Peterborough Spring Regatta: More Success for SRC

A substantial contingent from Surdbury RC attended the two day Regatta on the purpose built lake at Peterborough last weekend. For some this was their first taste of multi-lane racing where others were coming straight from training camp or back from injury. This is another major regional event that attracts crews from as far afield as York, Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton and is another stiff challenge for our local athletes.

The Saturday Regatta is raced over the full Kilometre of the lake and Sudbury had competitors in 6 events. The mens squad who had competed at Leicester and Bedford were represented by an 8 consisting of Russell Smith, John Brooks, Paul Sant, Johny Myers, Rob Snelling, Keith Paxman, Andrew Blit and David Bull coxed by Michelle Cole and a 4 of Sant, Paxman, Snelling and Bull again coxed by Cole. The 8s event was pretty 'hot' with Jesus College, Cambridge and University of Warwick eventually finishing first and second. The Sudbury crew were not quite on that pace but were sufficiently strong to beat the local Peterborough City 8 on their home water. The 4 had more success though cutting it fine in their first race, needing to finish 2nd they were beaten by .3 of a second by Wolfson College, Cambridge but held off St.Ives R.C. by .2 to qualify for the semi final. In that event they improved their performance to qualify comfortably for the final where they once again found Wolfson just too good on the day.

Paul Hamblett, fresh from training camp in France, entered both Novice and Senior 3 single sculls. Hamblett is targetting the extra large Tankard available to the Novice winner of Bedford Quarts Regatta in July and is, accordingly, treating events before then as preparation. His sculling throughout the day was classy and smooth and his comfort in achieving 2nd place in each event entered is a token of his promise for the summer.

Sudbury's other competitors were Sophie Kiff and Jenny Spencer at Womens Junior 16 double sculls and Spencer in Womens Novice single sculls. Kiff is just returning from a wrist injury and naturallly found the event taxing and their opponents, from St.Neots RC, had recently come 2nd at the National Schools Regatta and are a year older than Kiff and Spencer. But the Sudbury crew's style is so smooth and effective that the pushed their opponents hard to the line. Spencer was entering her first 'Senior' event and had been apprehensive beforehand. She need not have worried as over the 3 races of the event she carried all before her comfortably dominating and winning her Novice pot.
The Sunday Regatta is a 'Sprint' event run over 500 metres with breathless, harum scarum racing the order of the day. A similar range of competitive crews were entered by Sudbury and the racing was tight and hard.

The Mens 8 of Hamblett, Brooks, Sant, Myers, Snelling, Paxman, Blit and Bull were coxed by Daniel Woricker and had a really fast day. In their first race they hung on to the tails of University of Birmingham but were more than 3 seconds faster than the crews from Peterborough and Cambridge 99 RC, year long rivals. The final was won by the Birmingham crew with Sudbury this time recording a 6 second verdict over Peterborough. The crew split onto two 4s with Sant, Brooks, Myers and Bull, coxed by Woricker reaching the semi-final at Senior 4 but losing out there to University of York and a Veteran crew of Blit, Paxman, Snelling and Bull coxed by Woricker meeting decades old rivals from Peterborough. Beaten again after a really tight race but we will get them next time!

Kiff and Spencer raced again, this time in their own Women’s Junior 15 category and were clearly faster and smoother than their opponents in both rounds, winning the final with grace and ease. Spencer, too, raced as a Junior on the Sunday and was, also triumphant even though the competition led by a girl from Rob Roy Boat Club was strong and determined.

So, all in all, a successful weekend for Sudbury RC, with 3 wins from 11 entries. The mens group was headed by collegiate crews but only by one other 'Club', Hamblett is on course to triumph at Bedford and Kiff and Spencer brought home the trophies. The next event for the Club will be Richmond Regatta on June 24th where we hope to pick up more prizes.