Success for Isle of Ely rower Ben

ISLE of Ely elite rower Ben Hicks, right, retained his spot as fastest sculler at the Winter League race held in Cambridge at the weekend.

Hicks came home comfortably ahead of the field in 11mins 8secs on the River Cam to cement his place as fastest sculler following last month’s victory in the first leg of the league competition.

The elite sculler also teamed up with Simon Goodbrand of the Rob Roy club to race as an elite double scull, finishing as the fastest double overall and in sixth position for the whole event, behind the fastest men’s eights.

Hicks was one of 22 crews ranging from junior 15 scullers through to veteran oarsmen competing on behalf of the Isle of Ely Rowing Club at the event.

Compared with the first leg of the race held in January, most crews averaged a time which was one-and-a-half minutes faster. The club’s men’s master C coxed four and the men’s masters F coxed four were both notably faster than this. They succeeded in beating their January first leg time by 2mins 24secs and by 2 mins and 39 secs respectively.

In January, all junior crews were withdrawn from the race because of the dreadful conditions so the Ely juniors were keen to make their mark this time.

Libby Milne and Laura Sibson were the fastest junior women’s double scull overall and both girls also raced in single sculls, finishing the 2,800m course just three seconds apart, leading the WJ15 single sculling event.

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Louisa Bateman, also racing in the WJ15 event sculled well as did Anna Towriss who was racing in WJ18 category.

The W J16 coxed quad worked hard to complete the course in a time of 13 mis 40 secs, whilst in the men’s J16 double sculling crew of Dan Ryan and James Bridgeman achieved a time of 12mins 48secs.

The club’s senior members competed in a mixed and men’s eight, as well as the two men’s fours. Master oarsmen Trevor Littlewood and Rodney Atkinson raced again in the masters F coxless pair event achieving a time of 12mins and 51secs. The senior women raced in the women’s coxed quad novice category, stroked by club captain Teresa Aslett, who was standing in for a sick crewmate.

The final leg of the Winter League is on March 13.