Written by Sarah Watson:
On Saturday 11th March, a Peterborough crew took part in the Women’s Eights Head of the River race, a very prestigious event with around 2,880 women racing and 320 crews taking part. This took place over the 6.8km stretch of the Thames in West London (the same as the Oxford and Cambridge boat race) however in this case it was with the tide, rather than against.
The crew consisted of members Hayley Shipton, Sarah Watson, Louise Dybel, Nickie Livett, Helen Griffiths, Clare Dobler, Lauren Shearman-Smith, Helen Lavelle and cox Tracey Rushton Thorpe, who as a crew that’s only been together for 6 weeks and with no experience racing on the Thames, achieved a respectable time of 22:11.2, finishing 224th out of the 320 entries.
With it being the largest women’s race in the world, they were able to race alongside several Olympic silver medallists from the Rio Olympics last year. This included Karen Bennet who was in the overall winning crew from Leander club, with the time of 18:13.1, despite only being ranked at 51.
Peterborough City rowers were also in action on Sunday at Lincoln Head, where they gained two wins over the 3.5 kilometre course. The victories got off to a start when Steve Hodge and Peter Orme overtook Huntingdon in the Masters E doubles beating them by just under 50 seconds. They then joined Neil Elder and John Canton in winning the Masters E/F quad, catching their opponents Doncaster on the finish line, beating their time by over 30 seconds.
In addition to this, Jack Ward achieved a second place in the Masters E/F singles behind Newark Rowing club, and Glyn Reed in the same event had the misfortune to hit the bank during the race, spoiling his chances. Also racing at Lincoln were Ian Davis and Peter Dolby in their Masters E pair, however they rowed for a time only due to their opposition scratching.