Star Club Masters turned out in force on Saturday for Peterborough RC’s Head of the Nene and stormed to victory in three classes. Star Club wins were: Men’s Masters Double, Men’s Masters IV and Men’s Masters VIII.
In total, eight Star Club crews competed over 2,500m for small boats and 5,000m for eights in grey, wet, windy and cold conditions. The Head of the Nene is known for its featureless course which demands crews dig deep and live the club motto by putting mind over matter.
Men’s Masters Double Sculls
Kevan Armstrong and David Sogan represented Star in the Masters double sculls in Division one, which had seven crews entered. Starting 10th in the division, they overtook three crews in the first 1000m, requiring some expert steering from Kevan and were then able to settle into a strong rhythm rating at 30. They overtook a fourth crew at the 1500m mark and were overlapping with a fifth by the finish line. Despite clipping an overhanging tree 100m from the end they finished with the fastest time in the division and won the Masters event by a margin of 25 seconds in a time of 11.28.2.
Women’s Masters Double Sculls
Sue Lamb and Kim Taylor put in a promisingly and pleasing performance in the Masters Women’s Double Sculls event. As a Masters F combination, they were the oldest in their category and finished second out of three crews, to seasoned rivals Milton Keynes.
Women’s Masters Coxless Pairs
Sarah Russell and Liz Appleton produced a good solid row in the Masters Women’s Coxless Pairs event, finishing in second place behind tough opposition in the form of Loughborough’s Masters B pair.
These two crews are concentrating on developing their small boat skills and a key goal with this event was to embed recent coaching points with power and consistency over a sustained piece. Their performance on the Nene represents a solid building block.
Men’s Masters IV+
Star Club provided the entire field for Mens’ Masters Coxed Fours in Division two with just two crews in the class. Over 2,500 meters, just three seconds divided the crews in real time, but Colin Hunt’s F crew (10.34) secured a solid victory over Andrew Crook’s D crew (11.07) after the handicap was applied.
Mens’ Masters VIII
In the Masters Men’s Eights in Division 3 Star entered a Masters E eight and a Bedford/Star composite Masters D eight with the Stroke and Cox from Bedford and the rest of the crew from Star. This was the first race for the composite D crew. Both crews had a good row with the E crew averaging 33/34 strokes per minute and the D crew 29/30. The crews finished first and second in the Masters division with the D crew recording time of 17:01.7 and the E crew a time of 17:22.4. When the handicap was taken into account, the D composite crew squeaked the division win by 0.7 of a second. This result illustrated the strength in depth of the Masters Men’s Squad at Star.
Women’s Masters VIII
The Masters Women’s squad has a number of different combinations for their eight and the line-up that competed in the Masters Women’s Eights event pulled a good row out of the bag in what was in fact their first ever outing as a crew. Coxed by Kim Taylor with her customary flair, our Masters E crew of Julie Clarke, Judith Gowing, Rhonda Lawrence, Lynne Taylor, Janet Williams, Jo French, Sue Davies and Bernie Smith gained on the Loughborough Masters D crew ahead, and went on to achieve third place in the event. They improved on the time achieved by last year’s crew and narrowed the gap between Star and the winning crew (this year the redoubtable Milton Keynes). A big shout out goes to Judith Gowing – her first race in a number of years.