Neill is a win­ner at Hen­ley

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - by JAMES WEST­GATE

CITY row­ing star­let Philippa Neill en­joyed one of her best ca­reer wins to date when land­ing the Pe­abody Cup at the Hen­ley Women’s Re­gatta.

King’s School pupil Neill was part of a Ju­nior Com­pos­ite Eight made up of row­ers from St Neots, Glouces­ter, Tide­way Scullers, Strat­ford-Upon-Avon and Can­ford School that took the hot­ly­con­tested ti­tle on Sun­day.

The win is a mas­sive coup for the 17-year-old, es­pe­cially as Neill’s crew also set a new course record af­ter cov­er­ing the 1,500 me­tre Thames course in a time of four min­utes and 52 sec­onds af­ter a crack­ing tus­sle with Head­ing­ton School in the fi­nal.

Neill said: “We knew Head­ing­ton had a fast start. We just had to stick to our race plan so when we started to row through them and I saw their cox out of the corner of my eye, I knew we had the power, fit­ness and de­ter­mi­na­tion to take the win.

“To win at Hen­ley is amaz­ing and to break the course record was ex­tra spe­cial.”

Neil’s crew started the week­end with a con­vinc­ing four-length win against St Pauls on the Satur­day be­fore be­ing given a more thor­ough ex­am­i­na­tion in the semi-fi- nal on Sun­day.

Up against Molesly Boat Club - who had used a strong tail wind to set the course record the day be­fore - Neill and her crew rowed well to win by one and a quar­ter lengths and set up a mouth­wa­ter­ing fi­nal against Head­ing­ton.

The Ox­ford-based crew are the reign­ing Na­tional Schools gold medal­lists and with a rate of 50 strokes a minute, went into the fi­nal as favourites.

But de­spite a blis­ter­ing start from their op­po­nents, Neill’s crew made their im­pres­sive fit­ness count over the fi­nal stages to over­haul their op­po­nents and win the race, break­ing Molesly’s record into the bar­gain - less than 24 hours af­ter it was first set.

“Af­ter I have done my A Lev­els I will un­dergo four days of tri­als for the Ju­nior World and Euro­pean teams. The sea­son is re­ally go­ing well and I would just like to say a big thank-you to Peter­bor­ough Sport­sAid for all their help in help­ing me achieve my am­bi­tions.”

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