A WOMEN’S crew from St Neots Rowing Club took part in the 73rd Women’s Head of the River Race on the River Thames along with 306 other crews at the weekend.

Competitors start at 10 second intervals and the entire race can take more than two hours for all the eights with nearly 3,000 rowers and coxes completing on the 6.8 kilometre stretch between Chiswick Bridge and Putney Bridge.

Club captain Alistair Mackie said: ‘It’s been a very frustrating winter with many rowing events cancelled by flooding and snow, and the ladies were keen to be racing competitively again.

“The crew have worked hard over the winter months to get out on the water when conditions allowed, backed up by indoor training.”

Thankfully the weather settled somewhat, and although overcast the conditions were very good with little wind, no rain and a fast flowing river on the returning tide.”

The Intermediate 3 crew of Natasha Wilson at stroke, Mia Hartwell, Ali Brown, Lynne Taylor, Helen Knowles, Louise Rushworth, Sarah Davies and Dione Page at bow were coxed by Ali Young.

It was an exciting race with boats three abreast on occasions and the St Neots crew were caught on the bow by another crew at one point. However, Young kept her team focused throughout the race and they maintained a steady rate of 30 strokes a minute.

St Neots’ final race time was 21 minutes 57 seconds and all with a bent rudder as a consequence of boating on a shallow concrete bank.