achieved a best time of 08:14.
The men’s teams also performed well, achieving some good times including the Men’s Masters coxed four of Lee Adams; Tim Hysom; Stephen Nichols; Paul Adams; Cox Helen Sharp, achieving a best time of 6:41 and the Men’s Master double of Simon White and Robin King with a time of 7:09.
A huge well done to all competitors and a great start to the year ahead.
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!
Two Sudbury Rowing Club Juniors represented the club at last weekends Ely Head Race held at the Isle of Ely rowing club.
Rowing over a 3km distance against a number of other clubs Byron Bullen won in the Junior 18 category and Martha Bullen won in the Womens Junior 16 category. Competing against some very high level Junior competition both juniors did exceptionally well in some tough conditions where the strong wind caused issues for everyone competing due to the head wind and very choppy conditions.
Following the first division being completed all competitors observed a two minute silence to mark the 100th Armistice anniversary before Martha Bullen also competed in the Womens Junior 16 quad. Unfortunately the girls didn’t have any competition so were only racing for time and posted a great time finishing 6th fastest from all crews and the fastest female crew in the second division.
Sunday the 4th of November saw Sudbury Rowing Club send two Men’s crews to compete in the Veteran Fours Head of the River Race.
This race is held over the Boat Race course on the Tideway stretch of the River Thames in London, although in reverse, from Mortlake to Putney, and attracts crews from all over the country.
Lee Adams, Tim Hysom, Stephen Nichols, Paul Adams and cox Helen Sharp raced in the Men’s Masters C coxed four. They competed against seven other crews in the 45 – 50 age category and finished a very creditable second place, achieving a time of 20:56.9. They overtook two crews on the water, but otherwise had a smooth row, making the most of the relatively mild weather.
The Men’s Masters G quad scull of Brendan Sullivan, Mike Arnott, Andrew Blit and Keith Paxman competed against ten other crews in their category, finishing in sixth place in a time of 22:11.1. The crew had a very good row for the first half of the race, dicing with a crew from Thames RC and overtaking one from Warwick. Unfortunately the race then took a more eventful turn with the quad coming into contact with two other crews in the middle of the race. This slowed them down a little but they still produced a good performance for such a recent crew combination.
Both crews will be looking to improve their performances for the next race, Wallingford Head, in two week’s time.
Sudbury Rowing Club have had a busy October with some very wet but successful racing.
First was the Pairs Head of the River race covering 4500 metres of the Thames, where overall 400 crews competed from all over the country. Three Sudbury crews competed in heavy rain and blustery conditions.
Byron Bullen and Sam McLoughlin raced in the Men’s Junior 18 Intermediate event, Amelia Moule and Amelia Maskell raced in the Women’s Junior 18 Intermediate event and Jen Titterington and Bev Goodchild (Ipswich RC) raced in the Women’s Championship Doubles. All three crews raced well in their categories.
The next event was Bedford Small Boats Head – a distance of 2000 metres with some bridges to avoid. Another very wet day of racing with some crews racing in three different divisions and in different events.
Winning crews were:- Harry Moule in the Junior 15 single sculls event, Women’s Band 2 quad of Amelia Moule, Helena Griffiths, Amelia Maskell and Martha Bullen. Jen Titterington won the Women’s Band 1 single sculls event and also raced in a composite quad with Ipswich and Lea RC, winning their event. Martha Bullen won the Women’s Junior 16 single sculls.
The most recent win was at the Norfolk Long Distance Sculls in Norwich where Mike Arnott, Andrew Blit, Keith Paxman and Brendan Sullivan (above) were fastest in their category, Masters E-G 4x, coming away with a win. This crew will be competing at the Fours Head of the River race on the Thames next weekend.
Sam McLoughlin, Byron Bullen, Bev Goodchild, Jen Titterington, Amelia Maskell and Amelia Moule at the Pairs Head of the River.
The Great River Race is held in September each year in London.
The race starts at Millwall Slipway on the Isle of Dogs and runs up the Thames on the flood tide through the centre of London to Ham Riverside in Richmond.
The total race distance is 21.6 miles and it passes under 28 bridges.
The race is open to any traditional or traditional-style boat powered by a minimum of four oars or paddles; sliding seats or riggers are not allowed. Each boat must have, in addition to those rowing, a cox and a passenger, although these can swap places during the race.
This year, for the first time, Sudbury Rowing Club entered the race in a composite crew with the rowing section of Stour Sailing Club at Manningtree.
The clubs represent towns at the two ends of the navigable River Stour.
Two of the crew (Will Langton and Russell Harvey) are members of Stour Sailing Club, two more (Mike Arnott and Jeremy Milbank) are from Sudbury and the other two (Keith Paxman and Brendan Sullivan) are members of both clubs.
Rowing in a skiff called Lt. Washington, the crew finished in a time of just under 2 hours and 52 minutes.
They were 9th overall (out of 320 finishers) and won their category, of “Felixstowe Claydon Skiff”.
They also won the Great River Race Trophy for the fastest Veterans (over 60).
The picture above shows (from left) Brendan Sullivan, Keith Paxman and Will Langton with the Great River Race Trophy for Veteran (over 60) crews.
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.