Peterborough Spring Regatta Race Report
Juniors’ race report – written by Molly
The Junior Squad had four entries in the Peterborough Spring Regatta on 3rd June 2023, for half of the team it was their first regatta since joining through the Learn to Row in September 2022.
After a lengthy discussion about how much cake we really needed for the day, we set off with the trailer and arrived in Peterborough at 07:50am. Connie and Molly were racing first at 09:24; followed by a squad from the Seniors and then Ethan at 10:12; Poppy and Alex were at 11:00; and Bella at 15:28.
90 minutes before your race may seem ages but there is so much to do from delicately removing your boat from a packed trailer, rigging your boat, collecting your race numbers, warming up and finally navigating your way to the water. Fergie Brazier was the coach for the day with Jim Farrell, texting tips and advice from afar! Although it was a lovely sunny day, it was cool enough for base layers, with a strong and sometimes bitter wind.
Connie and Molly (below, with coach Fergie) made their way down the access lane to the start, with their trademark banter in full swing which is completely normal for these two friends from school! They came second in their heat with a time of 05:37, putting them in the B Final at 12:08. Thankfully, Molly’s blade snapped past the finishing line and not during the race. A really pleasing result for their first Regatta as a double.
Ethan (below) was confidently next on the water, finishing with an excellent time of 05:09, making him 2nd in his heat, which secured his place in the A final at 12:52.
Poppy and Alex (below) are a newly formed double, entering this regatta as a mixed J15. The wind was against this pair as it had picked up from earlier in the day, they came third in their heat with a respectful time of 05:15.
Next was the B Final for Connie and Molly which from the halfway point to the end was nail biting. At halfway they were a good boat length in front of the competition which narrowed significantly towards the finishing line. They finished with a time of 05:40.
In quick succession was Ethan’s final where he came in with a time of 05:12. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for first but an excellent time for the course, especially as the wind speed had increased.
After Ethan’s final soon came Bella’s turn. Like Poppy and Alex, she also had the wind against her and a challenging start, finishing with a time of 05:53. In her own words, lessons were learnt and a very welcome break from studying was had!
Men’s race report
On Saturday the men’s competitive squad entered an open 4+ of Liam Cullen, Cam Nuttall, Paul Gibson and Luke Hancock, coxed by Rachel Tackley and which came sixth overall in the division. Next was an open 4- of Dan Grimes, Brad Willies, Rob Stirling and Mark Cooney.
The open 8+ (below) coxed by Rachel Tackley and stroked by Matthew Wigmore came to a thrilling finish which saw St Neots come second by 0.2 seconds to Leicester in a close battle right to the final strokes.
Sunday saw smaller boats racing throughout the day with Matthew Wigmore and Bradley Willies racing in singles: Op 1x Band 3 Bradley Willies made the B final and came third. Op 1x Band 4 Matthew Wigmore (below) made the A final and came fourth overall.
Brad competed with Mark Cooney in the Op 2x, finishing 10th overall but building valuable race experience. A second Op 2x competed in Band 3: Rob Stirling, men’s competitive squad captain raced with Cam Nuttall and came 11th overall with valuable race experience being gained by all.
A final Op 4+ Phil Copperwheat, Nigel Etherington, Ryan Keating (Rowing captain) and Dean Whittington which was coxed by Rob Stirling and came 7th overall.
Thanks to Peterborough for organising a fantastic regatta.