Friday, 15 December 2017

Upper Thames crews shine at head of river

UPPER THAMES finished second last Saturday afternoon at the Reading University Head of the River Race, which was competed for

UPPER THAMES finished second last Saturday afternoon at the Reading University Head of the River Race, which was competed for by 300 crews over four miles between Mapledurham and Caversham.

Upper Thames Rowing Club entered nine boats in the two divisions in an event that was eventually won by Oxford Brookes.

Club Captain Justin Sutherland said: “It is a record turnout for Upper Thames to have nine boats entered at Reading, and it shows how far the club has come in a short space of time.

“The women acquitted themselves with distinction in their field with the men’s squad having real strength in depth these days. We are celebrating our half centenary this year and we’re off to a flying start.”

The Veteran crew won the Masters D category by over a minute from their nearest challenger, rounding off a good winter season for the vets.

John Ewans, who rows at five in the middle of the boat said: “We were snapping at the heels of the boat in front up the first half of the course before a minor clash of blades nearly tripped us up. Our cox gave them some gentle stick though and we had a clear run once we had passed them.”

The Oratory School had three crews competing. The morning division saw the senior eight finish 12th out of 27, beating the likes of Cheltenham College and Dulwich College along the way.

Also in the morning, the J15s entered their first race of the year. With little water time so far they put in an encouraging performance finishing 20th out of 30.

In the afternoon division the J16s finished fourth out of eight crews in their division.

Shiplake College picked up two second-place finishes. In the morning division the first eight finished second out of 27 crews in the IM3 eights behind Oxford Brookes University. Shiplake were the second fastest schoolboy crew in the division.

A development eight made up of the remaining seniors and three J16s also raced in IM3 eights where they finished ninth.

The J15s also raced in the morning with the B crew outperforming the A crew. The C crew put in a good performance where they beat Radley C.

The afternoon saw the first eight race again in IM2 eights where they once again finished second this time in a field of 22 crews and once again behind Oxford Brookes.

The third eight finished 15th out of 24 in the novice event.

l Shiplake College’s Marek Lapham and Harry Vardigans have both been invited to the spring assessment trial for the Great Britain Rowing team.

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