Whilst Wallingford Regatta was cancelled this year due to covid, fortunately the Metropolitan, Peterborough and Marlow Regattas as well as the British Rowing Masters Championships, Peterborough Junior Championships and the National Schools Regatta went ahead. Several Cantabs crews raced at these events, with good results.
The Senior Women entered the Saturday of Met, sending an 8+, a 4+ and a 4- to race at Dorney lake and came home with their first ever medal at the event.
The regatta format saw all crews complete a time trial of just under 2k in single file across 2 lanes, which was used to seed crews into final by boat type, irrespective of the category a particular crew was entered. This meant that club, academic and championship crews could find themselves racing alongside each other in a bid to create the most competitive racing possible.
Ellie Darlington, Rebecca Smith, Katie Brown, Elena Williams, Molly Shaw, Becca Hatton, Gloria Jansen, Chiara Avancini and cox Callum Mantell were entered in the Women’s Club 8+ event and finished 8th overall in the time trial, seeding them in the A final against crews from Leander, UL, Brookes and Thames. As they were the only club 8+ to make the A final, they were delighted to find that they had automatically won the club event ahead of crews from clubs such as Thames, Vesta and Bristol who found themselves in minor finals.
Half of this crew doubled up to race the Women’s Club 4-, qualifying also for the A final of their event in a time equalling that of a Cambridge University crew containing half of this year’s winning women’s blue boat.
There was also a great result for a Women’s Club 4+ of Jennie Astley, Maria Stroyakovski, Emily Hillan, Lin Slapakova and cox Isabel Nimmo who finished 6th in their time trial and make the A final, the 4th fastest club crew of the day.
ChiYing Chen raced for the first time at Dorney, finishing 24th in the popular Women’s 1x event.
On the Sunday, athletes racing at Met went and joined their squad mates at Peterborough to race the 1k regatta course. Peterborough followed a similar time trial and seeded final format to Met, though choosing to use a standing start off stakeboats making these time trials take the format of a heat.
The 8+ who raced Met were also victorious at Peterborough, winning the A final of the Women’s Band 1 8+. A second Cantabs 8+ also raced – for many the first off-Cam regatta. Gill Cooper, Cam Lardy, Gemma Douglas, Claudia Catacchio, Laura Rozing, Lily Griffin, Celeste Pagniello, Laura Wey and cox Nordin Catic raced well, enjoying an emphatic victory in the B final of the women’s band 1 event.
Stern 3 of the Met 4+ were joined by Gemma White at Peterborough, racing the Women’s Band 1 4-, racing well to finish a strong 2nd overall despite this being their first race together.
Then it was the turn of the scullers, with ChiYing Chen taking lessons learned from Met to have a strong race and finish 3rd in the Women’s Band 1 1x.
The second win of the day came from the Women’s Band 1 4x of Rosa Mueller, Jana Jaworska, Vanessa Lockyer and Sue Hakenbeck who finished well clear of the rest of the field in both their time trial and final.
Marlow Regatta usually falls the same weekend as Henley Women’s Regatta, and thus doesn’t offer women’s events. However, due to the postponement of HWR until July this year, Marlow introduced women’s events on the Saturday of the regatta. Marlow had the same format as Met.
There were familiar results for the top Women’s 8+ who finished 7th in the time trial to make the A final once again, this time beating a crew from Thames who had the better of them at Met and reducing a 6 second deficit to Newcastle University in the time trial to just a canvas in the final.
Elsewhere, there were minor final victories for Gemma Douglas, Paula Darwin, ChiYing Chen and Sue Hakenbeck who won the C final of the W4x and Gill Cooper, Cam Lardy, Judith Weik, Lily Griffin, Emily Kempin, Janeska de Jonge, Celeste Pagniello, Laura Wey and Nordin Catic in the D final of the W8+. Jennie Astley, Maria Stroyakovski, Emily Hillan and Gemma White raced well to finish 6th in a competitive B final of the W4-.
The Cantabs Senior Men also enjoyed some good performances, with the Men’s Tier 2 8+ finishing 20th in a large field of entries. Hal Barrow, Harry Turner, Henry Connor, James O’Dell, Ricci Herreros-Symons, Andrew Marsden, Finn Grimwood, Hannes Burfeind and cox Sara Russo went on to finish 6th in a thrilling C final which saw only 3 seconds separate the 2nd and 8th placed crews.
The 4+ of John Cumner, Harry Connor, Dave Inman, Daniel Thompson and cox Maria Chukanova raced well in a competitive C final of the Men’s Tier 2 4+.
British Rowing Masters Championships
This year’s masters champs ran in a reduced format, which reduced both the number of events and prevented entrants from doubling up. Three Cantabs crews raced, enjoying good results though unfortunately collected no silverware as only gold medals were awarded this year.
Despite very limited preparation, Gemma Douglas and Sue Hakenbeck raced well in the time trial of the Women’s Masters B 2x to make the A final. Gemma and Sue enjoyed some close racing where they were bowball to bowball with a Bewl Bridge crew, and finished finish 3rd in the A final.
ChiYing Chen raced well in her trial along the 1k course in Nottingham, qualifying for the A final where she finished 3rd in the Women’s Masters B 1x, only 0.3 seconds behind the 2nd placed sculler from Peterborough.
A composite double with Worcester RC saw Cecile Auty Jacklin also qualify for the A final where she finished 6th in the Women’s Masters E 2x.
Peterborough Junior Championships
3 crews from the Cantabs Junior Squad raced at Peterborough at the Junior Championships on 27th June.
The stand-out result was for Maks Rzeczkowski who won the time trial of the J13 1x. A good race in the A final unfortunately saw Maks catch a couple of crabs which meant he came home with the silver medal, but this performance shows great promise for the future.
A girls’ J15 2x raced well to finish 3rd in the B final and a girls’ J15 4x+ finished 4th in the C final.
National Schools Regatta
Cantabs sent a girls’ and a boy’s 4x to race at this year’s Nat Schools at Dorney. Despite limited preparation, both crews raced well.
Scarlet Barton Gilheany, Rosie Oliver, Roisin Scanlon and Katie Parker finished 27th in a large field of the Girls’ Championship 4x. William Woodard, Onur Howie, Oscar Coppins and Felix Werdmuller von Elgg finished 24th in the Boys’ Championship 4x. Unfortunately, the regatta did not offer minor finals so neither crew was able to compete in side-by-side racing.