Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Composite crew wins help Upper Thames secure victor ludorum

Composite crew wins help Upper Thames secure victor ludorum

UPPER THAMES Rowing Club narrowly beat Henley Rowing Club to claim the victor ludorum and win the Peter Sutherland Cup at the Town and Visitors’ Regatta.

Both clubs won four events outright but Upper Thames was part of more composite wins across the 175-race event on Saturday.

Upper Thames finished with 12 points, compared with Henley’s nine with third place going to Star and Arrow, Leander Club’s development squad.

They won eight total events to regain the top prize they last won in 2015 having lost out to Wallingford Rowing Club last year.

Chris Small and Tim Senior brought home the first trophy of the day as they triumphed over Warwick University in the Intermediate 1 pairs. They won by half a length to claim the Peter Beresford Cup.

Upper Thames also claimed the title in the women’s masters E double sculls with Judith Burne and Helen Mangan beating Eton Excelsior Rowing Club easily in the final.

Thomas Wedgwood and Jeffrey Ellison were victorious in senior men’s double sculls as they won the Charles Bright Cup. In the final they beat club mate Tom Carter, who paired with Poole Rowing Club’s Rob Inett, by a third of a length.

Beatrice Searle, Sara Pishock, Joanna Jager, Olivia McLaughlin, Rhianna Cearns, Mary Merritt-Smith, Svenja Perkins, Judith Burne and Zoe Thomas were also victorious for the club as they won the women’s Intermediate 3 eights to secure the Tobias Trophy.

Members of the Upper Thames squad joined with Maidenhead Rowing Club to win the women’s novice eights and win the Angus Robertson Cup.

Rowers from the masters squad also teamed up with Reading and St Edward’s Martyrs Boat Club to win two more events.

Upper Thames’s Bruce Gascoine was joined by Shiplake Vikings’ Jeremy Dobbin as they won the masters F/G double sculls, beating Worcester Rowing Club and Wallingford Rowing Club in the final.

Justin Sutherland, captain at Upper Thames and director of rowing, said he was happy with the club’s performance. He said: “It was good to see the women’s eights performing so well, they won the novice and intermediate 3.

“Their performance was pretty satisfying because of the range of ages and abilities from across the whole club. It included people in their fifties rowing with girls in their early twenties.

“Winning events like this is a really great way to bring the whole club together.

“We want to be a competitive club in a domestic setting but are also about looking after our members that have not had a huge background in rowing but want to improve. The way to help people improve is by rowing with people who are a bit better then themselves. Coaching is one thing but racing with others who have better skills is the most effective way a lot of the time.”

Sutherland said it was enjoyable to win the top prize at the regatta over other local clubs.

He added: “It’s always good to have some friendly local rivalry, it makes things more fun.

“We are good friends with all the other local clubs but that does not mean we don’t enjoy beating them from time to time.”

Henley Rowing Club won six events, making them the second most successful club at this year’s regatta.

Thomas Wedgwood and Jeffrey Ellison won Henley’s first event of the day as they were victorious in the masters C/D doubles sculls. They beat St Edward Martyr’s and Cygnet Rowing Club in their final. The club was also victorious in the intermediate 3 coxed fours as John Yolland, Euan Turnell, Bruce Turnell, Joseph Zolkwer and Sam Beattie secured the Midland Bank Trophy.

In the J14 single sculls Daniel Crick beat club mate Cameron Seager in the final by four lengths.

Katy Parker, Hannah Smith, Natalie Atkinson and Laura Paine beat Vesta Rowing Club in the final of the women’s intermediate 2 quadruple sculls to win the Isabel Carson-Bury Trophy.

There were also two composite victories for the club. This included Carla Russell joining Reading Rowing Club’s Madeleine Pollard to win the junior 16 double sculls.

Stan Admiraal, captain of Henley Rowing Club, said: “Because of the summer holidays and many athletes of the club on holiday it was good to see that Henley Rowing Club managed to still get a good performance on the day.

“The intermediate fours was won by the Henley junior boys. The junior boys managed to get a good performance against two senior crews in the final, and managed to beat Quintin Boat Club and the RAF by over a length.

“The women’s intermediate 2 quad was won by our senior women’s squad who had a great day racing and are having good success after a winter full of injuries.

“Another respectful mention should go to Axel Jacob, one of the learn-to-row seniors who hadn’t sat in a rowing boat until spring 2016, who managed to win his first head of the intermediate 3 singles and beat experienced rowers from Vesta.” It was also a successful regatta for Star and Arrow as it won all five events it entered including the mixed intermediate 3 double sculls.

Tom Ballinger (Star and Arrow) joined forces with Amelia Crick (Henley Rowing Club) to win the final by half a length over Vesta Rowing Club and three-and-a-half lengths over Reading Rowing Club.

Tom Wiblin, Patrick George, Jonathan Cameron and Chris Ray came together to win the Michael Symonds Trophy for intermediate 1 quadruple sculls as they beat Tideway Scullers School by three lengths.

Callum Johnson (elite single scull) and Harry Higginbottom (intermediate 3 single scull A) also won their respective events. The pair then joined George and Cameron, from the victorious quadruple sculls, to win the senior coxless fours as they defeated Thames Rowing Club by three-and-a-half lengths.

Elsewhere Rhys Ash won the J15 single sculls for Shiplake Vikings. He beat William Watson (Stratford-upon-Avon Rowing Club) and Henley Rowing Club’s Tom McLellan in the final.

In total, 282 crews took part in the event.

Mike Williams, chairman of the regatta, said: “I would like to thank all the volunteers, subscribers, sponsors and spectators who all help to make the regatta a success and help us to keep our entry fees down.

“In particular, I would like to thank the younger junior members of Henley Rowing Club who man the stake boats at the start and had a very wet afternoon and evening.”

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