AS the regatta season draws to a close and head races get underway, John Wiggins writes about possibly the shortest and certainly the longest processional UK events from the past weekend.

At the 1850m Isis Sculls, run by City of Oxford RC, Head of the River was the Abingdon RC Masters quad (Cuan Ryan, John Fass, Simon Dawes and Ross Fergus) though only just a second ahead of Falcon RC's winning IM3 quad on their home water. Falcon secured another five category wins including victory for Gabe Smith in both the Novice and J16 double scull, the latter with Ed Sharp who also led home the J15 singles. Falcon also won the women’s Novice quad and their sculler, Mary Crowther won the Masters C/D event.

Abingdon celebrated seven wins from their youngest J15 scullers - Charlotte Rowley in the single and the boys double of Ben Sherliker and Jacob Millard - through to the Masters D/E double of Ryan and Dawes. These two were in the winning quad as was Ross Fergus who had double success in the single with the IM2 and Masters A/B events. Ryan also made it three with a win in the Masters D/E single while Joanne Henderson won Novice and Josh Ascroft, J17.

Hosts, City of Oxford claimed thirteen titles with a further seven events uncontested, two of which had some consolation as fastest boats: former world lightweight champion, Andrea Dennis was the quickest female sculler while the club’s J18 quad was the fastest women’s boat of the day. From that boat, Georgie Cherry claimed victory in the J17 double with Elise Stretton who also won in the J16 single. There were multiple wins for Jamie Millington (J16 single and J17 double) and Leila Stringer in the open J14 double (with Sam Taylor) as well as the girls’ J15 quad from which Bella Bowley and Eilish Turner-Frick had further success in the J15 double. The winning boys’ J13 quad featured Robert MacRae who took the J13 single title and was coxed by Evie Tinegate who also sculled to victory in the WJ13 single. Brona Ruiseal won the WJ14 event while senior club member, Charlotte Richer won the IM3 single.

Oxford Academicals had a win in the women’s IM3 double and Magdalen College School wins for single scullers James Pullinger (J14) and John Kosobucki in J18. The Oxford colleges, though still pre-term, were not without success: Wolfson’s novice scullers won the mixed and women’s doubles while Wadham won both women’s IM1 and IM2 singles and the men’s IM3 category.

As for the longest event, the award goes to the Boston Rowing Marathon: 50km along the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston which Wallingford’s Christy Job took on single handed and to victory in the women’s IM3 category. Her time of 4 hours 20minutes and 39 seconds – a winning margin of nearly twenty minutes - was just outside the record for the event but while the breathless wind conditions were in her favour, the final 15 km stretch ridden with weeds was certainly not.