Deben rowers make river voyage

Catherine Larner , Lucy Hollis and Jacq Barnard have complete the entire length of the Deben. They

Catherine Larner , Lucy Hollis and Jacq Barnard have complete the entire length of the Deben. They arrived at Sutton Hoo and were met by the mayor of Woodbridge and members of Deben Rowing Club. The boat was then taken up to the burial mounds at Sutton Hoo. - Credit: Archant

An intrepid trio made their triumphant return to dry land after a round-trip row along the length of a Suffolk waterway.

Left ro right: Catherine Larner , Lucy Hollis and Jacq Barnard complete the entire length of the Deb

Left ro right: Catherine Larner , Lucy Hollis and Jacq Barnard complete the entire length of the Deben. - Credit: Archant

Catherine Larner, Jacq Barnard and Lucy Hollis retraced the path of Saxon settlers as they heaved their boat ashore at Sutton Hoo and uphill to the burial mounds that hid an ancient treasure hoard.

Their return was heralded by fellow Deben Rowing Club members and well-wishers including Woodbridge mayor Josh Sayles – the journey from riverbank to royal cemetery aided by clubmates.

The gesture honoured Anglo-Saxon king, Raedwald, whose mask appears on the club’s logo, and was arranged with the support of the National Trust team at Sutton Hoo.

Catherine, Jacq and Lucy last year rowed the Thames in a Victorian skiff and gained support for their latest voyage from Griff Rhys Jones – of TV’s Three Men in a Boat.

Ms Larner said: “It was a lovely day, but very windy, and we were rowing against it from the start. The water towards Felixstowe was quite choppy but, overall, it was fantastic and we kept time along the way.

“We got stuck in mud at Ramsholt and had to paddle frantically, and were concerned about getting under the bridge at Melton with bunting on the boat, but we managed it.”

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Nicknamed the ‘Daughters of the Deben’, the three left Woodbridge on Saturday morning and made their first stop at Waldringfield, where they were piped ashore by bagpipe player, Martin McBeal. After viewing The Rocks, King’s Fleet and Felixstowe, they headed home, stopping at the Ramsholt Arms for lunch, and back at Waldringfield before the home stretch. Along the way they had a champagne breakfast with Waldringfield Sailing Club, talked shellfish with Simper’s of Suffolk, met three harbourmasters and got support from people watching from the riverbank and on the water. They also collected ‘treasure’ items, including vouchers from the Ramsholt Arms and Maybush pubs, a family pass to Sutton Hoo, Stokes Sauces, Woodbridge Tide Mill flour, a 10k road race winners shirt from Woodbridge Shufflers, an historic map of Ramsholt, textiles made by a Felixstowe designer Emily Burningham and books by Robert Simper and Top That Publishing – all to be included in a boat full of prizes which will be raffled at the club on the River Wall at Woodbridge Regatta on June 21.

The trio hope to encourage more people in Suffolk to try rowing. To find out more, or to sign up for a ‘Learn to Row’ course, contact club chairman John Cross on 07803 082750.