Successful Regatta return makes it a happy anniversary at St Ives Rowing Club

Ellie Watson and Harriet Haylen were among the St Ives Rowing Club winners on Saturday. Picture: HEL

Ellie Watson and Harriet Haylen were among the St Ives Rowing Club winners on Saturday. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

St Ives Rowing Club’s first official regatta for more than 20 years proved to be a resounding success on Saturday.

Reinstated as a British Rowing-recognised event to celebrate the club’s 150th anniversary, it attracted rowers from 12 clubs and featured 89 races over a 550m downstream course on the Great Ouse.

To make the occasion even more memorable there were eight victories for St Ives – the most of any competing club.

Two of them featured Harriet Heylen who triumphed in the Women’s Junior 14 single sculls before teaming up with Ellie Watson for double sculls success.

Paul Ashmore was another St Ives rower with double-cause for celebration after with Masters D single sculls success and a Masters E double sculls triumph along with Tony Bennett.

Rebecca Stratton made a successful return after time out of the sport in the Women’s Elite single sculls.

Tabby Renfrew-Knight and Mika Gawin, who are both Junior 15 rowers, saw off adult opposition to win the Mixed Novice double sculls while Paula Waddingham and Abi Mawditt were handed victory in the Women’s Novice double sculls following a disqualification.

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The Masters D coxed four were the other home victors.

There were also five wins for the St Neots club - including a double in eights competition.

Josh Dexeter, Dom Chapman, Alistair Hamilton and Max Taylor featured in both the Intermediate Men’s and Intermiedate Mixed triumphs.

They were joined by Cliv Emmerson, Graham Naylor, Jordan Beale and Richard Slade in the men’s boat and Jade Hellett, Louise Shorten, Molly Harper and Zoe Adamson in the mixed boat. Ali Young coxed both successes.

There was also a Men’s Novice double sculls triumph for Trevor Rickwood and Karl Zwetsloot and the Women’s Novice double scull of Jaione Echevester and Kate Dingwall.

Shaun Parren was victorious in the Men’s Junior 16 single sculls.

Huntingdon Boat club members also claimed five victories to continue the local dominance.

There were also 10 ‘Explore Rowing’ races for newcomers to the sport as part of a British Rowing initiative to increase participation.

It is hoped the regatta, organised by Chris Newland and club captain Gary Gilbey, can now become an annual event and regain the sort of prestige it enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s.