By Sarah Watson:
Peterborough athletes faced the best of the region at the Norwich Head on Saturday with the tough and windy conditions of the river Yare. There was an impressive performance from the junior competitors in the division 1 short course (2000m) where James Toynton missed out on first place by only 8 seconds, behind the fastest sculler out of both the J15 and J16 singles categories.
Also competing in division 1 were Benjamin Mackenzie (3rd) and Jack Collins (5th) who faced nationally selected competition in their j16 singles event. Leah Dennis and Jenna Taylor competing in the women’s J15 doubles event had a successful row, only being a second away from fourth place.
This was later followed by the outstanding results in division 2 (short course) by Alex Leverage and James Toynton in their J15 double. They blew away their competition, winning their category by no less than 50 seconds, and overtaking 4 crews in doing so! The victory was continued in the long course of 5000 metres, where Stuart Holmes and Chris Elder won their IM3 double.
Peterborough athletes also competed on Sunday at Head of the Trent, where they kept calm and composed as they rowed down the course, despite the treacherously strong winds that were snapping rowers’ blades! Before the event it was planned that both divisions 1 and 3 would be the long course of 5700 metres and division 2 would be the short course of 3850 metres. However due to the bad circumstances of the wind that got stronger throughout the day, it was decided that division 3 would be changed to the short course to ensure that everyone would get a race and be able to leave at a reasonable time.
In the first division, the Peterborough Women’s Masters C eight of Hayley Marsters, Caroline Calver, Tina Allen, Gail Parker, Ilektra-Georgia Apostolidou, Kate Read, Helen Wallace, Sarah Sheldrick and cox Hannah Parker, made a good start to the day by claiming second place behind Milton Keynes rowing club. This was followed by more second place results by Steve Cranfield and Ian Palmer in the Composite Masters quad, and the Women’s novice coxed four of Hayley Shipton (stroke), Rachel Pishhorn, Nikki Brett, Sarah Baker and cox Tracey Rushton-Thorpe, who were only 23 seconds behind first place!
Tracey Rushton-Thorpe then went on to cox the Women’s IM3 eight with Hayley Shipton as stroke again, with crew mates Sarah Watson, Louise Dybel, Nickie Livett, Helen Griffiths, Clare Dobler, Lauren Shearman-Smith and Helen Lavelle. For a crew that hasn’t been together long, they looked smooth and speedy as they came down the course, despite the gale force winds and strong currents that they faced, and secured an impressive 4th place out of 8.
Another rowing event that took place on Sunday was the BUCS (British University and College Sport) 4s and 8s head in Nottingham, where the Peterborough Athletes Tim Halliday and Charlie Adams raced over the 5000 metre course. Adams raced in the ‘Newcastle University A’ crew which took the gold in the women’s intermediate eights, followed by Halliday returning home with a bronze after the ‘University of Nottingham’ lightweight men’s crew, finishing only 3 seconds off a silver medal.