Isle of Ely Celebrate New Boat

PUBLISHED: 14:36 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

MEMBERS of the Isle of Ely Rowing Club gathered for a special boat naming ceremony at the weekend to mark the arrival of a brand new quad sculling boat. The boat has been named John Ison in honour of the ex-Mayor of Ely who has supported the local ro

MEMBERS of the Isle of Ely Rowing Club gathered for a special boat naming ceremony at the weekend to mark the arrival of a brand new quad sculling boat.

The boat has been named John Ison in honour of the ex-Mayor of Ely who has supported the local rowing club ever since its foundation in 2004. A previous editor of the Ely Standard, Mr Ison was highly supportive of the Diamond 44 celebratory event in that year, which was held to mark the 40th anniversary of University Boat Race on the River Ouse.

The Isle of Ely Rowing Club was subsequently born and John Ison and the Ely Standard have had an association with the club ever since. Despite moving to Whitstable, Mr Ison stays in touch with the fortunes of the club and recently came back to meet current members and to see the new quad sculling boat which now bears his name.

Club chairman, Derek Pickersgill said, "We wanted to recognise John's unstinting support for the club and his name was the obvious choice for us when it came to naming our new quad scull."The new boat was purchased with money from Grassroots Grants which is managed by The Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

The Foundation exists to distribute funds to local voluntary and community groups and the Ely club was successful in applying for a £5,000 grant to purchase a much-needed quad scull. The Isle of Ely Rowing Club has a flourishing junior section and young crews are already making great use of the new boat.

Meanwhile a stunning effort from the club's junior scullers at a number of local regattas last week saw them bring home a number of medals.

Taking on fierce competition in both the St Neots' and Sudbury Regattas, the club's promising youngsters recorded several fine victories, with first place finishes in the Women's Junior 13 singles and doubles and the Women's Junior 18 singles among others.

The prolific double sculling partnership of Libby Milne and Nell Freeman surged to victory in the Junior 13 doubles finishing a full four lengths ahead of opponents from Globe Rowing Club. Milne also went on to win the Junior 13 single sculls event over the same course, beating rivals from Norwich and another sculler from Globe Rowing Club.

Milne and Freeman doubled up on their win by then competing at the Sudbury Regatta, securing their second win in as many regattas, but this time in the Women's Junior 14 category, competing against girls a year older.

Libby Milne's older sister Ellie, already an established regional sculler, notched up two more wins at the St. Neots regatta, in the Women's Junior 18 single sculls event over the 1,000m course and also in the Mixed Doubles event over the sprint 500m course, partnering with Sam Allen.

From left to right: Steph Boughey, Kathryn Neale, John Ison (centre), Derek Pickersgill (Club chairman), Ellie Milne, Nell Freeman, Libby Milne. Photo: DAVID BOUGHEY

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