By Sarah Watson
Peterborough crews faced tough conditions at the St Neots regatta at the weekend. However this didn’t stop them from dominating the event coming away with 12 wins and 7 second places in the finals, 3 of the finals being Peterborough vs Peterborough.
There were four crews that led the way with victory on both days which were J17 single sculler Benjamin Mackenzie, the J16 double of James Toynton and Alex Leverage, The Masters F double of Pete Orme and Keith Blackman and the J15 single sculler Thomas Bodily.
Following their national success the previous weekend, Benjamin Mackenzie, Jack Collins, Alex Leverage and James Toynton continued their winning streak this weekend. After placing fifth in the country at the British Junior Championships, their confidence was at an all-time high and they were able to win their J18 coxless quad on the Saturday, despite half of the crew rowing up two age groups.
As well as winning in the quad, Mackenzie also won in his J17 single on both days. On the Saturday he competed over the 1000 metre course, beating Sudbury in his semi-final by four lengths then won his final against Maidstone Invicta by three lengths. He was even faster the following day on the 500 metre course where he beat Boston in his heat easily, then a Peterborough sculler in his semi-final by 5 lengths then won by 5 lengths again in his final again Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club.
It was Toynton and Leverage’s last ever race together at the weekend however the Deadly Duo ended it on a high, winning both days in their J16 double. On the Saturday they won both their heat and semi-final easily, then raced Peterborough teammates Thomas Bodily and Thomas Jackson in the final and won by four lengths. The following day they raced another Peterborough crew in the final (Henry Barnet and Ted Smith) and won by 1 1/2 lengths.
Another double that won on both days was Pete Orme and Keith Blackman in the Masters F double sculls. They flew through the rounds on the Saturday winning their heat by four lengths, their semi-final easily, then in their final they beat Yare Rowing Club by 3 lengths. Their competition got tougher the following day, as they won by 1 1/2 lengths in their heat and semi-final, then in their final they beat Maidstone indicate by 2 1/2 lengths.
Thomas Bodily was also a double winner at the weekend in his single. On the Saturday he raced up an age group and claimed the J16 title after being Huntingdon in his heat by 6 lengths, Derby in the Semi-final by 1 1/4 lengths then Doncaster in the final by 1 1/2 lengths. He did similar the following day in the Band 1 J15 single event, where he beat Maidstone Invicta and Broxbourne in his heats by a few lengths then in the final he faced a tough race against his teammate Jackson, but just had the edge by 3/4 of a boat length.
Despite it being their first race together, J14 scullers Brandon Ingle and Ross Lamont had a great day of racing on the Sunday, as they beat Bedford rowing club in their heat by 3 lengths then won their final against Nottingham Rowing Club easily.
Another winning double that had never raced together was Damen Sanderson and Connor Mumford in the Open band 1 double. They won their semi-final easily by 4 1/2 lengths but faced a tough final against Doncaster, managing to cross the line half a boat length ahead.
The last win is from Ruairi Moore, Ajay Prasher, Steve Ackerman, Neil Elder, Tim Jeffries-Harris, Iain Cameron, James Baile, Kenny Low and cox John Canton in the Masters C eight. They beat London Otters Rowing club easily in their heat, then in the final by 3 lengths.
A crew that missed out on winning by just a bow ball was Thomas Jackson and Thomas Bodily in a nail biting race against St Ives Rowing Club.
J17 sculler Georgina Parker also came second in her final against St Ives, finishing just 2 lengths behind. She also joined forces with Jenna Taylor in the women’s j17 doubles but lost in the final by 2 lengths.
Chloe Reed also reached her final in the women’s j15 Band 1 singles however unfortunately lost out to Bedford Rowing Club.