On Saturday Sudbury RC sent a party of of competitive crews to the lovely 18th Century parkland of Richmond for their traditional regatta. Races run down a broad 1,200 m sweep of Father Thames round a tightening bend to finish in front of the lawn at Petersham Gardens. It was a wonderful English mid-summers’ day with unbroken sunshine beating down on the crews and the passing pleasure boats.
First Sudbury racer was Sue Tickner competing with the adults for the first time at Womens Novice Single sculls. In her first round she faced an experienced competitor from Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club. Tickner started well and was leading by half way. Unfortunately she could not hold on her advantage in the closing stages of an exciting race. Her opponent went on to win the final with great comfort so we can expect Tickner to do well at her next event.
Next on the course was the Mens 8 of Paul Sant, Jeremy Rose, William Wijnberg, John Brooks, Rob Snelling, Keith Paxman, Andrew Blit and David Bull coxed by Jenny Spencer. The oppositon were a crew of big boys from Thames Rowing Club, one of the historic bastions of the sport. Both crews rowed with an aggressive, sharp style with Thames gradually pulling away to win. They went on to win the event, proving their class.
Jenny Spencer was next to race in her single scull. Now promoted to Womens Senior 3 this was a big step up for the Club’s star 15 year old. In her first race she sculled past her opponent, destroying her in the 2nd half of the race. Her opponent in the final – a lady from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst – was a much tougher proposition. This was one of the races of the day with the girls never getting more than one boat length apart. The Umpire for the race was kept very busy with both scullers straying from the racing line and towards each other. The Finish Judge’s verdict of a win by 2 feet to the Sandhurst sculler was disappointing but another big step in Spencer’s racing career.
The final Sudbury crew of the day was a four drawn from the rowers from the earlier 8 of Sant, Paxman, Snelling and Bull coxed by Tickner. By coincindence their opposition in the Final was four from the Thames RC crew that we had raced in the morning – revenge was on the menu if it could be achieved. In another dramatic race the Sudbury crew held on to the fast start of their opposition and then, gradually wearing them down rowed through them. Tickner steered the ideal course, forcing Thames to take the longest route round the final bend and the Sudbury crew won by 1 1/2 lengths. It was a great way to close off a sunny regatta of competition.