BLRC kick off sprint season

The first regatta of the 2015 sprint racing season got off to a flying start for crews from Burton Leander Rowing Club. After a winter of long distance time-trial style racing, the Leander crews were eager to make the transition to side-by-side sprint racing over the 700m course on the River Soar at Leicester on Sunday.

Fresh from representing the East Midlands in the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta on the previous day, James Lee took the victory in the Men's Junior 14 single sculls, beating local rival Loughborough Boat Club in the first final of the day.

In typical strong form, Matt Haywood made his presence known in the Men's Junior 17 single sculls. The main opposition was formed from local Leicester crews, who carried the advantage of being on their home water, with many supporters lining the banks. Undeterred, Matt's focus and resolve proved no match for the Leicester crews, taking the second win of the day for Burton Leander.

The Men's novice 4+ also faced local opponents Leicester University in the final of their event. Starting out as a close race, cox Georgia Parr got the most out of her crew and steered a good racing line down the narrow, bridge-lined course which is often quite challenging for novice crews. The Leander men of Sean Tanner, James Sahin, Isaac Moody and Pete Haywood rowed well together and retained their edge over the university crew to take Leander's third win.

The final victory of the day came from the Intermediate 2 mixed four, consisting of club captain Sam Shorthose competing with Kat Delaney, Matt Haywood and Dan Roe. Rowing a category above their own level, the Burton crew knew they would have to race well to remain in contention against their opponents from Leicester/Trentham and Derwent. Their final was scheduled as one of the last races of the day - not to disappoint, this newly formed crew took the win by a verdict of three-quarters of a length.

The Leander crews are hoping to build on this very promising start to the season at their next competition at Shrewsbury in two week's time, whilst also keeping their sights on making Burton Regatta 2015 a strong one. This year marks the 150 anniversary of this historic town event.

Anyone who is interested in taking up rowing or indeed returning to rowing after university, should contact Gerard Wilcox on 07548 177767. The club offers rowing and sculling from beginner to advanced level and for juniors, men and women.

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