Sudbury (arch). Words by Rachel.

A Chesterton contingent went to the 138th Sudbury International Regatta yesterday! I think it is fair to say we were mostly very scratchy crews. Thursday night saw the loading of Spare Rib and WGP onto the 99's trailer and Nostromo onto the Cantabs Trailer on Friday (kindly arranged by Conor).

Saturday morning came with a bright and early start to arrive in Sudbury for 8:00am to grab a prime gazebo pitch and to get Nostromo ready for it's foray in division 1 at 9:00am against Lea RC.

For those of you not familiar with Sudbury it is a narrow river and essentially side by side, like racing round grassy corner but with more weeds. There is nowhere to warm up other than your row to the start. The eights row 350 m (missing the very tight bend) and the fours row 650 m. There are many, many crashes though out the day - indeed 99's owe us a bow ball after they ploughed into the bank!

The M4+ had a good and the only uneventful race of the day but unfortunately lost to Lea RC.

Now the fun begins.

The W8+ also against Lea RC raced at 10am in Div 3 - there was I think it is fair to say some regrettable umpiring/marshalling decisions made at the start and the staggered start did not really happen. Sadly this meant that Chesterton was pipped to the post by 2ft 😞. A very solid row and some beautiful rowing to showboat for their fans on the row up. I think we can honestly say they wuz robbed.


Division 8 saw the Chesterton mixed "Power 8" row. This crew had never been in a boat together but on paper looked pretty good. The row up felt good.....we were confident… Broxbourne went off first 1 sec ahead of us but I think that's where it went wrong - we mistimed our start and strokeside in their excitement overpowered bowside straight towards the reeds! And the whole of bowside had to rapidly learn how to cross country row through the reeds (and the bank) but we emerged unscathed and powered down the rest of the course - if we'd had an extra 100 m I reckon we would have caught them!

Jonathan then popped off to row with a Huntingdon / St Ives composite crew where they had a cracking row and made it to the final.

Division 15 - W4+ masters B/C (straight final) - yet again we were up against Lea RC! After a lot of chaos at the start we were off with a 4 sec head start on Lea (being the older of the crews) on the apex of the bend Lea RC went wide crossing into our lane and colliding with our blades. The Umpire halted our race and called it "equal blame" even though the cox of Lea admitted it was her fault - we were offered a re-row. So off we went to the end of the course to wait for the next division. We waited our turn and began to row to the start - rapidly halted by Lea RC who now had no rudder! The umpire said they could not race (in fairness they didn't want to) so we rowed off to the start to race back alone! We had a lovely race back against the clock! And were happy with our time (and the shiny pots although it does feel a little bit of an empty win).

Boats were rapidly put back on trailers and base camp packed up as it was now heading towards 6pm.

One last race with a chance for Chesterton - Jonathan in the composite crew - I think it's fair to say the four remaining Chesterton fans cheered with all their might but it wasn't quite enough.

Back to Cambridge for detrailering and re-rigging - the last boat got put away at 22:20 after some night rowing (four people in the eight and two people in the four) back from 99's to the CRA - (yes we had lights).

The weary contingent went home!