It’s been a fanastic few days for former members of Peterborough City Rowing Club.
Two were toasting success at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta while a third was celebrating his selection for Team GB to compete at the Rio Paralympics.
The Henley winners were Sam Tuck and Adam Neill, while on his way to Brazil in September is James Fox. Tuck and Fox are former Jack Huunt School pupils while Neill was a student at King’s School.
Tuck was a member of the Molesey Boat Club crew that won the Thames Challenge Cup for eights. They beat N.S.R. Oslo, Norway - a boat made up of Norwegian Under 23 internationals - by just over two lengths in the final .
And Tuck (22), who trains full-time with Molesey Boat Club and is a part-time Surrey University coach, was absolutely delighted.
The win capped a great season which has seen him win a GB trial, receive an invitation to the Rio Olympic Trials, win a pennant at the Thames Head of the River and win the Senior Eights at the Marlow International Regatta.
He said: “It was a very special day for me and something I have been working towards since I first started rowing.
“My dream has always been to win Henley and to go to the Olympics, so the weekend has been great.
“However, I know there is still a lot of work to be done to break into the GB team for the 2020 Olympics, but that’s my next aim.
“I will now spend the summer training out of Caversham, the GB rowing centre, as part of a GB development group.
“And I couldn’t have got this far without Peterborough City Rowing Club and Jack Hunt School. Both went out of their way to help me progress in the sport so I owe a lot of my medal to both of them.”
Neill won the Ladies Challenge Plate as part of a Leander Club eight. They beat Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus from Holland in their final.
For Neill (25) it was a second Henley triumph. He was also a British champion in 2014 and had been training hard with the GB development group in a bid to make the Rio Olympics, but, like Tuck, he just missed out.
Fox became the sixth local athlete to be chosen to represent his country at the 2016 Paralympics when the British Paralympic Association selected nine rowers for Rio.
Fox, who also started rowing at Peterborough City Rowing Club as a youngster, will head to Rio as a reigning world champion in the mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) alongside his team-mates Grace Clough, Daniel Brown, Pam Relph and cox Oliver James.
He said: “It is a real honour to be selected for Paralympics GB. Racing at World Championships is exciting but being selected to race at a Paralympic Games is something special. It is my first Paralympics and I can’t wait to get out to Rio and crack on.”
Fox trains full-time with the GB para-rowing squad. He was classified as disabled in October 2012 because of limited movement in his ankles following a car crash.
The other five locals already selected for the Paralympics GB team were triathlete Lauren Steadman from Sawtry, footballer Ryan Kay from Stanground, shooter Matt Skelhon from Stilton, cyclist Jody Cundy from Wisbech and wheelchair basketball player Lee Manning from Bretton.