Thursday, 19 October 2017

Leander beaten into second

THERE was disappointment for Leander at the weekend, when their top club eight were beaten to the title at the Head of the River Race in London.

THERE was disappointment for Leander at the weekend, when their top club eight were beaten to the title at the Head of the River Race in London.

Oxford Brookes University took the top slot, a clear nine seconds ahead of Leander in second, while third place went to Putney-based Thames Rowing Club.

Following their defeat of the Oxford University Blue Boat a week previously, Leander were confident of holding on to the title which had been won by their internationals last year.

But the absence of the GB team, due to imminent Olympic trials, threw the door wide open for club athletes to make their mark.

The Leander line-up included Chris Boddy, Tom Ford, Barney Stentiford, Adam Neill, Cameron Buchan, Phil Congdon, Tim Clarke, George Rossiter and their cox, Phelan Hill.

“I would say they paced it, and not raced it close enough to the red line – generally we were at rate 34 compared to Brookes at 36,” said Leander director of rowing Mark Banks.

George Rossiter, who was at stroke, added: “We were very disappointed not to win, as this had been a major goal of ours this season, but credit must go to Brookes — we lost to a better crew. We will train harder and come back stronger and faster in the summer. Leander’s second entry in the head came seventh overall — a creditable performance for a group of scullers, who had switched to sweep for the event and had just one week’s practice together.

On Friday the Leander juniors raced at the Scullery on the Olympic lake at Dorney and also finished seventh.

Oly Whitfield, Ben Holt, David Few and Cameron Forsythe were a scratch crew put together after illness forced a hasty reshuffle of the club’s intended three entries.

Meanwhile, Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell, 32, recorded his ninth win in 12 years at the GB Rowing trials at the Redgrave and Pinsent Rowing Lakes in Caversham on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He held off Graeme Thomas and Angus Groom in the single scull to move within one of the record held by Katherine Grainger. Moe Sbihi recorded his fourth win in succession while Heather Stanning, Helen Glover, Alex Gregory and Vicky Thornley each won for a third time. These results will help decide the crews for the European Championships which will take place next month.

And that will have a say on which rower is in which boat for the Olympic Games in Rio in the summer.

By Robert Treharne Jones



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