Practice paid off for MK Rowing Club after picking up medals in Northampton and Peterborough.
There were five wins for the men’s squads in Northampton, while the women also claimed two golds.
Northampton was the warm up, raced over 1.8km. All crews braved freezing conditions. John Smith proved the most hardy, not letting a capsize off the pontoon deter him from winning the Open Singles (Band 4). This was one of five wins for the men. In the Open 4’s (Band 1), John Smith, Shaun Turner, Charlie Blewitt and Aidan Chesters, coxed by Becky Tommey won Band 1, with Rich Ambrose, Leo Copas, Alex Trickle, Lee Kindell, coxed by Chris Wilson securing first place in Band 2.
John Smith then joined forces with Callum Holland to win the Open doubles event. Steve Lawson had a comfortable win in the Masters E singles, and went on to win the Masters E pairs with Rod Bennett.
Karen Wilson, Jayne Skeith, Helen Smith and Suzanne De Maine, coxed by Steve Boughton came in first in the Women’s Masters Coxed 4’s, followed up by a win in the Open 8’s, together with Katherine Billingham, Kate Smith, Clare Lawson and Jen Pilcher, coxed by Chris Wilson.
Then on to the longer 5km course in Peterborough on the Nene river. The men’s 8 of John Smith, James Pototsky, Charlie Blewitt, Shaun Turner, Phil Capp, Paul Windsor, Callum Holland and Aidan Chester’s, coxed by Becky Tommey had a very strong row, powering past all their competition to come home first.
The women’s 8 were equally as successful and Karen Wilson, Paula Heywood, Alice Draper, Jayne Skeith, Jo Heywood, Kate Smith, Katherine Billingham and Suzanne De Maine, coxed by Jenny Searle didn’t need their handicap to secure a win.
Steve Lawson and Rod Bennet also didn’t need their handicap to win the Masters E pairs, going on to win the Men’s quad event with 2 women in the boat: Cherry Kemp and Clare Lawson - a great achievement.
Cherry also had a solid row over this long course in her single, to come home first in the Masters B event.
The club’s seasoned double of Jenny Searle and Helen Marshall left no doubt about their capability in the Masters C doubles, again winning without the need of their handicap.