By Sarah Watson
At the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head on Tuesday 13th March, two of Peterborough’s top junior crews raced at Dorney lake over 2 legs a total of 3,600 metres. The J17 boys crew finished in the top 5 at this prestigious event and the J17 girls finished 12th, 7 places better than where they started.
Alex Leverage, Jack Collins, James Toynton and Benjamin Mackenzie secured 5th place in the open J17 coxless quads category, despite half of their crew racing up an age group. In a tough field of 17, they did well to finish in the top 5, beating the likes of Henley Rowing Club.
Junior girls Jenna Taylor, Georgina Parker, Olivia Hutchinson and Hannah Bassett also exceeded expectations at this major event, finishing 12th out of 22. They came 7 places higher than where they started, and were only 8 seconds off a top 10 finish.
Two other brave Peterborough crews faced the Thames on previous weekend (10th and 11th of March).
The Women’s Eights Head of the River Race took place on the Saturday where Hannah Parker coxed the “oarsome” eight of Hayley Marsters, Gail Parker, Gemma Singleton, Jo Canton, Tina Allen, Ilektra Apostolidou, Kate Read and Sarah Shelton, to finish 4th in the Provincial Club M category. They achieved an excellent time of 22:40.2 over the 4 1⁄4-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course, placing them 164th out of the 300 crews that competed.
The following day, John Canton coxed Mike King, George Bushell, Alex Totty, Dan Heard, Martin Bagnall, George Wilson, Ed Burrows and Chris Elder over the same Course at the Head of the River Race. Despite this being the first time that many of them had raced in an eight on the Tideway, they came 209th overall, a big improvement on their starting position of 223. Their respectable time of 20:48.3 placed them 93rd out of 133 in Category C.