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From Challenge to Triumph: HRC Masters Shine at BRIC 2022

In a triumphant return to in-person competition after four years, the Henley Rowing Club (HRC) Masters made an indelible mark at the British Indoor Rowing Championships (BRIC), held at the Birmingham NEC on December 9th. With over 1,500 competitors and 50+ races, the day was a testament to resilience, skill, and the undying spirit of the HRC community.

Masters Excellence: Gold, Silver, and Personal Bests

The HRC Masters contingent of Mark Gray, Chris Leppard, Alex Scott, Nicole Peachey, Jo Carey, Anna Dingley, Emma Cordeaux, Ros Pilcher, and Matt Peachey, displayed exemplary skill in the 500m, 2K, and the 4K relay races. Guided by the expert coaching duo of Holly Nixon and Jess Leyden, the team achieved notable victories and set new records.

Matt Peachey's stellar performance earned him a Gold medal in the Masters 55-59 2K event, clocking an impressive time of 6:34.4.

Jo Carey secured a well-deserved Silver in the Masters 55-59 500m event, crossing the line in 1:50.4.

The day also witnessed numerous personal bests, with Mark and Chris achieving PBs in their 2K races, and both relay teams setting new records—3 Fast & 1 Furious (Matt, Mark, Alex & Chris) and The Jean Genies (Nicole, Jo, Emma & Anna).

Celebrating the HRC Spirit

Beyond the medals, the HRC spirit shone brightly, with LTR23 graduates Anna, Emma, and Chris rising to the challenge of BRIC. Special commendations go to Ros Pilcher, who, despite not feeling her best on the day, displayed true determination and came agonisingly close to a medal position.

Newcomer Anna, embodying the Henley spirit, participated in all possible events on the day—500m, 2K, and the 4K relay.

In an unexpected twist, coach Jess Leyden caught the eye of the British Rowing organising team and contributed as a guest commentator and pundit—an additional highlight of the day.

Personal Triumphs and Dedication: A Personal Story

Amidst the collective triumphs, a personal story of dedication and triumph emerged. Despite a diagnosis of arthritis in both knees in 2020, Matt Peachey embarked on a remarkable journey—from buying a rowing machine during lockdown, achieving fitness milestones, to eventually competing in regattas and heads, including a notable win at Staines Regatta in 2023. Alongside co-rower Nicole, they became enamoured with the sport of rowing.

The climactic moment came at BRIC 2023, where, after an impromptu 2K test, Matt entered the race with unwavering support from coach Holly. Following a specific 6-week training programme, race simulations, and meticulous preparation, he clinched a Gold medal with a time of 6:34.4—a testament to determination, belief, and the invaluable support of the coach.

The achievements at BRIC 2023 embody the true spirit of Henley Rowing Club—a collective journey of challenges, victories, and shared pride. Here's to more successes and shared victories in the upcoming rowing season! 🚣‍♀️🏅

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