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Wallingford Regatta 2012

Charlotte Taylor began her multilane sculling career with victory as Putney Town kicked off their summer season on Dorney Lake, at Wallingford Regatta.

Charlotte, who only took up sculling seriously at the end of last summer, won a thrilling Intermediate 3 race at the end of the afternoon division, having finished third in Intermediate 1 in the morning.

In unusually benign conditions at the Olympic venue, races ran to time throughout the day with a morning crosswind the only annoyance. It was a stark contrast to last year’s event, where racing was cancelled at midday.

Putney Town’s women’s senior squad found themselves in the fastest Intermediate 3 heat of the morning but the time of the crew – stroked by Rochelle Morrissey and with several of last year’s beginners’ squad on board – showed them to be right at the front of the chasing pack.

A crew featuring a slightly different line-up took further lessons for the rest of the summer from their afternoon IM2 heat.

Four crews from the Town’s men’s squad faced tough opposition throughout the draw at an event dominated by schools in the build-up to next month’s National Schools Regatta.

However the first eight, stroked by Jack Mellish-Dix and featuring several oarsmen who have graduated from the club’s Learn to Row programme, recorded the fastest time of the day by a club crew at Intermediate 3. A second eight competed at IM3 and a coxless four at IM1.

In the afternoon division, an eight put together recently on training camp in Banyoles, Spain, featured at Intermediate 2, beating the only other club crew in their heat.

Words by Martin Gough

Charlotte Taylor and her coach, Martin Gough

Charlotte Taylor and her coach, Martin Gough