By Sarah Watson
Peterborough’s rowers ventured on to the Thames last weekend, with four crews entering the Veteran Fours Head on Saturday and 3 crews entering the Fours Head of the River on Sunday.
Both heads cover the 6.8 kilometre course used for the University Boat Race but run in reverse with the tide from Mortlake to Putney. They attract top clubs and universities from across the country, including many well-known GB rowers. This year included Vicky Thornley who won in the Women’s Leander quad by over 20 seconds, despite breaking a blade on the way to the start.
At the Vet head, Peterborough scullers Ian Palmer and Steve Cranfield joined Star and Leicester rowers Dave Smith and Chris Callow to finish fourth overall, out of the 223 crews that competed at the event. They were only 4 seconds away from achieving top 3. However they did finish third out of 9 in the Masters B coxless quad event.
Peterborough sculler Carole Hook won a medal at the event, after coming 1st in the Women’s Masters A coxed four event with her composite crew from Furnivall. Their time was over 25 seconds faster than Sons of the Thames in second place.
The women’s Masters C coxless quad of Helen Wallace, Bridge Lloyd, Caroline Calver and Sarah Smith achieved an excellent time of 22:08, putting them in fourth place out of the 12 in their category. They also did well to come 151st overall, beating their initial rank of 156.
Hannah Parker coxed Gemma Singleton, Gail Parker, Hayley Marsters, Tina Allen to finish 6th in the women’s Masters B coxed four event. They beat their rank of 211 by over 10 places, as they finished 195th.
The Masters E coxless quad of Pete Orme, Keith Blackman, Tim Lloyd and Steve Hodge also competed at the event and finished 15th out of 19.
At the Fuller’s Fours Head on Sunday, the Peterborough crew of Alex Leverage, James Toynton, Tom Jackson and Tom Bodily competed in the open J18 coxless quad category. Most entrants were two to three years older than the boys, so they did well to finish 31st out of 53. They achieved a time of 20:20.4 which was only 1 and a half minutes off first place. This was impressive considering they had only sculled together for less than a month, and they were up against the likes of Henley and Leander.
The other junior crew that competed was Hannah Bassett, Georgina Parker, Sarah Watson and Olivia Hutchinson in the women’s J18 coxless quad event. With this being their first time competing at this very prestigious event, they did well to come 29th out of the 41 entries in their category.
Damen Sanderson, George Bushell, Mike King and Chris Elder did well to come 16th in the Open coxless quad category, with a time of 20:41. They faced very tough competition from Tideway scullers.
By Sarah Watson