Peterborough Spring Regatta 2017

Like Peterborough Spring Regatta 2016, but one year on. And with different winners :-)

Results, Saturday: IM3 M1, 3rd in heat; IM3 women, ditto; W Nov, 3rd in final; Nov 4x-, third in heat.

Results, Sunday: IM3 M2, 3rd in heat; W Mas B/C 4-, win; W IM3 4x-, third in heat; IM3 2-, win; Nov 1x, third in repechage.

Of the women

The first weekend in June and it’s off to Peterborough rowing lake for our first off Cam side by side regatta of the year.  The women’s squad had a bumper entry with a Novice Eight and Intermediate 3 Eight entered on the Saturday and Novice Quad and Masters C Coxless Four entered on the Sunday.  Both days races were over the full 1000m course.

For many of the Novice Eight it was their first experience of the thrill and nerves of side-by-side racing.  They got off to a strong start in their heat then got a bit scrappy in the middle but managed to hang on to second place for a place in the final.  The final was more composed, although settling into fourth place they gradually rowed down the crew in front to take a well-earned third place.

Our Intermediate Eight had a tough draw but had a strong race placing third in their heat ahead of City of Cambridge Dev Squad with a time of 3.37, a new club record.  Although not making it through to the final the crew were pleased with their result being faster than all the crews in the other heat with the third fastest time overall to Queens’ College W1 and Sudbury.

On Sunday we had our first side-by-side races in “Tishka” our brand new Wintech Quad/Coxless 4.  The quad is a new addition to our fleet and we’re therefore relatively new to racing in it.  It was our first regatta in the quad and Meg’s first time at steering in a straight line. Good experience that the crew can build on and of course a new club record for the course!

Our last race was the women’s coxless 4 entered into the Masters B/C category.  A new crew having had our first outing in a coxless 4 only six weeks previously but we’d had been training consistently with our eyes on entering the British Masters National Championships the week after Peterborough.  Katherine was our very experienced steersman but with a new boat and new crew we weren’t sure we’d go in a straight-line.  We were up against two Lea RC crews and a Cantabs crew who we’d seen out training too and knew had won recently at the Notts City Masters Regatta.  We’d been up against them in the Spring Head to Head where they’d entered in a coxed four, we’d been quicker by 30 seconds but that’s a 4km course with bends and they had a cox so not immediately comparable.  We had a decent start and settled into a good rhythm at rate 36, we followed our race plan and could see the two Lea crews behind but had no idea where Cantabs were (definitely not behind!).  We were buoyed on by loads of cheering of “Go Chesterton!” from all around the regatta course then at 250m to go we did a push and from the videos it look like we finally got ahead by a canvas.  Cantabs, in lane 1, then hit their blades on the bank, we capitalised and pushed out a length for the win.  All topped off by loads of girlie whooping at the finish and big smiles for the rest of the day and of course a new club record.  Next stop British Masters Champs.  Chesterton Women rowing with the Big Girls!

Vidz: Mas B/C.

Of the men

Saturday didn't exactly go to plan. We're a decent crew this year and had come to feel that a place in the final was due to us; sadly an excellent Lea crew, and a pretty good Leeds University crew, put paid to that. Somewhat disappointed, we were cheered to realise that we'd have won the other heat, and that our 3:08.1 matched the "Great Year" of 2013. Meanwhile the Nov 4x- battled valiantly but did not come first.

On Sunday, M2 had entered IM3 rather than masters, which was always going to be a tough row for them, and so it proved. On the day they didn't quite manage to put together the high-quality starts they'd done in practice, and so had to fight from behind, eventually losing by a length.

Keith sculled valiantly into the Rep and pulled out 4:08, but it wasn't enough; too much time on the slide.

But the stars of the day were the IM3 pair of Steven and Conor who competed so hard to pull each other round that they stormed down the course in 3:36, winning both their heat and their final by a considerable margin.


* M1 Saturday riggercam aka "Steve P Cam".

* M2 Sunday coxcam aka "Dave R Cam".

* Steven+Conor 2- heat.

WeHoRR 2017

Saturday 11th March  saw two Chesterton crews taking to the Tideway for the 6.8 km of WEHoRR. Taking two women’s crews was a first for Chesterton and was the focus of our Winter Training.  Another first was finding night coxes for the two crews so both crews had been able to increase their training with a mid-week night outing throughout the winter.  The winter weather had been kind with no cancelled outings so both crews (IM3 and Novice) were keen to make a good showing.

However, this event wouldn’t be complete without a last minute panic,  and this time it was the IM3 crew searching around for a last minute sub.   Still we had one outing in the new lineup, what could possibly go wrong.   We all arrived at the beautiful Furnivall gardens at the side of the iconic Hammersmith Bridge and excitedly took to the water.   I can only speak for the IM3 crew, we hit a solid rhythm straight off the start and could really feel the stream especially at the beginning of the race.   We held on to the rhythm for the whole 22 minutes trying to keep it tidy and efficient pushing through a gritty overtake on the line. So it was back to Furnivall, de-rigging and the wait for the results.  These came through quickly even before the Novice crew were off the water.  They’d pipped us by 2 tenths of a second over the 22 minute course! It was a fantastic result for the Novice crew, for all of whom it was their first experience of the Tideway,  a result to be proud of. Looking strong for Bumps!

Then it was back to Cambridge for more racing on Sunday, the third and final leg of the Winter League.  The Novice crew again had a good row, winning pots in their Novice category by a fair margin and the IM3 crew back to full strength with a couple of pairs of fresh legs restored their pride with a time of 11.24.4 (a new club record).

Another notable result from the WEHoRR saw Chesterton alumna (Bailee Stratton)  win the provincial pennant with Cantabrigian RC, finishing 14th out of 300 crews.

Pix by Al Craigie.

Winter league 2017, leg 2

Wx: cold, grey, some drizzle, slight tailwind down the Reach; slightly faster conditions than leg 1. For comparison, see leg 1. For full results, see RowClock.

Men A (9:28.5; video): Leg 1 was good but we could do better, especially with Conor back in and Kate ("like a female Steven"- anon) subbing in at seven while the hen-pecked Steven was forced to go to Paris to watch some egg-kicking. With the boat now stroke rigged (it's unnatural I tell you) and a month's coaching from Will under our belt, we're sharper and a little more professional. First Post flowed very well, the Gut/ Grassy / Plough was OK, we kicked well out of Ditton onto the Reach and pushed home from there. We pulled back the 6 seconds we'd lost to Press on leg 1 and are now exactly equal: all set for an exciting leg 3 (Press are Masters; that's raw time. We're leading IM3 by 13 seconds over City 2). 

As noted in the 2016 post, we got 9:28 in 2014. Twice.

Women IM3 (11:38.8): six seconds faster than leg 1, so they've crept up on their rivals:Tabs and Press were both slower than leg 1.

Men B (10:22): 40 seconds faster than leg 1, well done.

Women Nov (12:00.1): again faster than leg 1, and maintain their lead over rivals Hills Belles now out to 27 seconds.

Women 4x-: (13:14.5): "rowed more like a four than a quad" or some I'm told.

Keith (14:00.7): currently 4/9, or 4/7 of those who have done both legs.

Winter league 2017, leg 1

Wx: generally good, wind not detectable and stream light. For comparison, see 2016.

This year we have two IM3 men's VIII's (we now have enough points that we cannot scratch a novice VIII together), an IM3 and novice women's VIII, a women's quad and Keith holding up the sculling end.

Results from leg 1 are:

Men A: 9:49.8 (2/6 by 1.8 secs to City) [Compare an average of 10:07 last year; fastest men Tabs 1 9:05] [Vidz: by Dawn] [GPS trace]
Men B: 11:04.9 (6/6) [Vidz by Dan]
W IM3: 11:44.9 (6/8) [Fastest women Tabs IM2 10:07] [Vidz by Dan]
W Nov: 12:07.4 (1/8 well done) [Vidz: by Dawn]
W 4x-: 12:35 (2/2)
Keith 1x: 13:43 (5/9) [Vidz by Dan]

Full results are online (and appeared very fast too, well done City).

Post division 2 coffee outside Stir in the sunshine: L to R: Amanda, Dave, Josh, William, Paul looking hard, Lorraine looking cool, Rachel, Simon, Dan's ear.

Post division 2 coffee outside Stir in the sunshine: L to R: Amanda, Dave, Josh, William, Paul looking hard, Lorraine looking cool, Rachel, Simon, Dan's ear.

Ely boats head

Update: M VIII second overall, and both IV's win their IM3 category! Pots (nearly) all round.

It was only as we drove towards Ely with an VIII on the trailer that I realised this was a touch odd for a "small boats head". But it has been re-branded and is now a "boats head" (archive of current state). They have a big river so throwing in a few VIIIs is hardly a problem, particularly this afternoon when after a glorious early-winter sunshine morning we had bitter cold and rain that put off a few of the smaller boats. The Mad Max style industrial landscape is still there, and the boating stages make an odd contrast to the not-yet-gleaming work in progress of CUBC's new boathouse on the opposite shore.

We entered, as well as the aforementioned men's VIII, the Elite IV and a Ladies IV, all in the afternoon division. All the crews had good races, enjoying a mild tailwind and a 5 km straight with no bends to slow down or throw out the racing. The M VIII went off first and stayed that way, easily outpacing Champs behind us. The M IV started fourth and ended up second. And the W IV overtook two without losing any place themselves.

Results now out; I guessed 19:14 for the M VIII (Chris guessed 19:30) which fits with the 1:55-ish splits (GPS trace) moderately well.  The answers are below.

Provisional results here.


* M VIII: Dave Richards, Chris Wood, Paul Holland, Steve O'Rouke, Brian Stevens, Michael Prior-Jones, Simon Emmings, Gerhard Smith. Cox: William Connolley. (Video; another). 19:12, second overall, pipped by Robs Quad for first place.

* W IV:  Amanda Clarkson, Catherine, Lorraine Turvill,  Jo Raskin. Cox: Robert Nimmo. (Video). 21:44, winning the IM3 4+. 2nd women's crew.

* M IV: Steven Andrews, Conor Burgess, Simon Lloyd, Dan McGreal. Cox: James Tidy. (Video; another). 20:07, winning the IM3 4+. 6th overall.

Pix: Rachel Newby. Vidz: Meg Richards.

Captain's log 2016

Here, recorded for posterity, is Simon Emmings' record of achievement over the past (September to September) rowing year.

Boston Marathon, 
Mixed viii -1st, course record.

Autumn Head, 
Im3 -3rd

Huntingdon Head - Simon forgot this infamous event and its incomprehensibly stupid draw.

Vets iv's Head

Christmas Head
First time entered 5 mixed crews, theme Christmas dinner.

Deep cleaned men's viii, over Christmas.

Winter Head
im3 -2nd
Mas -3rd
Nov -3rd

Winter league
First time ever entered 2 men's viiis
Im3- 3rd, 6th overall
Nov-1st, 27th overall

Winter Head to Head
Im3 -1st
Nov -2nd

(WeHORR - not part of men's stuff, but I'll link to it)

HoRR, great success
First time ever entered 2 viii's.
Im3- 25th in Cat, 215th overall
Nov- 9th in Cat, 309th overall

Vet's Head
Mixed viii

Training camp Sabaudia
First ever training camp! Well done Dan!

Oxford Bumps
First time we have entered 1xW and 1xM
Men up two, to 7th
women up 1 to 8th in div 2

Rad Mile
Nov- 2nd

Head of the Cam
Went well.

Spring H2H
Im3 -1st
(I also coxed women..side-by-side from Ditton to road bridge...that was fun)

City Sprints
Im3 iv- 2nd
Single -2nd

Champs Head
Novs -1st

99's Regatta
Novs -2nd

Xpress Head
M1- 1st (2nd fastest town club)
M3- 3rd,(in im3 cat)

Peterborough Spring Regatta
Im3 viii-1st
Nov viii -lost in heat
iv -4th
single-3rd in heat
Im3 viii- 4th
Im3 iv-2nd
single- 4th in semi

First time ever entered viii
Im3- 10th 6:08(winning time ,5:55)

Time Race
M1-2nd overall
M3-2nd in Cat
(W1 and W2 both 1st in Cat!)

Town Bumps
M1 up 9th!(my proudest moment M1's last night bump)
M2 down 34th
M3 up 50th (M3 total joy..Prosecco and a cheese sandwich)
W1 stayed at 10 (after thinking they would get spoons!)
W2 up 1 rowed sandwich 3 times
W3 up 2 to 38
Record number still standing at 8am after party!

Named the iv "Nostromo"

Peterborough Summer Regatta
Nov viii-1st..pot and points for old boys!
Simon Emmings
Paul Holland
Steve O Rourke
Gerhard Smith
Simon Green
Mike PJ
Dave Byrne

Im3 iv-lost in heat
Single-4th in final

Cambridge Regatta
Im3 - 2nd

Great Ouse Half Marathon
Im3 iv -course record

99's Regatta
Pair-lost in heat

Um. This picture is from 2013, isn't it? Still, its a nice picture and it has Simon in it. And it was the last time before 2016 that M1 went up three.

Tabs regatta

After the wild excitement of bumps a period of holidays ensued. The next mark along our endless road to victory was Cantabs Summer Regatta. A slightly curious event which I don't think I've done before. But it was there, so we put in entries for a Men's and Women's VIII, and perhaps even had a practice outing or two, I forget.

Dan is relaxed. Steve O in despair. Chris and Brian are happy. Lewis is cool, if slightly blurred  - sorry my phone camera often goes into "rubbish mode". Who's the bald bloke at 2? its Paul! And Keith in the bows. Cox was new boy Eric. My headstand-in-boat whilst marshalling drew plaudits.

Dan is relaxed. Steve O in despair. Chris and Brian are happy. Lewis is cool, if slightly blurred  - sorry my phone camera often goes into "rubbish mode". Who's the bald bloke at 2? its Paul! And Keith in the bows. Cox was new boy Eric. My headstand-in-boat whilst marshalling drew plaudits.


The format was, interestingly, like the new BR one: time trials, followed by races. The entries were a bit thin this year - I mean, there weren't very many of them, not that the entrants themselves were particularly svelte, indeed some clearly weren't. Where was I? Oh yes: so Tabs got some of their folk to enter. That meant their men's Senior Squad were in the men's, and I think their women's Henley squad in the women's, which rather dampened our hopes for Ultimate Victory short of throwing Jo Crisall at them, which I believe was the women's plan at one point.

The time trial was decent (I'm speaking for the men here, I don't know about the ladies other than their time, which was 4:10. The course is about a kilometer). The results are here, BTW. We got 3:35, which closely matched Eric's over-the-finish-line estimate of 3:37 (I was dead impressed that he had learnt how to use the RowCoach as a timer, a feat that has escaped Tidy over centuries, but no: he'd used his phone).

And so we ended up in the B final against Champs, with Tabs 1 and Hills Road in the A final. I was a bit disappointed not to have beaten Hills, but we weren't M1 so never mind. The "A" final was a bit odd: Tabs 1 had beaten Hills by 20 seconds so to make a race of it, Hills were given a 20 second head start. They celebrated this by heading off diagonally into the bank in front of Tabs 1 before slewing round and continuing; and apparently won, eventually.

And then it was us versus Champs. They tried to beard us out, but my ragged biblical straggling was clearly superior to their rather manned effort. They tried to get ahead of us off the start, which they succeeded in, because we rather stuffed up the wind somehow; of the six starts we did that day it was by far the worst. However they only got a seat or two up, and after a few hundred metres we started to pull back, as we finally remembered how to row. Eric wanted half a length by the railway bridge by in fact we'd got clear water by then as we settled down and (perhaps) their lack of fitness kicked in; and so on over the line in relaxed style.

Rather later on we got to see the results of the time trial and realised that we'd beaten Hills by 3 seconds; Tabs had misread their results in arranging the finals. Opinions differ as to how much this matters. For me, I'd rather have an interesting race against Champs than be destroyed by Tabs 1. Chris wanted the excitement of a side by side against Tabs; I pointed out we'd only have been side by side for the first 30 seconds :-). The most interesting race would have been us against Hills, but sadly that wasn't possible.

Bumps 2016: day 4

And so we come to the last day... for the records, the weather was good, very little wind, negligible stream, as it had been all week.

W3: up (up 2 overall)

W2: row over, over(up 1 overall)

W1: down (level overall at 10th)

Closing on Robs, but Cows too fast.

M3: up (up 4 overall)

With three bumps under our belts M3 were a crew looking to ensure the week ended perfectly. The final row up was wonderful - long, balanced and connected. 

When the gun went off our start could not have been better. We’d rated up to 40 plus within 5 strokes and were motoring ahead. This bump would prove to be a lengthier affair than the mildly rude and abrupt ones of the previous days so we were not surprised not to get a whistle within 15 strokes - though it did give a moment’s worry. Tonight was the first time we’d had to row full speed through the motorway bridge and outflow - so the novices in the boat had to deal with that for the first time. However, it did not take long for a whistle. It took a few more strokes for a second whistle but once we had that the crew ahead seemed to loose heart and the third whistle came just moments before the bump as we made the final few metres in quick time.

A lovely row home with the crew with a grandstanding start outside the pPlough. We dropped off the boat for M2 at combined to walk back to Queens’ and then cycle to the beer tree for a well earned pint. Chaos then ensued.

M2: down (down 1 overall)

M1: up (up 3 overall to 9th)

Yesterday we got very close to City 2 but didn't quite close them down. Today we knew we were faster than them, and we knew that they knew, and we knew that they knew that we knew. So we resolved to go off just as hard but cleaner, and to focus harder in their wash. And so it proved. We got a whistle on FP reach like yesterday and two on FP corner and the wash was really kicking in, but we held our technique well and didn't get slowed down by bad strokes. We were close past the Plough, and a good corner at Ditton saw us still closing, and finally getting our third whistle. Overlap comes about a minute later. It was beginning to get rather tiring at that point but the wash and the whistles told us we were close and then... the blessed "hold it up!" and we were there.

GPS track. A14 to FP 1:11 (1:08 in 2013 day 4). Glorious bowcam video is here.

Reflections: three up in division 1 is good: we last did that in 2013, when we last finished at 9. Blades would have been better, and unlike 2013 we did have a fair shot at it this time, but couldn't quite close City on Thursday. If we had, we'd have had a go at Tabs 2 who we'd got to 3/4 and 1/2 a length of in 2014; but we're faster this year. But we might not have caught Tabs, and this way we get to finish on a high.

We were: James Tidy (cox); Me (stroke), Dan McGreal, Matt Woodthorpe, Conor Burgess, Simon Lloyd, Steve Penson, Brian Stevens, Keith Lee (bow). Of the "great year" of 2013 only James and I survive: James Howard is up North, Andy Southgate has retired to M2, Chris Wood is temporarily holidaying in M2, Ralph is a cyclist, Will Wykeham is a sailor, Ian Foster went to Tabs and regretted it, Dave Richards had a quiet year in M2.


The Waterman for drinks until they shut around 12:30, then the City hard drinking into the small hours. I can't add pictures of that, so instead here's Tabs and City at the prizegiving. Congratulations to them.

And so... then end? Although there's still Peterborough. And Boston. And...

Bumps 2016: day 3

Ah, bumps. The anguish and the glory.

M1: row over.

A good race, at least for the first half. We got a whistle on City 2 surprisingly early - not much past the bridge, perhaps earlier than yesterday. And two at First Post I think. We had good corners for FP and Grassy, and were at three whistles at the Plough. But the chop was really rather choppy, and spaced amongst the good rowing were a few thrown-off strokes that slowed us down. Going into Ditton we were a few inches off, I'm told, but our corner there wasn't so good and we kinda lost it down the Reach. Coming into the Railway bridge they'd pulled away, and behind us was the spectacle of Tabs 3 rowing their guts out to escape Nines 2 who had overlap; but didn't quite close them down either.

M2: row over. Again! These boys like their row-overs.

M3: up, and then up as sandwich boat

A confident M3 set out from Queens’ boathouse on night 3. Running slightly late as Rob had to make his sandwiches for the sandwich boat. Some very good paddling to the start boded well for the race. The Mills & Reeve crew behind had no chance to catch us on the start as we rated up to 40 plus and gained rapidly on the Cantabs 11 crew. The bump came at almost exactly the same spot as the previous evening’s - first post corner. Now, as Dr Doubleday’s snack had foretold, we were Sandwich boat. This meant a nice row down, willow-bedecked, to the finish marshalling point for a rest and then a row back up for the third division. A very nice practice start gave us that invincible feeling and we were ready to go for a ride on the hype-train for a 2nd time in one day. Waiting at Bait’s Bite Lock was a nice change - knowing we had straight-ish stretch to get up to speed. The canon started us of and, well, we went like a rocket. Rating at plus 40 before we knew it and almost immediately we were at one whistle. The crew ahead - an ARM boat, XPress 6 — were rowing nicely but we bumped them within 28 strokes, giving them no time to get into their rhythm Two bumps, one night… sounds like a Youtube sensation. 99s ahead of ARM bumped up again so we can be confident of a good final night.

W1: row over.

The old enemy St Neot's.  Over the last three years they've stayed stubbornly out of reach.  Tonight was to be no different.  Without a cox box seemed only to make them go faster off the start.  They went off like a rocket and Bumped Robs before First Post corner.  City 3 behind were bumped surprisingly quickly behind by COWS.  Champs appeared around Grassy but were bumped out too.  We were left the only crew rowing with everything in front and behind bumped out.  We wound down on the Reach but had a bit of a scare as Nines appeared 12 lengths behind and started to gain.  But we took the rate up and were soon safely out of Reach at the Railway Bridge.

W2: row over and row over

Still in sandwich boat hell.  First a row at the top of Division 3.  A "glorious" row over in clear water with no threat from behind.  Then the second
row.  Chasing Robs 4 in Division 2 from the lock.   They are getting so close, with a 1/4 of a length.  Let's close it down tonight.

W3: up.

Once more at the outflow chasing Cantabs 7 but with Sarah C-Hs fresh legs.  After some discussion between bank party and cox it was decided to push off as late as possible so as not to be pushed out by the outflow.  It was tight but gave the crew little time to get tense.  They had a good start and were soon within a length and gaining fast.  The gap continued to close and the boats were soon overlapping with our bow ball way past the cox, they eventually conceded and "Hold it up" it was all over.  The bow-ball had taken a bit of a hammering but nothing that some tape couldn't fix.  A well deserved first Bump for W3 of the week.