Rowing: Howell’s Henley high

A REMARKABLE performance from St Neots Rowing Club member Sam Howell saw the club represented in the quad final at the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in 30 years. Howell, just 15, was part of a four-man team in his second year at Henley, teaming

A REMARKABLE performance from St Neots Rowing Club member Sam Howell saw the club represented in the quad final at the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in 30 years.

Howell, just 15, was part of a four-man team in his second year at Henley, teaming up with Peterborough rowers Adam Neil and James Fox, plus Josh Butler of Bedford's Star Club.

Howell and his colleagues tore through the field, beating two Australian crews and one of the best junior crews in the country on their way to the final.

The St Neots rower had to negotiate four tough rounds over three days on his way to the final, seeing off a crew from the Windsor Boys School in the semi-final.


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It was the first time since 1978 that a member of the St Neots club had made the final, though he could not quite go all the way, losing out to the more powerful Henley and Maidenhead crew.

However, with Howell eligible for Henley for a further three years, it is likely he will be back for more.

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Elsewhere, St Neots rower Jo Fitzsimons is on the verge of securing a place at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Beijing.

The event will be a rehearsal for the Chinese capital ahead of the Olympic Games next year, and Fitzsimons went a long way to securing her place with a good performance at the Great Britain trials last week.

Fitzsimons, returning to the water after a nasty back injury, paired up with regular partner Lottie Howard-Merrill to record some quick times.

Due to an injury to a triallist, the final GB team for the World Junior Championships will not be named until after a second set of races at Nottingham this weekend.

If, as expected, side-stroker Fitzsimons is successful, she will travel to Chester and Caversham for training camps before heading to China.

Another St Neots rower, Natalie Bream, just missed out on qualifying for the GB sculling team - by one agonising position.

A shoulder injury struck down Jacqui Round as she competed in the U23 trials for Great Britain, ending her international ambitions for 2007.

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