UK National Championships 2003

The Rowing Service

Strathclyde, July 18th-20th 2003

The Rowing Service did live-online commentary here of the J18 and senior finals of the UK National Championships, from 13:00 to 16:00 on Sunday 20th July. This page was refreshed automatically every 60 seconds during race commentary, and then left as a stable link afterwards as part of the Rowing Service archive.

Races in reverse time order.

For further information, the results, draw and timetable, see the official website.

Race 570: Men's eights final
Nearly there, last race of the day. Nautilus go out hard, three seconds up on the putative national lightweight eight, with London RC a second ahead of Worcester. Another four-horse race, and the composite nationals just a second behind Nautilus at halfway, Worcester trying to get past London into the bronze position. 500 to go, Worcester coming hard at London and closing the gap, split seconds between them. 250 to go, Nautilus finding another spurt of energy and pulling out, the senior lightweights not quite as effective in the water, Worcester pushing again and get ahead of London, Nautilus a length clear. Brilliant work from the juniors, walloping the seniors. Gold to Nautilus by clear water, silver to the lightweights, bronze for an excellent performance from Worcester, and London disappointed.

Race 569: Women's eights final
Penultimate race of the day, University of London's strong composite eight with TSS/Kingston/Tideway likely to be favourites. Coming towards halfway they already have a length, with Thames in second and City of Oxford just ahead of the Upper Thames/Globe/London composite. Thames trying hard to stop UL/etc from getting away, UTRC/etc whisk past City of Oxford, UL can't be caught, UTRC could get past Thames, 100 to go. The UL/etc heavyweight composite, who are the closest thing we have to a development international eight, win gold, with the lightweight composite silver, and Thames bronze.

Race 568: Men's junior coxed fours final
Early leaders were Nithsdale, but Aberdeen Schools pushed through them before halfway. A real race for the minor medals, Northwich coming into the picture with Latymer as both push Nithsdale. 200 to go, Aberdeen still clear water in front, Nithsdale holding on, Northwich being pushed by Latymer, Aberdeen's strokeman stops right on the line, and it's Aberdeen gold, Nithsdale just clinging on for silver, Northwich bronze.

Race 567: Women's lightweight quads final
Only three in this race, with Clyde/Clydesdale steadily pushing through into the lead by 1200 gone. A real fight for silver between Eton Excelsior and a Durham-based composite, won by Eton Excelsior, behind Clyde/Clydesdale taking gold.

Race 566: Men's lightweight single sculls final
Richard Hosking of Walton pushed from second into first and is now running away with this, clear water over London's Kelsey. Aberdeen's Tom Hanna is third, but has Londoner Curren chasing right on his tail: Hanna just manages to hold onto bronze, with Kelsey silver and Hosking gold.

Race 564: Women's junior coxless fours final
Whatever the delay was, this race is now on. George Heriot's School clearly very fast, ripping a length out of the field without delay. Walton having steering problems, and falling behind, as Nithsdale get into second and Aberdeen Schools into third. Wow - good stuff George Heriot's. As their 1000-metre time comes up, they're three lengths in front of Nithsdale, Aberdeen another thirteen seconds back, Haberdasher's Monmouth coming up. Walton getting back into contention, Aberdeen going over the buoys on their bowside and dropping back, now pulling off them, Nithsdale heading for lane one with a sharp veer to bowside, but not challenged for second. Gold for George Heriot's, silver for Nithsdale, bronze for Haberdasher's Monmouth and the increasingly desperate Aberdeen School in fourth with Walton fifth.

Race 565: Men's single sculls final
Pete Gardner, who was singling in Lucerne a week ago for the British team, takes on Kevin Watson from Stirling Amateur Boating and Swimming Club, while the familiar names of Richard Shirley, Richard Wilder, Alistair Warnock and Paul Turner all scramble for places behind. As they reach halfway it's Gardner in front, Warnock pushing through Watson and Shirley. Coming to the last 250 Gardner's well up, Warnock's moving fast away from the chasers, and Watson nicely in third. Gold to Gardner, silver to Warnock and bronze to Watson.

Race 564: Women's junior coxless fours final
Another wee gap, more blustery wind picking up again and we're back to the worse conditions of the midday: the orange lane buoys are largely invisible from the finish tower. The connection to the live-link has gone, but I'll keep the commentary up to date and stick it online when I can. Still no start for this race - I think it's probably a false start or similar. I think it's cancelled or missed - maybe delayed.

Race 563: Women's double sculls final
Nautilus at it yet again: the national championships are turning into a clean-up party for the British junior squad in the older events. Good for them, I say. At first Rob Roy stuck with them, but then Dame Alice Harpur/George Watson's composite edged through, and now Nautilus are lengths clear coming into the finish, with the composite confident of second. Much yelling from the bank, can Rob Roy hold on under the pressure from Glasgow/Clydesdale on the far side? 100 to go, Glasgow/Clydesdale just have it but here come Rob Roy again, and I think they just get it: photofinish to check.

Race 562: Men's junior double sculls final
Notts County on top again, with an interesting race behind them seeing Lancaster RGS drop from second through the pack to fifth, and Durham ARC creeping up from fourth to second. NCRA well up at the last, Durham also very well clear, and it looks as if Windsor Boys will just hold onto third ahead of Dulwich College, despite almost colliding with the buoys. NCRA gold, Durham silver, Windsor Boys bronze.

Race 561: Women's lightweight coxless fours final
Only three crews in this race, Staines going out fast and hard with Aberdeen University a length back and Grosvenor another length behind them. Aberdeen and Grosvenor refused to stop fighting, leading to an entertainingly close finish for the spectators, with a little wild steering from Staines as the gusty wind picked up again. Staines still leading towards the finish, all three crews overlapping, but Grosvenor are on a charge, and take first Aberdeen and then Staines. Staines' steering is trashed, the 2-girl catches a crab, and it's Grosvenor gold, Aberdeen University silver, and Staines third. I hope the Staines girl is OK - she smashed herself on the forehead as she caught the crab, and is lying down, although she's clearly conscious and just keeping still as a precaution in case she's got concussion.

Race 560: Men's Under 23 single sculls final
A very interesting race. Marlow's Barron was first out of the blocks, with Burway's Hermes chasing (living up to his name) but George Watson's Logan, who has already won here today, coming through to take the lead at 500 to go. Logan is a strong chap, pulling long strokes at 27, and crossing the line for gold just ahead of Hermes for silver, with Barron for bronze.

Race 559: Women's junior single sculls final
Forrester of Marlow and McNuff of Molesey first and second early on, but Forrester really going strongly, two full lengths in the lead at 500 gone. As they reach 1000 metres Young of Hereford comes out of the pack to push McNuff back into third, as the field spreads out. A few gusts of wind start to bother the leaders, Young refusing to give up, and as Forrester starts to pull over to stroke side, Young capitalises and moves ahead. Young gets gold, Forrester is off the course beyond lane 6 when she takes silver, and McNuff has bronze.

Race 558: Men's coxless fours final
Nautilus taking this race away with them to begin with, Worcester in second place. As they go down the course these gaps are increasing slightly while London are third ahead of Leander/IC. A lot of power going down but no change in the positions yet. Nautilus making good headway in the slightly more sheltered lane one, Worcester powering it through but not managing to regain contact, and London clear water ahead of Leander/IC. Gold, silver and bronze in that order.

Race 557: Women's coxless pairs final
Thames out early, Auriol Kensington only feet behind, but Thames/Globe coming up hard. Kingston moving away, Thames/Globe coming into second before halfway, Auriol dropping back. This position holding through the next few hundred metres, and as they get into sight it's clearly Kingston for gold, Thames/Globe working hard but too far back in silver, and AKRC bronze lengths ahead of Aberdeen and Southampton.

Race 556: Women's lightweight single sculls final
Just two scullers making all the ground in this race, Sabine Lijesen of Peterborough City and Pauls from Rob Roy swapping the lead right up the course, lengths out from the chasing pack. Coming into the last stretch it's Rob Roy drawing away, Lijesen under threat from Pollitt of Wallingford. Gold to Pauls, silver Lijesen, bronze Pollitt.

Race 555: Women's junior coxless pairs final
Another race with three out in front, this time being Nithsdale, Aberdeen and St. Leonard's School. The computer went down, but as they got towards the last 100 metres it was St. Leonard's matching Nithsdale stroke for stroke, both clear of Aberdeen, the two leaders being warned for steering. St. Leonard's gold with a great finish, Nithsdale silver, Aberdeen School bronze.

Race 554: Men's junior quads final
Dulwich/Windsor led out, but Royal Chester, who have caused a little controversy by making some rather late additions to their boat club, take over the lead by halfway, ahead of Dulwich/Windsor Boys, and Tiffin. As we sit watching the race, we have with us a letter from Dulwich, Windsor and Tiffin complaining about the fact that . Coming to the final 200 metres, Royal Chester's lead has been eaten into, and Dulwich/WBS are trying to find the extra burst of strength to get the title. Gold to Royal Chester, silver to Dulwich/Windsor and bronze Star Club, pushing through Tiffin in the last 50 metres.

Race 553: Women's lightweight coxless pairs final
A four-boat race, this, with NCRA scratching. Thames are out the back, so it's Nottingham University's champion pair of Steph Temperton and Becky Thorpe who take on Nottingham BC for the title. Notts Uni get well out in front, but NBC are very keen not to let them escape. Up goes the NBC rate, as NU find it hard to steer and veer off into lane 6. By 500 to go NBC have the lead by a length, NU still veering off to stroke side, and NBC cross the line confidently for gold, with Notts Uni well back for silver, and Furnivall dawdling in ahead of Thames for bronze. That's another win for the Henley Women's champion pair from Nottingham Boat Club.

Race 552: Men's lightweight quads final
The Welsh squad competing in this one, as Rebecca, but it's TSS 'B' in the lead as they near halfway, almost clear of Rebecca. On goes a determined Welsh push, to try and get back on terms, and TSS 'A' half a length further back staying up on Notts & Union. Coming to 250 to go, and Rebecca are pushing again, but TSS 'B' can match them, and now look to have a good buffer of several lengths. Notts & Union get through TSS 'A', Rebecca under threat, Notts & Union take it up, Rebecca respond, Rebecca stay ahead and there's a Welsh roar of approval as they make the line. Gold to TSS 'B', silver to Rebecca, bronze to Notts & Union.

Race 551: Women's junior double sculls final
The connection dropped again there for a while. In the mean time it was Avon County/Marlow taking the initiative in the junior doubles, with Oundle just behind them and Tyne stalking in third. On go the pushes in the middle section, taking Tyne through into second, with Oundle dropping back. Avon/Marlow are completely in charge of this, lengths ahead and rating very leisurely 29, and it looks as if Tyne have second sewn up too. Marlow chasing Oundle but they won't quite make it. Gold to Avon/Marlow, silver to Tyne, bronze to Oundle.

Race 550: Men's double sculls final
Gosh the hurry of these men. Off they go, and it's NCRA leading the pack out, slightly ahead of Chester le Street and Durham/Castle Semple hacking away at each other for third place. Castle Semple make the most effective push, and get up into second place after the first section of the race, but NCRA now look unassailable. A nice little race developing for the minor medals, Durham's initial sprint falling away as they drop into fourth behind Royal Chester. Coming into the last section, NCRA could take the gold medal right now as they pass the presentation raft, to be honest, and it's three crews contending for the other prizes. Castle Semple drawing away into a good second place, but Durham still haven't given up the opportunity to beat Royal Chester. Durham push again, and get through, closing up on Castle Semple who know they can't quite be caught, and it's NCRA gold, Castle Semple silver, Durham University bronze. Particularly good racing from Durham, very tactical.

Race 549: Women's coxed fours final
Another gap as they get the race started. Ok here we go. First to show are TSS club crew, with UL/TSS/LRC chasing them hard. As they go through midway it's UL/TSS/LRC who have taken the lead, but only just, with a quarter of a second between them. Behind it's Furnivall managing to keep ahead of Thames, with AK and GW/EU further back. The two leaders still out ahead at 250 to go, and it's UL/TSS/LRC well up now, having steadily drawn out from a canvas at the midpoint to half a length with 500 to go. TSS haven't given up, though, sprinting like crazy. Gold to UL/TSS/LRC, silver TSS, and bronze Furnivall.

Race 548: Men's junior coxless fours final
Despite some of the crew having already medalled in the coxless pairs, Aberdeen Schools are way out in front as the crews reach the second marker, with a nice four-second cushion. Canford in second for this four-horse race, Yarm School third and RGS Worcester fourth. Coming to the finish line Aberdeen are still rowing away strongly, sliding over the bowside buoys so far that they actually leave the course, but it's not exactly an issue when they're so far in front to get gold. A great performance from Aberdeen Schools. Canford silver, and very close behind, Yarm School bronze.

Race 547: Women's lightweight double sculls final
They've been set off early, and it's Naomi Ashcroft and Rebecca Ingledew of Upper Thames who put themselves in charge at the start, moving from a few feet lead out to a steady length. Behind them it's Notts County, then Marlow/Wallingford. 500 to go, Notts County and Upper Thames still fighting hard, pulling away from the rest of the field, but Ashcroft and Ingledew have three seconds advantage. Coming up to the finish Notts County are still not giving up, Upper Thames raising the rate a little to hold them off, and it's gold Upper Thames, silver NCRA, and bronze Marlow/Wallingford. A nice national champion medal for world champion Naomi Ashcroft.

Race 546: Men's lightweight coxless fours final
This one off quickly, already at the 500 metre. Notts & Union first, Lea second but starting to fade, London third. As they come up to halfway, London push through, and Aberdeen University come up into third, but it's still Notts & Union. London still attacking, look like a real threat to Notts & Union, and as they come to 1500 they grab the lead by a length. London on top for a while, but Notts are pushing back, 250 to go and it's Notts in front. London's having another go, but so are Notts, and it's N&U still by a canvas. London up the rate, can they do it, not quite. N&U gold, London silver, Aberdeen University bronze.

Race 545: Women's junior eights final
For once they haven't started the next race yet, so we have a breather. Much ordering around of medal crews by the marshals and umpires. There have been a few crashes this morning as crews ignore the circulation, so fair enough. Wind's down again, not bad conditions currently, though still slightly headwind. Still no WJ8 start, so they're running very late. OK, we're off. At 750 gone, it's St. Paul's/Molesey, with Haberdasher's A and Henley challenging and no word as to where Gloucester, who were second at the 500 gone mark, are now. No commentary - obviously they don't think women's junior eights are important enough - but as they come into view of the finish, it's obviously St. Paul's/Molesey well in front of Haberdasher's A, both on the far side. Gloucester are still third, a good two full lengths up on the rest. A bit of a procession this, with Molesey/St. Paul's down to 30 as they sweep over the line for gold. Haberdasher's A up the rate to hold off Gloucester, who have surged back to close them right down. Haberdasher's A silver, Gloucester bronze.

Race 544: Men's pairs final
No times being taken for this race anyway, but from what we can see it's Nautilus having another good race, managing to stay ahead of Cambridge University (Andrew Shannon and Kris Coventry), with Leander/Durham in third just ahead of Upper Thames and Leander/IC vying for fourth. The computer connection drops again so I'll update when I can. Right, back up. 200 to go, Nautilus still ahead, but only by a length, and Leander/Durham another length back in third. UTRC have pulled out well ahead of Leander/IC. It should be Nautilus gold, Cambridge silver, Leander/Durham bronze but there's a red flag from the umpire - yes those medals stand, but it's York University not rowed out.

Race 543: Women's quads final
The wind has eased off a little, at least at the finish. The quads began by trying to steer into each other, but now Marlow/Northwich/LEH/Wycliffe lead. My computer connection is UTTERLY ABYSMAL and keeps going down, so I wasn't able to do much for this race. Coming to the finish it's the Marlow composite well in first for the gold, with TSS just ahead of Globe to take silver and bronze respectively.

Race 542: Men's quads final
Yet another leader-takes-all: this time it's NCRA trying to hold pole position, but the Nautilus quad giving them a very good run for their money, no more than feet between them at the first two markers. The other medal contender is Henley, but way back, with no competition from the rest of the field. At 500 to go, and the two top crews still barging hard, only a third of a length between them. 300 to go, Nautilus up the pace and go through, 100 to go and NCRA respond again, both dashing to the line but Nautilus have done enough to take it. Nautilus gold, NCRA silver, and Henley bronze. AberdeenU/Glasgow/Stirling way back, while London scratched.

Race 541: Women's coxless fours final
Lots of composites here, so I'm going to use their first-named club only. NCRA composite, which might be an Under-23 crew I think, pulling out quarter of a length off the start, with St. Neot's composite and Nautilus chasing hard. The NCRA/possible U23 comp has it in the bag as long as they don't muck up, and it's become a race for silver betwen St. Neot's comp. and Nautilus, with Aberdeen/Castle Semple way back in fourth. The two TSS crews have scratched.

Race 540: Men's lightweight coxless pairs final
Again picking it up from halfway, since they're sending races down very fast here, and it's Furnivall copying Notts in the last race and getting out very early, hoping to hang on. 1100 gone, and they have more than a length from NCRA, with Notts & Union's pair in third after shadowing the leaders earlier. 200 to go, Furnivall still well in the lead, NCRA attempting to push up to them but they're going to run out of lake, and Notts & Union holding off a valiant but ultimately fruitless push from Nottingham Boat Club. Furnivall Silver, NCRA clearly very pleased with silver, and Notts & Union getting bronze. Again the wind howls round the finish tower, and starts blowing Upper Thames back over the line after they stop, post-race.

Race 539: Men's coxed fours final
Notts & Union took an early lead which they held onto, with Nautilus and London chasing, and they maintained these places right up to 500 to go. Notts & Union have done it the hard way, and clearly outclass the rest, with London & Nautilus still battling it out for the minor medals. Notts by more than a length for gold, London putting in a final spurt to go ahead with one stroke to go, and getting silver by about a foot and a half from my place directly over the finish line. Nautilus disappointed to get bronze, but they've probably learnt a useful lesson from the older and more experienced London....

Race 538: Men's lightweight double sculls final
They started this one while the fours were already on the course, and at halfway it was Upper Thames leading by a few feet from TSS/Putney Town. Slow times, into an increasingly blustery wind which would have had the crews sunk at Nottingham or the Docks, by now (thank goodness for shallow shelving banks..). The two leading crews are very close even at 200 to go, a possible photofinish, and Notts County RA are batting away in third, Reading University too far back to be able to get them. It's Richard Young and Paul Hone, of TSS/Putney Town, who raise the rate and push on to get gold, with Upper Thames (Steve Dance and Adam Rennie) getting silver, ahead of NCRA.

Race 537: Women's junior coxed fours final
So the next final's begun, and it's a composite involving Nithsdale/George Herriot School leading the pack, by a foot or two from Aberdeen Schools. Reading's a full length back. Then King's School Worcester in lane five put in a massive push, and take themselves through to the front, nearly clearing Aberdeen while the Nithsdale/GH composite drops back after spending its quick start. They're now way out on their own, KSW - a massive seven-second gap, back to Aberden, and it looks as if Nithsdale/GH will be fairly confident of getting third. No need for KSW to raise the rate - they are over the line with their cox punching the air in victory for gold. Aberdeen silver, KSW bronze.

Race 536: Women's single sculls final
The first senior final of the championships, and the first to show is Lizzie Crichton of UL. She's leading from Vlasta Jamnicky of Reading, but by the 1000 metres marker it's Emily Clarke of Loughborough in front, from Crichton and Jamnicky. Clarke moving away, she looks solid for the championship singles gold, despite the increasingly furious headwind, blasting gouts of wash across the course. Behind Clarke, there's a fantastic race for silver and bronze going on. Coming to the line, Clarke gold by miles, and it's Lizzie Crichton who's pulled out into strong silver, with Vlasta Jamnicky bronze.

Race 535: Men's junior coxless pairs final
500 metres gone, and it's Northwich leading the pack, with Aberdeen Schools in second and Latymer in third. A slight pause in the commentary, but a squint down the course suggests Northwich is still in the lead at halfway. Now Nithsdale have been coming up fast, Aberdeen still in the race, Latymer dropping fast but Molesey coming back. Just over the last marker, Northwich holding on, Aberdeen racing up, crowds shouting them on from the bank, Northwich look very secure, Aberdeen getting warned for their steering, but they aren't within touching range. And it's Northwich gold, Aberdeen Schools silver, and Nithsdale bronze.

Race 534: Women's junior quads final
Commentary cut out at the start: at 1000m, it was St. Neot's first, with Sir William Borlase 2 seconds back, and Marlow/Avon County third. With the other three dropping back, it's now 600 to go, and St. Neot's still in front, SWB coming up fast, Marlow/Avon only a few feet back. 100 to go, St. Neot's still holding on, Marlow/Avon putting in a tremendous sprint, and snatches second in time to beat Borlase to the silver. St. Neot's gold, Marlow/Avon silver, Sir William Borlase bronze.

Race 533: Men's junior single sculls final
And this race began a couple of minutes ago. The single scullers now halfway down the course, with Chris Logan of George Watson's in the lead, and Dalgleish of Latymer Upper pumping up the rate to try and catch him. It's a nasty headwind, and now Read of Henley is pushing up towards the leader, together with Robson of Durham ARC. 500m to go, Logan still in the lead, Read next, Robson third, all three drawing away from the rest. Logan pushes on again, the others now look as if they can't catch him, and it's Logan for gold definitely but Read and Robson vying for silver with inches between them. Read pushes on again, and shoves through with seconds to go. Logan gold, Read silver and Robson bronze.

Copyright Rachel Quarrell, 2003