Friday, 15 December 2017

Leander U23 quad pulls off upset to win fours head title

Leander U23 quad pulls off upset to win fours head title

LEANDER crews were in dominant form at the Fours Head on Sunday when they retained the overall head title as well as picking up wins in six separate racing divisions.

Henley Rowing Club also performed well as they won two junior titles in an event that saw Upper Thames being the first boat to get underway over the four-and-a-quarter-mile course from Mortlake to Putney.

It was Leander’s U23 athletes who upset the favourites to take top honours when Jonny Jackson, Rowan Law, Harry Leask and Andy Joel, coached by Ali Brown, recorded the fastest time of the day.

Their win was all the more surprising since they started at 43 among the fleet, giving them a theoretical disadvantage as the ebb tide had slackened compared with the leading crews.

In second place was the winning Leander senior quad stuffed with GB athletes including world bronze medal single sculler Tom Barras at stroke. Nick Middleton, the club captain, was behind him at two, with world championship finalists Angus Groom and John Collins as the bow pair.

Four more GB athletes won men’s fours when Tim Clarke, Ollie Wynne-Griffiths, Jacob Dawson and Matt Rossiter beat Oxford University, rowing as Isis, by nine seconds, with Leander’s second crew a further three seconds behind in third.

Not to be outdone, Leander’s women matched the men with wins in all three corresponding events, starting with Beth Bryan, Kat Copeland, Vicky Thornley and Holly Nixon who beat Newcastle University by 23 seconds to win women’s quads. Next up was the women’s coxless four, with three members of the GB women’s eight on board. Fi Gammond, Holly Norton, Emily Taylor and Katherine Douglas, coached by Jane Hall, duly delivered, with an eight second margin over second-placed Molesey.

Leander’s final win of the day came in the women’s U23 quads, where Natasha Harris-White, Rachel Heap, Flo Donald and Zoe Adamson, coached by Ross Hunter came home three second clear of Reading University. Henley Rowing Club triumphed in both the junior women’s coxed fours and junior women’s quads events, their third double victory in a row, so continuing this season’s winning streak.

The first boat down the course was the junior women’s quad of Issy Jonsson, Lottie Orr, Sophia Hahn and Georgie Robinson Ranger. This boat put in a strong performance putting 45 seconds between them and the next fastest junior quad. The women’s junior coxed four of Phoebe Fletcher, Mary Wright, Daisy Butterworth, Grace Johnson and cox, Ella Nolson then matched this performance also winning their event by 45 seconds.

The rest of the squad showcased the depth they have with the second junior women’s quad placing fourth and the second junior women’s coxed four placing third.

The Upper Thames quad scull of James Hanson, Mark Jinks, Nick Fernhead and Tom Hope held off the international standard crew from Oxford Brookes University for half the course at Putney to record a time of 19 minutes 15 seconds to finish in seventh place.

The second string crew of Mark Shimmin, Hamish Floyd, Andy Bird and Adam Rennie, who had competed the previous day in the veteran fours head over the same course, started in eighth place and finished 45 seconds behind their club mates in 13th place.

Upper Thames’s men’s coxless four of Paddy Magee, Ben Weston, Tom Hole and Ben Coverdale had a few steering problems whey they clashed with Molesey Boat Club but still managed to finish the race while another veteran crew of Nick Horne, Nick French, Gareth Morris and Mark Triton completed the Upper Thames entry.

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