Henley preparation begins in earnest

Pic: Robert Heywood

Pic: Robert Heywood

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Milton Keynes Rowing Club were out in force this weekend, racing at both the Metropolitan Amateur Regatta and Peterborough Spring Regatta.

As part of their warm up for Women’s Henley, Harriet Varney, Louisa Briar, Abi Green, Lucy Millett and their cox Andy Darnell travelled to the prestigious Eton Dorney Regatta Lake, home of the 2012 Olympics, to make their mark on the Metropolitan Amateur Regatta.

In the WIM3 4+ category the women fought strong competition over the 2k course to finish 3rd in their heat and earn a place in the semi-finals. Just a few hours later they were on the start line again, with the field whittled from 27 to just 12 competitors.

Despite their best efforts they weren’t able to conquer the competition and missed out on a place in the final.

Over in Peterborough the men and women of MK Rowing Club were being put through their paces at the Spring Regatta.

Saturday saw impressive performances, with Paula Heywood and Karen Wilson in the Senior Pairs category finishing an admirable 2nd, and Cath Keeling and Daisy Kitchener rowing well in their first race together in the WIM3 Doubles heats.

The men fought hard, with the IM3 8 finishing 3rd in their heat and the Men’s IM3 4+ getting the 5th fastest time of the 12 competitors but falling foul of an unfortunate draw that kept them out of the final.

The damper weather on Sunday didn’t dampen the club’s spirits as they returned for another day’s racing at the Peterborough Spring Regatta.

This time MK Rowing Club struck gold in the form of the Women’s Masters B/C Double Helen Marshall and Jenny Searle, beating the likes of Tees RC, Eton Excelsior and Leeds RC.

Helen followed this up later in the day with a strong 2nd place in a single scull.

After their success on Saturday Cath Keeling and Daisy Kitchener returned once more to finish 3rd in their heat, and the Women’s Novice 4+ of Jayne Skeith, Katharine Billingham, Lisa Goodship, Suzanne De Maine and their cox Kate Fraser put in a great performance to finish 3rd in their heat.

There was great excitement on Sunday as the men’s IM3 4+ made up of James Pototsky, Nick Hughes, James Hughesman and Steve Boughton battled through heats and won their repechage to gain a place in the final.

A tough race over the 1k course saw the crew finish 4th overall, hot on the heels of the crew from Poplar Blackwall in 3rd. Continuing the men’s success was the Masters D 4+ of Phil Capp, Peter Cox, Nick Hughes and Steve Boughton who rowed with style to finish 3rd in the final.

The men’s 8 faced tough competition on the Sunday to finish 4th in their heat, with Robert Heywood and Rod Bennett battling crews from Stratford and Peterborough to finish 3rd in the Masters E double sculls.

Strong performances across Men’s, Women’s, Novice, Intermediate and Masters categories, as well as entries across two highly competitive Regattas, is certainly getting Milton Keynes Rowing Club noticed.

The club is hoping to continue its success on the local, national and even international stage this year. To find out more visit www.mkrc.org