British Rowing Awards: Club Crew of the Year winner

Congratulations to Bev Goodchild and Jen Titterington from Ipswich and Sudbury Rowing Clubs – winners of the Club Crew of the Year

The British Rowing Club Crew of the Year is for adult club crews with outstanding achievements in the 2019 calendar year, or over the course of the 2018/19 season. Nominated by the Eastern Region, Bev Goodchild and Jen Titterington from Ipswich and Sudbury Rowing Clubs have had an exceptional season, becoming the first women’s crew from East Anglia to qualify for an open event at Henley Royal Regatta.

Just one of their many achievements, read on to find out more from their citation below:

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Following an amazingly successful 2017/18 season, their second together as a crew where they were winners at the Pairs Head, Wallingford Regatta and losing finalists at Henley Women’s Regatta, they completed an intense winter training campaign. This included a very commendable fifth women’s crew overall at the 2018 Pairs Head and eight other wins during the local winter head season in their double and single sculls.

Summer highlights included entering Henley Royal in the Stonor Challenge Trophy, an open level event for women, with, they thought, next to no chance of qualifying.

To everyone’s amazement they were one of the four crews to qualify, eliminating crews that contained GB squad members and a former world lightweight champion. This is the first time in history that a women’s crew from East Anglia have qualified for an open event at HRR. They were knocked out on Friday after a very spirited attempt.

To put these achievements into perspective, these two scullers both live in Ipswich and train at Ipswich RC, although Jen often races in Sudbury RC kit. Ipswich is a very small, recently formed club, operating from a Portakabin, with some weights set up in an old shipping container. It has a few boats stored on a marina pontoon and rows on a tidal estuary with a busy commercial port to negotiate.

The level of commitment and dedication shown by Bev and Jen has been exceptional, training daily at the club in less than ideal, challenging conditions. They each have demanding full-time careers but have put rowing first above everything else; fitting their training demands around their employment obligations. Neither was a long-time rower with Bev having learnt at university and with three years’ experience before the crew was formed, and Jen having been sculling for only one year.

Four other outstanding crews were all nominated by their respective regions. We include highlights from their citations below.

Kingston RC men’s eight (Thames Region)

The Kingston Rowing Club men’s eight had a successful campaign in the winter head race programme placing 18th overall in the Head of the River Race in March with one of the best results ever achieved by the club.

In the summer regatta season, the crew emerged as the fastest club eight in the country, beating all-comers at the prestigious Marlow Regatta in June.

At HRR, they competed in the Thames Cup for men’s club eights and consistently recorded the fastest times among the UK club crews, narrowly losing in the third round to an overseas crew which won the event.

All the crew had full-time jobs.

Talkin Tarn ARC women’s masters C 4x (Northern Region)

This crew had 18 wins as a crew at regattas across the North of England, Scotland and won three gold medals at the British Rowing Masters Championships in 2019. This was in W C4x-, W C4+ and NC Int W A-C 4x-.

The crew is from a small club with few members who compete and their ages range from 27 to 57. They train together four to five times a week while fulfilling their roles as Club President, Club Captain, Vice-Captain and Secretary. Three coach at the club and one drives the safety boat for training while another tows the club’s trailer.

This crew are not only competing at the highest level for a masters crew – they are also building a club for the future.

Thames RC women’s first eight (Thames Region)

Thames RC has won the ‘club eights’ category at Henley Women’s Regatta many times, but recent success has come mainly in small boats. As the 2018/19 season began, we pinpointed success in club eights as one of the main goals.

Like many others, the Thames women juggled their rowing with the pressure of careers and study.

Their hard work paid off. At HWR, all three Thames eights reached the quarter-finals. While the B and C crews lost their second races, the A crew made the final, securing victory against a tenacious City of Bristol crew by two lengths.

At HRR, they then became the only full club crew to qualify for the Remenham Challenge Cup. An excellent end to a landmark season.

York City RC women’s masters E (Yorkshire Region)

The York City Women’s Masters E crew had a superb year in 2019. This group of women book ended the year with Tideway Head victories at the Veterans Head with a Masters E win and then returned in November to secure Masters D and E wins in coxed fours.

They picked up gold medals at the British Rowing Masters Championships in the eight as well as in D and E coxed fours again.

Six travelled to the World Masters Regatta in Hungary and they all came back with at least one medal.

This crew have all been great ambassadors for rowing and for masters women’s rowing.

 

Thanks to the British Rowing Awards Panel for their time selecting all our Club Crew of the Year Award winners – Karena Vleck, Jim Williams (President, Hereford RC), Tanya Podinovskaia (Captain of Boats, Warwick BC) and David Oates (Chair, Windermere RC).

We are celebrating the winners of the British Rowing Awards 2020 all the way up until 31 December so please keep and eye out for other winners #BRAwards2020

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