It’s been a breathtaking autumn on the water.
At St Neots’ Head the Club was the Victor Ludorum, thanks to a stunning set of victories by the Junior Squad and also a win by the Women’s Masters D crew. This winning start set the tone for the weeks that followed. At the Pairs Head, the Club entered a Senior Women’s Club Double and a Senior Men’s Club Pair. I am delighted to report that both boats finished 2nd in their categories. Star Club is back on the Tideway.
More good news followed at the Masters’ Fours Head. Our Men’s F Coxed Four were winners and our Men’s D Coxed Four were placed second. Moreover, our very own Chris Callow rowing in a composite Men’s B Quad with Peterborough and Leicester finished 4th overall. To cap it all, Phil Cook and Clive Thompson were Gold medalists in a composite eight at the World Rowing Masters Regatta at Lake Bled, Slovenia
Our Autumn Head was held on 19th November with the Club achieving 14 wins across the board and members Rachel Armstrong and Tom Durrant being crowned Great Ouse Sculling Champions. A week later at Wallingford Head, our Senior Men’s Open Coxless Four finished third, behind two crews from Oxford Brookes University.
Away from competition, the Recreational Squad has very healthy numbers and boated regularly. The highlight of the Autumn Season has been the sponsored half marathon completed by the Old Gents’ Squad that raised £1400 for the Tibbs Dementia Squad.
Events off the water were tinged with sadness by the death of Vice President, Mick Deards. Being a man who shunned the limelight, the packed crematorium at his funeral would have seriously embarrassed him.
On a happier note, three boats were named by Club stalwarts, Kath Clark, Ian Donald and David Osgood. Also, in an event tinged with sadness, a junior quad was named Suzanne Sharp, a Junior Squad mother who died recently. We are grateful to the anonymous donor who bought the boat in her memory.
Great Britain international oarswoman and local girl, Ellie Piggott, herself a product of Mick Deard’s coaching skills whilst at Bedford High School, graced the Annual Awards Dinner. Pins could be heard dropping when Ellie gave a fascinating speech to a rapt audience. Whooping could be heard when it was announced that Nicky Durrant and Simon Clark were Clubwoman and Clubman of the Year respectively; a testament to their popularity.
Lastly, we are in the course of publishing a summary of our five-year strategic plan and announcing an exciting new development on the Club’s catering front. Watch this space.
Roll on the winter head season.