29th July 2011
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24-25 JULY 2011


Hundreds of rowers from across the UK descended on Riverside Park in St Neots at the weekend for St Neots Rowing Club’s annual regatta on the River Great Ouse.   Clubs from as far north as Tyne and as far south as Plymouth took part, and there was a very strong local contingent: 7 Cambridge clubs, 4 from Bedford, plus Huntingdon, St Ives, Peterborough, Oundle and Ely.  This year’s Regatta also had an international element, with an invitational race for crews from St Petersburg University, Russia who had flown especially to the UK to compete at British events.


There were 205 races at 3 minute intervals on the Saturday (over a 1,000m course) and 263 races at 2 minute intervals on Sunday (500m course), with over 550 crews competing across the weekend.   


Racing highlights of the weekend for St Neots Rowing Club included a win in the J16 coxless quad on the Saturday for Bryce Taylor, Jack Jakivis, Nick Shorten & Ethan Page against first Newark and then Nottingham and also a win for the Men’s IM2 eight who after leaving clear water between themselves & opposition from Huntingdon & London club Cygnet, then went on to race Bedford in a nail-biting final with St Neots just stealing victory. The Mixed IM3 eight also had a tense race against Norwich, losing to Norwich by just 12inches over the 500m course.


On the Sunday, 6 St Neots crew won pewter tankards, with the juniors really making an impact. In the J13 double sculls & coxed quads, St Neots girls dominated so that the events ended up being straight St Neots finals. The final race between the two quads proved to be particularly close. Other wins included the Junior 15 quadruple scull, Masters C coxed fours and a hotly anticipated final race for the Junior 18 double of Huw Jarman & Josh Dexter, who beat opposition from Star by 2 & ½ boat lengths. The regatta was also the first taste of racing for some of St Neots’ newsest recruits; the Novice Four of Rachel Tackley, Louise Rushworth, Alison Young & Angela De Stefano put in a great performance to win their first heat against Lea, however were just beaten by Leeds in the Semi-final.


Kendal Cooper, Regatta Secretary, said:


"What a fantastic weekend of racing, all made possible by the hard work of so many people.  We want to thank all the volunteers who helped to run the regatta over the weekend - from the early morning setting out the course, manning the races, serving refreshments and clearing up afterwards.  We are also extremely grateful to the Mayor of St Neots for presenting trophies to the winners and to the local businesses who sponsored races.  And of course, thanks to all the competitors who came from far and wide who gave us such exciting races to watch."


Regattas on the Great Ouse in St Neots have been taking place for well over a hundred years.  The next event in the Club's calendar will be the St Neots vs Huntingdon Boat Race on Saturday 10 September which will re-enact the original race held 150 years ago.  That will be followed by the Small Boats Head on Sunday 2 October, which will comprise 5 divisions over a 2600m course with a 1200m mini-head course for Juniors.



St Neots Rowing Club was founded in 1865 and has championed competitive rowing since its first annual Regatta in 1874.  The Club effectively runs four squads: the Junior Beginner/Recreational Squad; the Junior Development/Elite Squad; the Senior Men’s Squad; and the Senior Women’s Squad.  The two Senior squads primarily consist of those who have taken up rowing later in life, some for recreation and others with a view to competing.


Contact details are as follows: St Neots Rowing Club, Priory Lane, St Neots PE19 2BH; telephone number 01480 472302;


About the Author

Phill @ The Best of St Neots

Member since: 10th July 2012

Lived in St Neots since 1975 and boy how its changed, always looking to promote everything great in and around our town.

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