Liz Tofts and David Best came back with medals from the British Rowing Masters Championships last weekend. The day had not started well as Liz lost her rigger nuts in the morning but a gallant gentleman (Stan) donated four of his. David took more care of his nuts but had only 3½ hours' sleep as he had to finish painting his sculling blades after returning from a party at two o'clock on Sunday morning. Liz’s relentless chattering on the drive up and back was most welcome as it was a perfect foil to David’s sleep deprivation.
Liz and David won gold in Mixed D Novice doubles (despite both being Es), finishing nine seconds ahead of silver medallists Oundle Town. After a rather shaky start Liz and David rowed through Hexham and Walton by 250m, then Oundle Town by halfway, and settled to a comfortable rate to the finish.
David then won silver in E Novice singles, losing to Jason Boulter of Twickenham. Jason maintained a lead of a length despite a push by David at 500m. David started to row through at 750m gone, but lost by a second.
Liz put up a valiant fight against much younger and Amazonian opposition in Women's D Novice singles, finishing fourth. LT/DB
Rosemary Thom also raced in Nottingham, winning silver in Women's D eights as part of a TSS/Walbrook/Molesey composite.
Defeating Thames crews in all three rounds, the J14 double of Charles and Theo won their event at Putney Town Regatta.
The double of Imogen and Charlie P were knocked out after a fiercely fought semi-final that was within a quarter-length over the entire course, and the WJ14 B coxed quad just lost out to a Putney High crew in the last hundred metres of the final. RR
The senior squads travelled to Belgium for the International Ghent May Regatta, and returned with gold, silver and bronze medals.
On Saturday, Judith Schulz, Rowi Mortimer, Caroline Matthews and Elaine Johnstone won gold in women's coxless fours, then split into two pairs, with Judith and Elaine winning silver. Bronze medals were won by the coxed four of Tom Wheeler, Eddie Beckett, Tom Chung, Laurence Kaye and Fran Whitehead, and Stan Livy, Dimeji Ogunyoye, Max-Vincent Wentzel and Paul Bruce in lightweight quads.
The following day, the women's four again took gold, and there was a second pairs silver for Elaine, racing this time with Caroline. The lighweight quad, having repaired the broken gate that hampered their race on Saturday, won gold.
- J14 4x+ Sam, Charlie, Marcus, Hugo, Maddie (cox)
- J15 4x+ Mathieu, Monty, Dan, Hamish, Susie (cox)
- WJ16 2x Ava, Ella
- WJ16 4x Ava, Ella, Saskia, Ellie
- WJ18 4+ Christa, Flora, Katherine, Issy, Essy (cox)
- WJ18 2x Brenna, Imogen
- WIM3 1x Zoe
- WME/F 1x Jo
- WME 2x Jo, Kasia
Wallingford, the first of the year's multi-lane regattas, was held at Dorney Lake, and a large TSS contingent delivered some encouraging early-season results.
Saskia recorded the club's only win of the day, crossing the line nine seconds ahead of her nearest rival in Women's J18 singles, a very strong performance and follwing on from her fifth place in the A final at junior trials the previous weekend.
There was also a clutch of second places, in Elite eights, Senior coxed fours and Women's IM3 singles.
The Junior men’s group had a long day with some excellent results, as Chris Williams reports:
The J16 quad of Ben, Tom, Ollie and Jack raced at the unheard-of hour of 7.40am, but overcome the very difficult task of getting themselves there on time to rig the boat, be awake and get to the start in good shape. They raced well, qualifying comfortably despite every blade on one side hitting a swan at about 250m gone. In the final the crew went off well, but from 250m to the 1000 they let Molesey get too far ahead, watching other crews, and by the time they started to reel Molesey in they’d left too much to do and lost by half a length. They had some very good crews behind them but this was an opportunity missed.
The J16 coxed four of Ed, Lucas D, Lucas R and Ryan, coxed by Susie, had what looked like a really hard heat, but quickly got into a qualifying position in the front three and left the others behind. The final had Eton A and B, Hampton A and B, King's Chester and TSS: a truly stellar of cast British junior crews. The boys started slowly, being in fifth at 500m, but settled well to be fourth at 1000m and third at 1500m, and pulled away from the other crews to finish a good third behind a very quick King's Chester and Eton A. All in all a very good result for the crew's first race.
In the afternoon the first crew off was the J18 quad of Alex, Jack, Ollie and Freddie, who had a good start but then didn’t really pick up the pace of the race and were twelfth quickest of the twenty crews so didn’t qualify for the final. The crew could have gone better, but this was their first exposure to top-level regatta racing and we will work onwards from here.
The final event was the J16 eight, with the quad and four combining. They went off the start in the pack but just didn’t quite have the cruising speed, partly from tiredness but also lack of time in this boat, and finished 0.07secs outside of qualifying for the final despite Ryan's late charge scaring the life out of Bedford Modern in front of them.
Overall, a good day's work and it helped focus on what we do from now on. The boys made further progression into the ranks of British junior rowing, season, but with more work to do.
Thanks to parents for early morning ferrying, in particular to John Parkinson who was also an excellent rigging assistant!