Cracking on at the Cambridge Winter League
Thankfully for the competitors and hardy spectators the conditions for this second round were rather warmer and significantly less windy than they were in January on the 2.6km course on the River Cam which runs from the start just under the A14 near Milton to finish close to the Green Dragon footbridge in Chesterton.
Two rounds in to the Cambridge Winter League and St Neots Rowing Club which accounts for 29 of the 204 crews taking part is certainly making a good showing. The Men’s IM2 8 are sitting in fourth in their class while St Neots junior Shaun Parren is well in the mix in the tightly contested men’s J16 single scull category as well as in the double scull with his team mate Jordan Beale.
In the women’s singles, St Neots competitors included Molly Harper who leads her category, Kate Lyster, Louise Shorten and Zoe Adamson who was the fastest rower on the day. Asked about the event Zoe said, “Sunday at Cambridge winter league was another great day for rowing. I enjoyed the weather conditions and it was a well organised event that ran tremendously smoothly.”
This time round, the St Neots men’s IM2 eight was made up of Josh Dexter, Steve Fox, Mick Staddon, Graham Mailer, Clive Emerson, Dave Bygraves, Simon Hoer and Richard Slade, coxed by Dom Chapman. Talking about how they got on, Richard Slade said, “We had a great start as we were close to the front and the conditions were really good, very little wind and hardly any wash. We set off well with a lot of power and worked hard to catch the boat in front. Dom’s excellent steering, taking the corners as tight as possible, helped keep our lead on the St Ives boat behind. We were hampered slightly by some messy catches but on the whole the race went well with a time of 11.26 which puts us in 14th place overall.”
Buoyed by their performance in January which saw them complete the course in 16mins 45secs, senior novices Karl Zwetsloot and Trevor Rickwood set out to up their game further for their second competitive outing together. Commenting on how it went, Trevor said, “It went really well. Our goal was to knock a minute off our Jan time but we ended up finishing almost three minutes quicker.”
St Neots ladies masters eight raced with a scratch crew as one of our ladies was injured. The crew consisted of Sarah D, Dionne, Carole, Corrine, Tash W, Rachel, Ali Y and Ali B. Very ably coxed by Tash Holdaway (Jnr) who despite never coxed an eight on the Cam before, drew compliments on the tightness and accuracy of her turns from club Captain Ali Young.
Talking about how they got on in the eight, Rachel Tackley said, “The boat was well balanced for a scratch crew and the row to the start was blissful, with the sun shining and the water still very calm. Not so the race! We were fairly low down in the division, having been alarmingly slow in the January league, so by the time we got started 40 boats had gone hurtling up the river making the water extremely bouncy. However, Tash (cox) did an amazing job of getting us round the bends and cracked the whip once we were past the plough and on to the straight. We powered down and went for home, which I swear has moved further away than ever! We had just enough in the tank to take the rate up for the finish and joy of joys Gordon was there to take gorgeously flattering photos of our race faces! All in all a good race, decent time but room for improvement in March.”
Commenting on how the team got on, St Neots coach Helen Knowles said, “The conditions were almost ideal and the juniors were able to show what they could do. There were some very significant improvements from the last race in January for individuals and I was particularly pleased with the improvement shown by Shaun, Jordan and Molly. However they all will have gained confidence from maintaining good rhythm which we will be working on as we start preparations for the summer regatta season.”