Cambridge Autumn Regatta reaps national rewards for crews
By Richard Moseley
“Why am I doing this?” was in the minds of more than 50 members of Cambridge 99 Rowing Club when they got up early on Sunday morning, some as early as 4am.
But then some of the competitors from Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Maidenhead, and from south of the Thames, Globe, probably thought the same, although for them there was a potential prize at the end if they won their specific competition.
However, even if they lost a final, if there were other crews in the event they would have picked up national rowing points as the Cambridge Autumn Regatta is open to all British Rowing recognised clubs in the country.
In all there were 16 races where the winning margin was a length or less, providing the spectators on Ditton Meadows with plenty of entertainment. Indeed, a Globe coxed pair added some extra when they capsized going for the last few strokes of their race and ended up crossing the finish walking in the river with their boat.
Some of that racing was Nines’ crews, who were let off regatta duties in order to provide competition which resulted in wins for both the women’s four and in the B1 Open sculls against a sculler from Leicester.
After the regatta, which finished 10 minutes early after more than 130 races, the plaudits came in from both competitors and umpires – the event has to be run by qualified British Rowing umpires – many mentioning “queen of the spreadsheet” Lianne Stanford, who was chair of the event. She spent much of last week ensuring that all the required positions at the regatta were filled as well as the pre-race jobs were done and the regatta field left in a pristine state to ensure no danger to both the local wildlife and cattle that were soon to be back grazing it.
There were a number of Cambridgeshire-based winners, including a WJ16 quad and J14 scull from Cantabrigian Rowing Club, and a CRA women’s eight and Masters’ D/E scull from X-Press.
Downing College’s open coxed four and City of Cambridge’s CRA eights both had victories, there were successes for Churchill College’s mixed double sculls and Chesterton’s Masters’ D-F sculler, and wins for St Ives’ open scull and Masters’ D/E/F double scull and Huntingdon’s Masters’ B/C scull.