ROWING: Home stars shine bright with seven successes at St Neots Regatta

St Neots mayor, councillor Gordon Thorpe, presents trophies to, from the left, Steve Fox, Clive Emme

St Neots mayor, councillor Gordon Thorpe, presents trophies to, from the left, Steve Fox, Clive Emmerson, Alex Johnson (cox), Graham Mailer and Mick Staddon. Picture: TREVOR RICKWOOD - Credit: Archant

The heavy rain didn’t stop home rowers from shining at the annual St Neots Regatta.

Stuart Williams (left) and Jim Farrell (right) are presented with their trophies by St Neots mayor,

Stuart Williams (left) and Jim Farrell (right) are presented with their trophies by St Neots mayor, councillor Gordon Thorpe. Picture: TREVOR RICKWOOD. - Credit: Archant

The host club were responsible for seven successes during the two-day extravaganza on the River Great Ouse which attracted competitors from across the UK.

The men's crew of Graham Mailer, Clive Emmerson, Steve Fox, Mick Staddon and cox Alex Johnson had double celebrations after providing two of the St Neots victories.

They beat a crew from Broxbourne over the 1,000m course on Saturday in the Masters BCD 4+ final and a Sudbury crew 24 hours later over 500m in the Masters DE 4+ final.

Their one-foot winning margin on the Sunday came in one of the tightest finishes during a packed schedule of racing.

St Neots Rowing Club’s Mixed 4+ crew were successful at their own regatta. Pictured are, from the le

St Neots Rowing Club’s Mixed 4+ crew were successful at their own regatta. Pictured are, from the left, Alex Johnson, Owen Sainsbury, Emma Johnson (cox), Juliette Moutel-Davesne and Ava Gissoni. Picture: TREVOR RICKWOOD - Credit: Archant


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Saturday was also a big day for club captain Stuart Williams as he sampled a first regatta success. After 18 years of competing - and several victories in sweep-oar events and at head races - he enjoyed his first ever sculling triumph when combining with clubmate Jim Farrell to great effect in the Masters E 2x bracket.

"What a fantastic regatta we put on this year," said a delighted Williams. "Despite the weather, the St Neots Rowing Club spirit never ceases to amaze me.

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"Not all our members get to row at our home event, but those who did produced some great performances.

"I am particularly proud of our novice rowers, some of whom were competing for the first time and won their first trophies."

Four of the club's leading rowers - Dom Chapman, Huw Jarman, Fergus Mitchell-Dwelly and Bryce Taylor - set the tone by winning the weekend's first final. They beat their Bedford rivals by three lengths in the highly competitive Band One Open 4- category on a successful Saturday.

And the silverware kept coming on the Sunday when the Mixed 8+ crew of Rachel Tackley, Gemma Noonan, Rachael McLuckie, Gaelle Jupe, Trevor Rickwood, Rob Stirling, Russell McIntyre, Federico Tiezzi and cox Tim Neill beat Boston by just three feet.

Most of them were tasting victory for the first time - and some were competing in their first ever regatta.

Not to be out-done, juniors also won for the first time. Ava Gissoni, Juliette Moutel-Davesne, Alex Johnson, Owen Sainsbury and cox Emma Johnson put in a powerful display to beat Milton Keynes by one and a half lengths in the Mixed 4+ final.

Last but not least, the quad crew that rowed 100km in this year's Ringvaart marathon in Holland, proved they could also sprint over a considerably shorter distance.

Richard Bray, Kieron Marriner, Dave Cullen, Karl Zwetsloot and cox Debra Hellett eased to victory over Peterborough by three lengths in the Masters BC 4+ final.

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