As part of our rowing program for female rowers that is running throughout the summer, we pulled together 4 W.4+ crews for Peterborough summer regatta. Unfortunately, our W.IM3.8+ entry was rejected due to insufficient entries for the event. Our uber-composite would have consisted of rowers from five different colleges. However, we didn’t get disheartened.
We arrived at Peterborough on Friday evening with a trailer full of boats. Peterborough summer regatta takes place over two days. The atmosphere at the regatta is always great and you get to meet people from all over the country (or at least places within two hours driving distance). We made some new friends from Nottingham, for example!
On day one all crews race over a 1km course. On that day, we entered two different crews. Our W.IM3.4+ consisted of current boat club captain Stella Lempidaki, Liz Dzeng from King’s, Claire Raisen from Darwin, Laura Schuhmacher from Peterhouse and cox Lily Chan from Wolfson. We raced against 3 other crews in the first heat, taking third place missing out on the final by ¾ length. It turns out our crew was faster than the fastest crew in the second heat by seven seconds.
On the second race of the day, our novice crew, consisting of ex-Clare overall captain Chrysoula Litina, current women’s captain at Clare, Edith Ross, the overall captain at Hughes Hall, Sally Mole and Tracey Hurell, one of our most promising novices from last year at Lucy, and Clare cox Jordan Sandberg came second in their heat and managed to get into the event final! A few hours later, in what turned out to be an impressive and hard fought race, they missed out on pots by a single stroke or as the regatta officials printed out on the board, by 0.2 of a second. Even so, we were so proud of our achievements. Our crews had only come together the week before the races.
The second day was very much in the same spirit. After relaxing at the pub the day before and a good night’s sleep, we had a few races in front of
us. The second day at Peterborough is all about sprints, in the form of 500m races. Our first heat was at 11 in the morning. We raced a W.IM3.4+ with yet again another line-up. Stella was at stroke this time, Chrysa at 3, Laura at 2 and Edith at bow and cox Jordan. As we were a composite crew, we were all allowed to wear our different colour onesies, making us one of the fanciest looking crews on the lake! We won our heat beating amongst others the crew that beat our novice crew the day before and were now an IM3 crew. That felt really good (sorry Cantabs). Our final came a few hours later. We had an even better race, on our second “outing” as a crew and beat the Cantabs crew again, this time by more than half a length over the 500m. However, a very strong and experienced Chesterton crew managed to win the race with not-that-big a margin (again half a length).
Our final race of the day, was meant to be a masters’ A race but due to insufficient entries, we were shifted into the IM2.4+ category. Punching well above our weight, Stella (str), Chrysa (3), Laura (2), Tracey (bow), Jordan (cox) raced in this category and managed to come third in the straight final with 1sec difference from the 2nd crew.
Overall, we might have not managed to win pots, but we have come back from Peterborough having gained valuable racing experience, having made our friendship with each other stronger, having made new friends and having had a great time in what was an amazing weekend with lovely weather (which means onesie tanlines as well!)! Thank you to everyone who took part!
by Stella Lempidaki