BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS: Deadly duo from Peterborough City pick up another national medal

James Toynton (left) and Alex Leverage (right) flank coach Matt Newton on the British Championship podium.
James Toynton (left) and Alex Leverage (right) flank coach Matt Newton on the British Championship podium.

Deadly Peterborough City Rowing Club duo Alex Leverage and James Toynton collected medals at the British Championships (July 14-16) for the second year in a row.

They collected a bronze in a much tougher J15 double sculls event after winning gold in the J14 double sculls in 2016.

Peterborough City's J16 quad at the British Championships, from left, Hannah bassett, Libby Jarvis, Rebecca Clephan (coach), Georgina Parker and Jenna Taylor.

Peterborough City's J16 quad at the British Championships, from left, Hannah bassett, Libby Jarvis, Rebecca Clephan (coach), Georgina Parker and Jenna Taylor.

They were the stars of a very successful event for the city club at the National Rowing Centre in Nottingham.

City had 11 qualifying competitors this year compared to just four in 2016. All City’s crews came in the top 10 with the single scullers all achieving top 20 places.

Toynton and Leverage got off to a great start in the time trial, achieving a time of 06:06.2, which placed them in third position out of 23 entrants qualifying them for the AB semi-final.

The following day they faced the challenging 2000m course in their semi-final looking strong and relaxed as they cruised to a second-placed finish. This guaranteed them a place in the A Final later that day, which was a nail-biting race to watch.

Jack Collins and Ben Mackenzie won a B Final at the British Championships.

Jack Collins and Ben Mackenzie won a B Final at the British Championships.

City boys stayed in a comfortable third position throughout, before a strong sprint to the finishing line saw them fail by just 0.3 seconds to bag a super silver.

Jack Collins and Benjamin Mackenzie won their B final in the Open J16 category to claim seventh place overall, an outstanding effort for a pair who only started rowing together six weeks ago.

However despite this handicap, they were able to comfortably get through to the AB semi-final after a ninth-place finish in the time trial.

A fifth-place finish in the semi-final the next day saw them through to the B final where they showed fierce resolve rowing through none other than a Leander club crew to a first-place finish.

A City women’s J16 coxless quad of Jenna Taylor, Georgina Parker, Libby Jarvis and Hannah Bassett claimed an excellent top 10 finishing position after finishing third in a B final, improving three places on their time trial.

Top junior sculler Harry Masterson competed in the notoriously competitive Open J16 category, taking on GB international rowers who had travelled from as far afield as Glasgow.

Masterson was only three seconds off the AB semi finals in his time trial and later that day contested the C Final coming fourth in extreme conditions. This placed him in 16th position overall.

In the J14 contest two of City’s young scullers Thomas Bodily and Eve Cresswell faced a series of skills tests including rowing backwards towards a target, rocking the boat rapidly from side-to-side whilst standing up, rowing a slalom with an emergency stop and exchanging batons with other rowers without dropping it.

They also had to complete a timed 500 metre race. Tom and Eve took on 80 other juniors and picked up creditable finishes of 11th and 12th place respectively.