Rowers hit top form as they prepare for Henley

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PREPARATIONS for the biggest event in the calendar are going well for Milton Keynes Rowing Club as they celebrated success at the Peterborough Regatta.

Helen Marshall and Jenny Searle won their Women’s Masters Double Scull final after a neck and neck battle with Peterborough along the 1km course, as they set their sights on the Henley Regatta later this month.

The pair kept their confidence and a burst of power in the final few metres saw the city crew pull ahead and take the trophy.

The lightweight pair, who have only been sculling together for a few months, gave a polished performance in the mixed weight event, proving that style and technique can win over size and strength.

The Women’s IM2 Eight crew also continued their winning streak with Helen Jones, Charlene Mills, Karen Wilson, Lou Rivett, Heidi Towse, Paula Heywood, Alice Draper and Becks Trouse, coxed by Andi Grossey.

Even a well-established crew from Furnival Rowing Club were no match for the city ladies who put in their best performance yet to win the final race of the day.

Tim Grossey, captain of MK Rowing Club said he was very proud of what the ladies had achieved at Peterborough, and put it down to their hard work in training.

He said: “It’s always tough for a small rowing club such as Milton Keynes to compete at the higher level events like the forthcoming Women’s Henley.

“But these ladies have shown that they are ready for this challenge next month and I’m really looking forward to seeing our green and black strip racing along the most famous course in the country.”

Their success at Peterborough was the icing on the cake after another solid performance two weeks earlier at the British Rowing Masters Championships in Nottingham where they won another three silver medals.

The first silver medal of the day went to Tim Grossey and Benn Klewpatinond in their Masters A coxless pair, shortly followed by a gut-wrenching final of the Masters A women’s doubles race which saw Andi Grossey and Liz Tatman just miss out on a gold medal by less than a second.

The ladies were confident of their ability to win the race having recently beaten some high profile crews at the Wallingford Regatta, but second place and silver was still a great achievement.

The last medal of the day went to the Masters C Womens Coxed 4 with Helen Jones, Paula Heywood, Lou Rivett and Karen Wilson, superbly coxed by Yemin Sun-Jeffries.

It was a nail biting race which saw York City take gold and a neck and neck fight from beginning to end between the MK ladies and Hereford – ending with a photo finish and silver for MK.

For anyone interested in having a taster session in rowing, there will be an Open Day on Saturday, June 23 at Caldecotte Lake. For more details visit