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Henley Royal Regatta and Peterborough Summer Regatta

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By Sarah Watson

There was international success for Peterborough’s world class athletes last week at the Prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, where crews travel from overseas to compete over the 2,112 metre course. The women’s coxless quad of Charlotte Bolton, Harriet Drake-Lee, Ellie Cooke & Ella Darrington competed for the Diamond Jubilee Challenge cup and got through to the semi finals, despite never racing there before and they had only been rowing together 3 weeks prior to the event.

Their races got off to a great start on Thursday where they dominated their first race, crossing the line 4 lengths ahead of Walton Rowing Club. They then had a great result the following day where they beat Wallingford Rowing club by 1 3/4 length in the Quarter-final. They faced tough competition against the favourites to win in their semi-final, where they were leading at the start of the race, but unfortunately lost out to the Shiplake College ‘A’ crew who then went on to win the final.

The Peterborough Summer regatta also took place at the weekend where crews travelled from as far as Barcelona to compete side by side across 4 lanes on Peterborough Rowing lake. City rowers did not disappoint, taking home 10 wins and 14 second places.

There were a few crews that took home two wins from the first day of racing, the first being James Garfield and James Ryder who won their J15 double by an impressive 10 seconds against Leeds Rowing club. They later joined Joe Beesley, Sergio Reed Moreira Lima and cox Lucas Niklasson to win the J15 coxed quad by 9 seconds ahead of Newark Rowing Club. Sergio Reed Moreira Lima also achieved second place in the open J14 singles event.

Another super sculler that took home 2 wins was Bert Papworth in his J15 single where he finished 10 seconds ahead of Dart Totnes Rowing Club. He also raced up an age category to compete alongside Tom Calver, Jack Wakefield-Lilley, Bert Papworth and Daniel Armstrong in the J16 coxless quad, and again beat their  opposition by a 10 second lead.

Calver, Wakefield-Lilley and Armstrong then joined forces with Tom Jackson to win the Open coxless quads event by 1 second in a nail biting final against a Leicester/Star rowing club composite crew.

The junior girls were also successful in the quads event, the J16 coxless quad of Grace Niklasson, Lydia Hilton, Esme McIntyre, Lily Mae Allen achieved an impressive time of 3:37 over the kilometre course, crossing the line 14 seconds ahead of their opposition. Niklasson and Hilton also raced their J16 double and just missed out on a win by 4 seconds.

In her first ever race, Hannah Fitzjohn coxed the womens J15 quad of Erin Ansell-Crook, Wiktoria Szubzda, Sophie Bicknell, Lottie Tasker to victory, crossing the line 13 seconds ahead of Globe rowing club.

Peggy Papworth also had luck in the coxes seat, when she coxed a Sudbury crew to victory in the Women’s fours event.

On Sunday, Eric Holt took home his first win in 60 years, after winning his single by 7 seconds ahead of club mate Robert Brooks in the Masters G/I Singles event.

Ericha Knowles-Pardoe coxed a Peterborough/RAF crew to victory in the Masters B/D eights, where she joined Steve Tuck, Rob Dennis, Chris Morrill (RAF), Jim Burt, Paul Gover, Jaish Mahan, Jack Ward, Keith Blackman to finish 12 seconds ahead of Oxford Academicals.

Knowles-Pardoe also coxed the women’s eight of Gemma Singleton, Lily-Rose Mace , Rhiannon Loutit, Lucy Gauntlett, Alice Broadbent, Keely Watson, Harriet White, Sarah Watson to take second place in a nail-biting final.

The last win of the day came from Gemma Singleton, Keely Watson, Anna Rowbotham and Hayley Shipton in the Masters A/B coxless quads event, where they beat club mates Alexandra Paul, Laura Oliphant, Emma Rogers, Michelle Moulding who took second.

Other second places came from Lucy Ralfs (Women’s J18 singles); James Goodchild and Oliver Barber (Open J14 doubles); Emma Calver (Women’s J14 singles); Erin Ansell-Crook and Wiktoria Szubzda (Women’s J15 doubles); Damen Sanderson (RAF) and Chris Elder (Masters A/C pairs); Al Ryder (Masters D singles) Debbie Downes, Debbie Hunt-Pain, Nickie Livett, Clare Dobler and cox Wiktoria Szubzda (Masters D coxed four) Kate Read (Masters B/C singles); Roger Carlisle, Paul Scutts (Masters E doubles).