Burton Leander proved that they possess the formula for success at the pinnacle regattas of the summer season, on their home river at Burton regatta last weekend and continuing on to the British Junior Championships which took place on Saturday and Sunday. The local club came away with 18 wins over Burton Regatta weekend and were represented in a wide spectrum of events of all ages, from Junior 14 to Masters F, at Novice level as well as Senior status events. The home regatta is a great opportunity for debutant competitors to gain race experience on familiar water, as well as allowing the senior athletes to hone their skills ready for the National Championships which take place the following week.
Over Saturday’s longer course, one of the club’s rising junior stars, Mary Wright, continued her winning spell this season with a win in the women’s Junior 14 single sculls event. Ellen Tweed and Natasha Dukes dominated the Womens Junior 16 event as did the Junior 16 boys, Jordi Simons, Joe Rymond, Matt Haywood and James Manton in the quad. Demonstrating their versatility, Matt and James then went on to a second victory of the day in the Junior 16 double sculls event. Keeping it in the family, Lizzie Manton teamed up with Natalie Gould to take victory in a category above their preferred classification, in Women’s Senior double sculls. From the Senior squads; Pete Westwood won the Masters D single sculls and Helena Tanner, Laura Hunt, Zoe Wilson and Lizzie Manton came away with a medal in the Women’s Intermediate 3 quadruple sculls.
Mixed events also proved to be a winning combination, Sean Tanner and Claire Henman won the Intermediate 3 double sculls. Club captain Sam Shorthose, along with Kat Delaney and two guest rowers from Germany, Carsten Lohmann and Tim Tolhuysen were victorious in the Mixed Intermediate 3 quadruple sculls.
Having set a high benchmark over the longer distance, the club had their work cut out to match this on Sunday. With weather conditions not being as favourable as the calm sunny Saturday, Sunday’s racing took place over 700 meters. The club enjoyed wins once again in a multitude of categories, from Women’s intermediate 3 single sculls for Kat Delaney and Men’s Junior 16 single sculls for Matt Haywood, through to double sculls with wins for the senior men in Masters B/C for Gareth Kirkby and Pete Westwood. Joe Rymond and Jordi Simons were victorious in the men’s intermediate 3 pair as were the junior girls Natasha Dukes and Ellen Tweed in Women’s Junior 16 double sculls. The men’s pair and the girls double then joined together to form a mixed Intermediate 3 quad which took the victory in an exciting final against the composite Burton Leander / GTRV Lingen crew.
Further adding to their success at National Masters level, the Leander ladies 8 won the Masters A/C category by a comfortable distance of one length. The British Rowing handicapping system awarded their opposition a six second head start over the local girls, which left them with a huge challenge in making up this time over the relatively short racing distance. Undeterred by the start disadvantage, the Leander ladies had a good start and managed to close the gap down to one boat length on local rivals Loughborough rowing club 200 meters in. During the final 500meters, spurred on by the tremendous support from the riverbank, Burton Leander overtook Loughborough to take the win comfortably.
The haul of Saturday wins earned them the prestigious Victor Ludorum prize the “Burton Cask”, which Leander have narrowly missed out on over recent years. The first female club Captain, Samantha Shorthose, is extremely proud to have been at the helm for the last six months and attributes the success at this year’s Burton regatta to the fantastic coaching team, coxes, and the other volunteers who help the club run smoothly behind the scenes.