ROWING: Home success for St Neots Rowing club as their Head event attracts more than 120 crews

The successful St Neots rowers at the club's own Head race are, from the left, Huw Jarman, Tim Neill

The successful St Neots rowers at the club's own Head race are, from the left, Huw Jarman, Tim Neill, Jaione Echeveste, Helen Knowles and Ali Brown. - Credit: Archant

St Neots Rowing Club enjoyed four successes at their annual head race recently.

They claimed three individual triumphs on the River Great Ouse courtesy of Huw Jarman, Tim Neil and Jaione Echeveste, while the double act of Helen Knowles and Ali Brown also delivered a golden performance.

Jarman was victorious in the Open Band One single sculls as he covered the 2.6km course in an impressive 10 mins, 24 secs.

Neil and Echevester both claimed their first-ever victories in single sculls – Neil taking the Masters B/C verdict in 11 mins, 40 secs and Echeveste earning the Women’s Band Two spoils in 12 mins, 10 secs.

Knowles and Brown continued their fine recent form in the Women’s Masters C/E double sculls bracket as they crossed the finish line in 11 mins, 45 secs.

The event attracted more than 120 crews from as far afield as Nottinghamshire. Junior races were held over 1.2km.

“It was great to see so many rowers of all ages enjoying themselves in what was the first event of the season for most competitors,” said organiser Josh Dexter.

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“We were lucky to have perfect weather conditions which led to fast times being posted and it was very close in some categories which were decided by only a second or two.”

Other home rowers to impress were Andrew Lawrence (runner-up to Jarman), Stuart Williams (second in Masters D single sculls), Rob Stirling (second in Open Band Three single sculls) and Dom Holdaway/Alex Johnson (runners-up in Junior 18 double sculls).

The Bedford Modern School Boat Club were the most successful outfit with 10 victories as they lifted the Harry Evans Memorial Trophy. They also provided the fastest open coxless quad in the main head in nine mins, 14 secs.

St Neots star Jarman was the quickest male single sculler which the fastest individual female was Seren Palmer of Isle of Ely Rowing Club in 11 mins, 35 secs.

The fastest double sculls performance came from St Ives Rowing Club duo Sam Hasted and Rory Crouch as they clocked a fine nine mins, 35 seconds – winning their category and finishing second overall.

Gary Gilbey provided another St Ives success when winning the Masters D single sculls in 10 mins, 36 secs and Paul Ashmore added the Masters E single sculls to their collection.