A bunch of St Neots Rowing Club beginners, battled the Beast from the East, a bout of bumps and an oblivious bride-to-be when competing in the Cambridge Winter League.

The W1 crew of Sarah Stewart, Becki Dixon, Nat Turland and Sarah Leatham performed brilliantly to triumph in the novice coxed quad category.

They notched up times of 14mins 22secs (January), 13mins 56secs (February) and 13mins 10secs (March) to top the standings – their quickest time coming in sub-zero conditions during the final round.

St Neots’ second crew of Gaelle Jupe, Hannah Irvine, Sarah Roche and Celia claimed fourth in the same category. They showed great determination in the face of difficult conditions to record times of 15mins 54secs, 14mins 23secs and 14mins 37secs in the three league events.

The men’s coxed quad – Sean Hughes, Bill Rider, Pip Wright and Mathieu Decoene – produced times of 13mins 58secs, 14mins 24secs and 13mins 44secs. Their slowest effort in February was affected by an incident near the halfway point when they ‘bumped a single sculler and had to stop whilst oars were untangled.

They also had to endure a near-hypothermic 50-minute wait at the start in March – a delay caused by a hen party cruising along the River Cam!

“This year’s winter league was certainly eventful, but everyone did St Neots Rowing Club proud and thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” said chairman Trevor Rickwood.

“Our latest crop of ‘newbies’ is all set to strengthen our senior squads, and I’m sure their collective enthusiasm will be a real boon for the club.”