Olympic silver medallist Catherine Bishop delivers British Rowing Award to shocked Jen Titterington and Bev Goodchild
Ridgewell-raised Jen Titterington’s extraordinary 2019 season alongside Ipswich RC’s Bev Goodchild saw the pair named Club Crew of the Year at the latest British Rowing Awards.
The duo were shortlisted in February last year for a ceremony originally intended to go ahead with a gala dinner in March, before the pandemic saw a series of postponements begin.
When former Ridegwell Primary and Hedingham School pupil Titterington, now aged 27, was invited on a video call with her ex-rowing partner in late November they were only expecting an update to be given to the nominees.
But the pair, put forward by their Eastern Region body, got a big shock when 2003 coxless pair world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist Catherine Bishop appeared to deliver the news of their win.
They then had to be sworn to secrecy for another four weeks, before British Rowing announced all the results on social media, meaning they have only recently been able to share the news widely.
“We were very surprised, given it was open to the whole of the British club rowing community, but it also felt like a nice end to our time together as we have both since moved clubs,” said Titterington, who despite still being a member at Sudbury relocated from Ridgewell, near Haverhill, to Nottingham in August to further her rowing as part of a bigger squad.
“We really appreciated that Catherine Bishop took the time to present it to us.”
The pair’s 2019 campaign followed on from a strong 2018 together in the boat.
The stand-out moment of their award-winning year was when they became the first women’s crew from East Anglia to ever qualify for the world famous Henley Royal Regatta – something even Bishop said she was envious of with it having eluded her.
It saw them take their place in the elite field for the Stonor Challenge Cup in July, 2019, in front of packed out banks of the River Thames.
“It was the last summer we were going to be racing together so we just thought we would enter it for fun,” said Titterington, who remarkably only took up rowing at Sudbury on her return from university, aged 21, having previously been a dedicated swimmer.
“Of the eight crews that qualified for the main draw we were the only crew who didn’t have international recognition.
“The girls who won the overall event (New Zealand double) were the world champions!
“To say it was unexpected was an understatement.
“We definitely gave them (Bath University) a run for their money though and I think they only ended up beating us by two boat lengths; four seconds, and they were pretty spent at the end.”
It was far from the only highlight of that memorable summer though with Titterington and Goodchild winning two races at the Ghent International Spring Regatta in Belgium, as well as memorable performances at the Henley Women’s and Wallingford regattas.
The restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic has left Titterington unable to compete across the last year, though she had been allowed back on the water to train alongside others outside of the national lockdowns.
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