Star Strikes at Peterborough Spring

Peterborough City Rowing Club once again put on a truly impressive weekend of racing on its 1000m 4-lane rowing lake just outside the city. With early summer skies, not too much wind and strong competition from around the country, Peterborough City Spring Regatta provide the perfect setting for an impressive performance from Star.

Both days were hot and finding shade and cover wasn’t easy. With six hours to kill between races, I found refuge under the shell of our eight as captured by Dave Rainbow. Whatever we did as a club that weekend, it worked. We came away with six wins. Go Star!

I’ve received some great race reports from the crews and I’ve shared them unedited because they really give you a flavour of the racing and the day itself.

When you race, and if you’d like to be included in the report, please send a race report and photos/video within 48 hours to or post them to and share the link.

Saturday 2nd June

Women’s Quadruple Sculls (Band 2): Win

Holly Keats writes: Peterborough regatta kicked off last Saturday with a jam-packed race literary. The rowing park was full to bursting and played host to the first regatta this season for the Star senior ladies quad boat: Rhiana at bow, Ingrid in the second seat, Sascha in third and Holly in the stroke seat. The day was hot and muggy, with bright sunshine forcing competitors and spectators alike to seek shade and refreshments. The ladies were up against 6 other squads from across the country and lined up in lane 4 of the second heat against Leeds and Worcester university boats.

A strong start saw the Star crew pull away from the other two boats in the first 250 meters. As the girls set into their pace, they maintained their advantage and kept the other crews away. They crossed the finish line first in a time of 3:55, four seconds ahead of the second boat, with a win seeing them through to the final being held 5 hours later that afternoon.

For the final, the Star boat was drawn in lane 3 and another good start saw them second at the 250-meter mark, behind Leeds University. The crew kept their composure and when the Leeds boat began to encroach on their lane they focused on their own race and weren’t distracted. Following a warning, the Leeds boat took a poor line and fell back into second and then third place by the 500-meter mark. The Star boat took first place at that point but pressure came from lane 1 as Norwich rowing club’s crew gained ground. As the finish line drew near the Star club boat kept the other crews at bay and crossed the line first in a time of 3:54, six seconds faster than the second boat and recording a faster time than their first race, despite the heat and length of the day and their tired legs.

The day was a great success and showed the skill and determination of the ladies. It sets them up for a promising regatta season and continues to build the foundations for a strong senior ladies squad in the future, well done!

Sunday 3rd June

Open Quadruple Sculls (Band 1): Win (composite)

Chris Callow writes:It’s been a busy few weeks for the composite Star, Peterborough City, Leicester 4x having competed at Nottingham City Regatta, Nottingham Masters Regatta, Metropolitan Regatta and Peterborough Spring Regatta over the past two-weeks.

Following last weekend’s win at Nottingham City Regatta in Open Band 1 4x’s, the crew were looking forward to racing over the shorter 1000m distance in Peterborough which is their training base. Racing on Sunday in the Open Quads event the crew produced their best 1k race of the season in the final posting the 2nd fastest time of the day of 3:06; only 3 seconds behind the Open 8s winners. They beat off stiff competition from local rivals Peterborough City who came in 2nd, followed by Broxbourne RC and Gravesend. The crew now look towards the British Rowing Masters Championships in a couple of weeks’ time.

Masters’ E Double Sculls: Win

David Sogan writes: The Masters’ E double of David Sogan and Kevan Armstrong faced eight crews in their event.

They won their heat quite easily in a time of 3.54 easing down over the second half of the race. Their final was more competitive, though they were still able to move out to a lead of a length and a half at 500m and held this comfortably to the line, winning in a time of 3.44.3.

Masters’ F Eight: Win

David Sogan writes: The Masters’ F eight was up against one other F crew and two E crews in a straight final. They had a blistering start spinning up to 42 before settling at a rate of 36. They quickly moved ahead of Oundle, the other F crew. Peterborough, one of the E crews, who started with an 8 seconds handicap, made some early inroads into Star’s lead and had a late push but could not catch them. The Star eight eventually won by a margin of 5 seconds in a time of 3:20.7.

Masters’ E Quadruple Sculls: Win

David Sogan writes: The Masters’ E quad of David Sogan, Kevan Armstrong, Dave Rainbow and Ivan Higgins only had a chance for one outing before the event and were unsure about their competitiveness. They had a straight final against Peterborough, Oundle and Maidenhead. A very neat and controlled start saw then move into a slim lead at the 250m and by 500m this had increased to a length. Rating a comfortable 30 strokes a minute they pulled out to a length and a half lead over their nearest rivals, Maidenhead, and held this advantage to the finish line, recording another win for Star in a time of 3:29.0.

Masters’ D Double Sculls: Win

David Rainbow writes: It’s a truism to say that you only need to lead for the last stride, or stroke, of a race to win, but the MasD2x of Ivan Higgins and David Rainbow managed to execute that to perfection. A margin of 0.3s was enough to secure victory over 1000m at Peterborough on Sunday over crews from Northampton, Hollowell and Maidenhead. Vocal support from the Star subs bench on the bank helped the crew claw their way back from 1.5 lengths down at 500m, and the hours of winter and spring ergo-ing finally paid off with a strong surge to the line as N’pton succumbed to a rising tide of lactic and Star remembered how to scull at more than r26.

It was an exciting end to a great club day and made up for the disappointment of a close second place at Nottingham City the week before, albeit under very different conditions. Exciting as the last two weekends have been, they’d be delighted to get their start sorted out and put themselves under a little less pressure in the second half of races. However, it’s very early days for this combination (yet to reach double digits numbers of training outings) and it’s fun to try a new format so they are sculling with smiles on their faces whilst reaching out as far forward as they can…. Both crew members and their boat (Banger – yes, the really old, tatty one) are, by their own admission, a little past their prime but it shows that old dogs can still learn some surprising new tricks. Next exciting instalment will be at Masters Champs 16-17Jun.

Masters’ F Single Sculls: 2nd

Lester Waugh writes: The race began well and I’d built a lead of over a length at the 500m mark. Bates of Bentham Rowing Club then gained throughout the second 500m resulting in one of the closest finishes of the day, the commentator declaring that I’d secured a win for Star Club. However, disappointingly, the official results later revealed that Bates had won by just 0.3 seconds.

Masters’ D Coxed Fours: 2nd

Dom Hawes writes: Work, family, cox-shortage and other rowing commitments had deprived the crew of any river time for three weeks prior to the event and outings had been pretty scant before then too. On the day it showed and the crew ended up in unfamiliar territory, going home empty-handed.

Seven crews entered in the D category including many familiar lineups from the crew’s successful 2017 campaign. A poor start in the heat found Star a length or so down from the leaders and half a length from rest of the pack by the time the stride call came. Striking around 33, focus, fitness and sheer determination saw the crew claw back second place at the line, losing to Broxbourne and just pipping local rivals, Bedford RC to qualify for the final.

The final took place six hours later and saw Star pitted against heat winners, Broxbourne as well as York and Lea. A much better start kept Star in the action and all four crews raced pretty much neck-and-neck to the 400m point. Striking a more relaxed 32, our crew managed to find a longer more effective stride and bolstered by fitness and bloody-mindedness, made a charge to the line from 800m. In the end, either the course wasn’t long enough or the crew wasn’t fast enough. We were rapidly gaining on York, cheered on by the crowd, but we ran out of course and time coming second by 2.5 secs.

Women’s Masters’ D Coxed Four: 3rd

Janet Williams writes: Our Women’s Masters’ D4 – in their first race of the year – had a good start and kept a nose ahead for the first 750m, finally losing by 4 seconds to Peterborough and Chesterton. It was a good competitive race.

Women’s Masters’ E/F Double Sculls: 4th

Sue Lamb writes: The heat was a four-lane race with the first two finishers going through to the final. We secured second place by 0.3 seconds and felt very lucky we’d misjudged the buzzer, so stopped rowing slightly too early (won’t do that again!).

The final was a tough race against York, Eton Excelsior and Ardingley. We managed to deliver slightly less power in the final, which resulted in 4th place, but we were only 0.3 seconds off third place. It was good race experience for the forthcoming Nat Masters.

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