Mixed Fortunes at Lea Spring Regatta

An extensive range of Sudbury rowers went to compete, from those attending their first regatta to seasoned veterans of many a campaign. First up were Sue Tickner and Paul Hamblett, racing above their class in Mixed Senior 3 doubles. In a fine, classy scull they dominated their opponents from Lea and won by 2 lengths. At the other end of the age spectrum were Andrew Blit and Mike Arnott in their first competitive outing for 11 months at Veteran D, average age 50-55. Having been given a 4 seconds start against their younger opponents they did well for the first half of the race, before lack of basic fitness caught up, nothing that a little training would not cure however.

Then Louisa Hayes and Joscelyn Ralph competed in their first race as a Mixed Novice Double and they turned in a competitive and racey performance albeit losing to a crew of Juniors from the home club. Lots to build on there. This race was closely followed by a match up between the gnarled and serious vetereans of Lea against the relative tyros of Sudbry in Veteran C fours. Against the odds the Sudbury crew of Blit, Keith Paxman, Rob Snelling and David Bull coxed by Michelle Cole held the local heros for 2/3s of the course before succumbing by half a length on the line.

Then Hamblett, last seen sculling with Tickner raced at Senior 2 (well above his ‘status’) against a local sculler. He was unfortunate enough to find an opponent who had been invited to attend national trials and after being competitive to half way had to concede 2nd best.

Now another Sudbury win – the Senior 4 coxed 4 of Johny Myers, John Brooks, Snelling and Dan Worricker again coxed by Cole were strong and powerful enough to win their event against local opposition. This was followed by a narrow Sudbury loss at Senior 3 fours, with Myers, Paxman, Snelling, Bull and Cole being rowed through by an experienced University of Kent crew who were one of the clas crews of the entire regatta.

Oli Mitchell and Sue Tickner were unlucky enough to face up to Lea opposition marginally too strong at Mixed Junior double scull but Mitchell with Woricker were comfortably triumphant in their Novice double scull event against opponents from Maidstone.

Tideway Eights, Vets Head GReat Success and a Grand Day Out

 The Head of the River Race

25 March 2006

A wholly successful and enjoyable day for the mens Novice 8. With the high start position bequeathed by last years’ crew there was both a promise of a fast time (with the benefit of the stream) and the danger of being dominated by surrounding, experienced crews. The SRC crew excelled themselves by taking advantage of the conditions and holding off all but the most determined of their opponents. Their finish position of 291 is, we think, the highest achieved by a Sudbury Novice crew and was the 1st Club Novice 8 home.

March Vesta Veterans Head

26 March 2006

The Mixed Veteran 8 emerged from hibernation to triumph, once again, this time at Mixed Vet C. They rather turn the old adage on its head, the better they are the younger they get! It will be good to see this formation out more over the summer.

Bedford Small Boats Head

9 April 2006

A substantial contingent attended the spring Bedford fest. We had 55 racing seats with 21 competitors. It was, so far as I can recall, the Club’s most successful trip with 6 wins centred around 2 competitors. Paul COMFORTABLY won both Novice and S4 singles – his best time would have won S3, S2 and would have had him second at S1 by 1 second! Jenny dominated WJ16 1x. Jenny and Paul were, naturally, fastest Mixed Novice 2x, Jenny and Jess won Womens Novice 2x (and would also have won the WJ16 event) and Paul and Sam won Mens N2x from a PCRC crew with pretensions of glory. In addition our S1 pairs matrix was only beaten by one crew and it took very good Novice 3s to beat our Mens groupings (the fastest N 4+ would also have won S4) and our scratch S4 crew was a close up 3rd in its event. Claire and Sue just held off Alex and Sue in their needle match and everyone who attended got a lot out of it. Oli beat Dan when singling and Dan and Oli together were but 7 seconds slower than Sam and Paul. Especial thanks to Michelle and Anna for bravely going up and down the river all day coxing (even if it was for Maidenhead!) Thus, despite a cold and wet end to the day, a very useful event!

Cambridge Winter League

Leg 1

January

A large club contingent across a wide spectrum of boat types. It was good to see that Novice Ladies get racing again, looking stronger than they had at Maidstone. The Juniors once again formed the backbone to the squad with Jenny yet again excelling. The Novice men had storming races in their 4 and 8, close to the front of their field and Sam & Aidan yet again showed their silky skills in the pair. The Club is very grateful to Cooney for towing, once more and to Aidan and Sam for helping run the awayday.

Legs 2 and 3

February and March Respectively

Having put ourselves in contention for 4 events and it was, in the end, a little disappointing to come away with only the 1 sets of their new glass-bottomed tankards. Congratulations to the Novice Ladies who took the precaution of being so far in front after 2 legs that they could afford a significant mishap in leg 3 and still win by a good distance. A storming row from Jenny and Paul in Leg 2 put the mixed double in contention from an unlikely position and the Novice mens 8 were 10th in the entire event which is laudable in itself. They were perhaps unfortunate to find that Cambridge 99s group had progressed between legs 2 and 3 a great deal. It is also a demonstration that moving from macons to cleavers does not guarantee any change in speed.

Maidstone Small Boats Head

A significant Club expedition. Despite Maidstone dropping out crews left right and centre owing to CLAIMED lack of opposition the Club fielded 20 athletes most competing twice or more. The average standard of our entrants was as high as I can remember (within each class) and it is encouraging, from a Captaincy point of view, to record that watching the post-match video (available from all good Hogsbjerg outlets) to note the consistency of SRC rowing ‘style’. The Club’s results reflected our aspirations too. Wins were recorded by Jenny at WJ15 1x (would also have won WJ16). Jenny and Sophie at WJ162x, Anna and Sue and WN2x (they were 2nd in their event also!), Keith, Rob, Dave and John M at N4+ (with the other 2 combinations 2nd and 3rd= in the same event on time) and Aidan and Trevor at S2 2-.

Kenneth J Mills

It is with huge sadness that Sudbury Rowing Club has to report the death of one of it’s members at the club’s 124th regatta this weekend.

Kenneth (Ken) Mills (58), long-standing member and trustee of Sudbury Rowing Club, collapsed at the end of his race at Sudbury Regatta on Saturday 7 August. He was attended to immediately by the St Johns Ambulance team and doctors on site, before being taken by ambulance to West Suffolk Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Family and fellow club members are shocked and saddened by this loss. Ken was a keen competitor and had raced at many regattas over the years, including Henley. He trained regularly both on and off the water, a fact which makes the news of his death even more difficult to bear.

The Chairman of Sudbury Rowing Club, Tricia McGrillen, said

“Ken was a faithful committee member, and Treasurer of the Club. We gain some comfort in knowing that he died taking part in a sport that he loved at the club he was dedicated to. This was an extremely sad day for us all, and Ken will be greatly missed, both for his contribution to the club and for his personality”.

In accordance with the wishes of his wife, who was also competing that day, the Club continued with their Regatta weekend.

Members in the News at Henley Royal Regatta

Sam Hogsbjerg rowed at six in the King’s College ‘A’ eight which qualified in the Temple Challenge Cup. Their first race on Wednesday was against the US Naval Academy which had won the trip to Henley by winning the IRA’s (sort of American equivalent of BUSA) in lightweight eights. The US crew equalled the second fastest time of the day to win by 3¾ lengths.

Peter Gostling was stroke of Leander Club’s Ladies’ Challenge Plate eight. Their first race was on Friday against Christiania & Norske Roklub of Norway, which they won by two lengths to set up a semi-final against Boston University, who were the seeded crew in that half of the draw. In a close contest in which the lead changed hands a number of times, and the announcer had to resort to ever smaller fractions of boat-lengths to relay the margin, Leander held on to win by ¾L. That set up a final with Harvard, the US varsity heavyweight champions, who as the other seeded crew had a slightly more comfortable win over Grasshopper of Switzerland. In the final Leander had a two length lead at Fawley, half-way, but Harvard fought back, but to no avail as Leander recorded a popular home win by ¾L.

Well done to Peter – that’s his fird Henley medal!

New Boats

We have ordered a second virus boat to support our beginner’s programme, plus some new blades to go with it. It should be delivered before the end of June. We have also placed an order for a new bank tub. The tub will be fixed to the landing stage enabling the rower to practice rowing in a stable vessel that doesn’t move. This investment will be very useful in speeding up the learning process for beginners, but also useful to refine/break the bad habits, of the more experienced rowers. We hope to have this in June too.

Iris course: With the recent ROSE course completed, the next course will be intermediate Rowing in Sudbury (IRIS) This is scheduled to run for 6 consecutive Sundays beginning the 5th September. Contact the captain if you want to go on the list.

St Neots Regatta

The club had a successful weekend at St. Neots regatta over the weekend. The women’s 8+ confirmed their competitive season by winning the S3 event, and providing a good race in their S2 heat, losing to a mean-looking AK crew. Four of the Sudbury crew won their novice pot in this event (Liz, Dawn, Mel and Julie), which had 4 entries, in a convincing 1¾ length win over the Lea. The men’s senior 4 proved they can do it coxed as well as coxless by winning the S2 4+ event, also from the Lea, by 3ft in a close final in the 9 boat event, after winning their heats with some to spare. The other Sudbury entry was Robert Frost in a large Novice sculls field, who narrowly lost in a heat.

On the sunday the mixed four won the S2 4+ event, and Tony narrowly lost the final of Vet B 1x on very little sculling this season. Robert persevered through to the final of the Novice 1x event from a field of 12 but lost by half a length. A win musty be on the cards soon…

Successful Weekend at St Neots Regatta

The club had a successful weekend at St. Neots regatta over the weekend. The women’s 8+ confirmed their competitive season by winning the S3 event, and providing a good race in their S2 heat, losing to a mean-looking AK crew. Four of the Sudbury crew won their novice pot in this event (Liz, Dawn, Mel and Julie), which had 4 entries, in a convincing 1¾ length win over the Lea. The men’s senior 4 proved they can do it coxed as well as coxless by winning the S2 4+ event, also from the Lea, by 3ft in a close final in the 9 boat event, after winning their heats with some to spare. The other Sudbury entry was Robert Frost in a large Novice sculls field, who narrowly lost in a heat.

On the sunday the mixed four won the S2 4+ event, and Tony narrowly lost the final of Vet B 1x on very little sculling this season. Robert persevered through to the final of the Novice 1x event from a field of 12 but lost by half a length. A win musty be on the cards soon…

Bedford Quarts Regatta

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!

Established 1874