Full Round-Up of the Maidstone Small Boats Head

During the winter season racing takes place over longer courses, in this case 2,500 metres, and is run on a time trial basis. So boats set off one at a time (rather than side by side as in the summer) to race against the clock. A total of 22 members of Sudbury Rowing Club set out early on Sunday morning to compete at the Maidstone Small Boats Head. Arriving in plenty of time for the first division at 10.30 the crews boated, warmed up & did their best to stay that way in an icy wind.

First boat off was the Sudbury Senior 1 four of Antony Moule, Kevin Last, Aidan Dunn and Sam Hogsbjerg, coxed by Jim Kean.
The crew felt they'd raced particularly well, and this was borne out by the fact that they finished the day as the fastest boat in their class. Next off for Sudbury was the Novice four of Charles Howard, Keith Paxman, Rob Weller and Paul Hamblett with cox Andrew Blit. They were reasonably happy with their race, but felt it went much better in the second division. This time they felt they got into their rhythm better and that the boat was better balanced. This time they were coxed by Robert Frost.

The women's Senior 2 crew of Tricia McGrillen, Katherine Cass, Julie Sutton and Susie Moule led the women's racing in this division. They were coxed by Claire Everest who put in a great performance, steering this difficult boat for the first time to great effect. They achieved the fastest time of the day for a women's crew. The well established Vet D coxless pair of Ken Mills and Mike Arnott raced in this Division, but encountered some steering issues. They were followed by the women's Senior 3 coxless pair of Vicky Leonard and Rosemary Hogsbjerg, who unfortunately had no direct competition, but were happy to evaluate their time against similar men's crews. Robert Frost entered as Novice single scull, and his sister, Dawn as women's J16 single scull.

In the second division the Vet D coxed 4 of Ken Mills, Jim Kean, Tony Hogsbjerg and Mike Arnott were coxed by Andrew Blit. With no opportunity for a practice outing beforehand the crew rowed as well as could be expected.

Following directly behind their arch rivals from Poplar, Blackwall & District Rowing Club, the women's Senior 3 four of Julie Sutton, Claire Everest, Vicky Leonard and Rosemary Hogsbjerg, and cox Tricia McGrillen very soon started to make up ground. In an exciting race they inched their way closer stroke by stroke, and managed to overtake the other crew before the finish.
A satisfying result for Sudbury whose women's crews finished the day 1st & 2nd overall.

The coxless pair of Aidan Dunn & Sam Hogsbjerg raced at Open class & were the fastest pair of the day. Antony Moule and Jeremy Fisher raced in Senior 2 coxless pairs, and Kevin Last in Senior 2 single scull, but having been given a starting position behind slower boats, both crews had to negotiate several overtaking manoeuvres. Dawn Frost raced again, this time in women's novice single scull, and was much happier with her performance.

Author
Tricia Fincham
Published