UK National Championships 2005

The Rowing Service

Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, 15th-17th July 2005

The Rowing Service will be doing live-online commentary of the senior finals of the UK National Championships, for all the senior finals on Sunday 17th July. The page will be refreshed automatically every 30 seconds during race commentary, and then left as a stable link afterwards as part of the Rowing Service archive.

A sweltering day here at Holme Pierrepont, and up in the crow's nest above the finish tower we're baking gently.

1:27pm and the J14/15/16 finals are drawing to a close. I gather there's to be an extra race at this point, a re-row of the aborted single sculls which was goosed earlier in the morning. Scullers 1 and 2 in the semifinal were ahead far enough not to be affected, but 3-6 will re-row in order to see who then races in the final. Interesting that this is a grey area, rules-wise - and I gather it was a grey goose. Time perhaps for the ARA to clear up how much wildlife can affect a race?

Still junior quads on the course - they must be running late. I think it's the OJ16 4x final coming down now, so about 10 minutes late. A bit of banter over the radios about geese being cleared from the course (really, what a surprise!). I'm up here with the (frankly bored) members of the lifeguarding team - one of their number has to be able to spot the whole course and give information in emergencies. Fortunately there's not much to do right now.

So how does Nottingham look? Plenty of weed fringing the edges of the lake below me by the medal raft, but otherwise conditions pretty good. A reasonable turn-out - lots of spectators basting themselves beside their cars on the scoreboard side of the course, not too many on the steps by the centre yet because most are still involved in racing. A noisy and enthusiastic bunch of parents and relations lurking to clap and cheer their offspring at the presentation table, including two little girls with extremely fetching flowery sun-hats, one orange, one red. The blazerati are mostly still in blazers, though anyone not on the front line of officialdom is taking the chance to remove layers quickly. Ice-cream stalls doing a roaring trade, of course.

Right, that's the singles re-row over - won by a bloke in purple over a guy in a junior all-in-one. Not sure how that corresponds to the goosed result, will let you know if I find out.

From now we should be on for some racing.

Race 587: Men's eights final
Picking them up at 1200 gone, and it's Nautilus again holding all the cards (where do these juniors get their energy from?!) with IC trailing them and Notts County also in the mix. IC start to charge, 150 to go, but they're nearly a length back on Nautilus, and now it's Notts County fighting off York City for bronze. IC can't finish it, gold to Nautilus, silver to IC, bronze to County.

Race 586: Women's eights final
As you'd expect, the women are already nearly halfway down the course as the boys finish. Most of these crews did the Remenham at Henley, so it should be no surprise to see Thames up front, with Nautilus snapping at their heels. Cambridge have the edge over Osiris and Furnivall, and Durham trail. Osiris and Thames have been doubling up a bit this afternoon - we'll see what kind of sprints the crews have left. Coming to the last 250, Thames still just holding it over Nautilus, but the juniors are closing fast, Cambridge look set to get the bronze, with Furnivall too far back to get close. Nautilus going for it now, getting past Thames, perhaps the older women have done too much to have a sprint left. A good omen for our junior worlds team, that Nautilus are going to beat teh Remenham Challenge Cup champions. Gold Nautilus, silver Thames, and in the last 150 Furnivall did overtake Cambridge, who were out of answers.

Race 585: Men's junior coxed fours final
More wash-whizzing from the umpires - there doesn't seem to be a race on the course yet. Cunningly, they've caught up about 5 minutes on racing, well done. King's School Worcester taking the lead, about 1000 gone. Bedford Modern are their biggest rivals, both gunning hard. Now RGS Worcester and Latymer Upper starting to make progress, with Lancaster RGS not far back. Could be a great race for the medals here. 500 to go, still KS Worcester and Bedford Modern, the latter slightly in front I think. Next RGS Worcester, who have burst away from the chasing fours quite nicely and are now starting to push up to KSW for second place. Masses of yelling from the parental crowds, but Bedford get gold, KSW silver and RGSW bronze.

Race 584: Women's lightweight quadruple sculls final
Four races to go, a bit more breeze, though nothing big, and more cloud welcome on the hot lake. If the draw is right then it's Thames in the lead, but we seem to have only four crews in this. Somebody not been making weight? Yup, Thames leading, from Mortlake Anglian, then Upper THames and finally a long way back, Star Club. Very spaced out, and they will finish in that order.

Race 583: Men's lightweight single sculls final
Slightly tighter for the lightweights, this time Leighton-Crawford from TSS at the front, but being chased hard by Upper Thames' Hoodless, and Thompson from Chester le Street. Some really hard rowing here, nothing leisurely about it, but Hoodless can't quite catch Leighton-Crawford, and Thompson manages to secure bronze.

Race 582: Men's single sculls final
Quite eagerly awaited, this one, the "what would have happened at HRR if Wyatt Allen had not been there". Complete dearth of audible commentary, but by 400 to go, it's Palmer justifying his coach's faith, in front of Bateman with Ardron a little way back. Ockendon not really in the medal picture. Palmer pushing along nicely at 32 to take the gold, Bateman 2 lengths back silver, and Ardron another 2 lengths behind bronze.

Race 581: Women's junior coxless fours final
At halfway, and from the crow's nest on top of the tower it looks as if Gloucester are making the running, despite their strokeside blades all the way over the lane 1 buoys. Next are Henley, putting on a bit of a push now as they near 500 to go. It will be these two for the medals, with Haberdasher's and St. Leonard's bring up the rear in this four-lane race. Ok, 250 to go, and Henley have come through to lead, also snagging the buoys, this time on bow side. Despite that they're surging ahead, and finish with a length clear in both lanes 2 and 3. Behind them Gloucester take silver, and Haberdasher's the bronze some lengths behind.

Race 580: Women's double sculls final
A bit of a break, while two umpire's launches bomb up the lake creating mega-wash. Looks as if the women's doubles are taking a while to get on the start. Five crews in this very close together, the exception being York City, a way back. Molesey up at the front, with Upper Thames/Mortlake next door. Third are Maidenhead just ahead of Loughborough. Molesey forging ahead, still leading with 250 to go, but now UTRC/Mortlake struggling a little. Maidenhead coming up on the outside now, even challenging Molesey, and the race for bronze also very tight. Possibly a double photo - I think Maidenhead get the gold, then Molesey, then UTRC/Mortlake. We'll see. The photo agrees, the margin 1st/2nd being 0.36 seconds, and 3rd/4th being a second and a half.

Race 579: Men's junior double sculls final
More sculling, this time the juniors. Maidenhead and St. George's/Walton getting a bit close, but it's Marlow A and Reading out in front, with Marlow I think having the upper hand. Not for long, as Reading come charging over, this could be extremely tight. Another push from Marlow, Reading don't have an answer, and it's in the end more than a length. Gold Marlow, silver Reading, bronze Maidenhead, the first time I can remember this afternoon that three non-school, non-university clubs collect the medals.

Race 578: Women's lightweight coxless fours final
This one's already on the lake, and there's some dreadful steering. If I see right, several crews have had trouble across the buoys, and the umpire is busy veering about trying to keep an eye on things. Leaders appear to be Staines A, clearly in front, with Mortlake Anglian also looking speedy. Glasgow Uni, the main steering culprits, are still tangling regularly with the buoys, which is doing their actual speed no good. This could make bronze very interesting - St. Andrew/Clydesdale are too far back, but Thames have an outside chance if Glasgow cock up again. Coming to the line, and it will be Staines A gold, also tweaking the buoys, Mortlake hang on for silver, and Glasgow do manage the bronze, while someone is making dying-duck noises, I think on the water.

Race 577: Men's Under-23 single sculls final
Finally some decent commentary at the midway marker, and it's Thomas of Nottingham University leading this one, with White of Mortlake Anglian and Bedford's Taylor following behind. Thomas now being pressed, 200 to go, Taylor coming up hard, White probably quite safe in third. Thomas puts it up, well clear now, and Taylor gets silver behind him, with White getting bronze.

Race 576: Women's junior single sculls final
A slight gap on the course, probably due to relative speeds of the crews. An announcement asking the culprits who pinched the RowShow flag overnight to return it to the bottom of the tower. The junior girls are at 700 to go, and it looks as if Thomas and Walczak are in the lead, with Knowles creeping up on the outside. As they get near the line it resolves into a huge lead for Walczak, with Thomas and then Linehane behind her. Clear water between all the scullers, Linehane got through Knowles nicely with a higher rate. Gold Walczak (Hollingworth Lake), silver Thomas (St. Peter's School) and bronze Linehane (Reading).

Race 575: Men's coxless fours final
The race is on between Thames and Nautilus, and as they near 500 to go it's anyone's call who is in the lead there. Next Marlow being pulled along in the lane between them. Nautilus put on a spurt, getting ahead, and then Thames hit their final sprint, trying to match them. Good rowing and steering from the juniors, well done to finish with clear water. Osiris's pair just manage to scoot across to the medal raft out of the way, and the men finish Nautilus gold, Thames silver and Marlow bronze.

Race 574: Women's coxless pairs final
Missed a lot of this, but as they come to the line, it's Mortlake in the lead over Osiris, then Thames/Globe. A real charge from the minor medallists, but in the end Mortlake just hold on to get gold, Osiris silver, and the Thames/Globe partnership of James and Skailes have to settle for bronze.

Race 573: Women's lightweight single sculls final
Britten's not racing, and it's Hagon from AK and Barker from Wallingford at the top. Hagon has the upper hand, doodling along at 33, Barker at 28, and Curley from Sheffield Hallam University. They finish in that order while the first aid ambulance screams off.

Race 572: Women's junior coxless pairs final
A few steering issues in lane 3 from George Heriot's School, and Reading are in front in the next-door lane (safest place for them). 750 to go, and it's Reading rate a comfortable 31, GHS veering about badly and with the umpire right behind them to keep an eye on them. Despite this they're currently in second, but veering again, into poor Tees who are in third. We think this will be a dsq perhaps. Reading have also gone off course, now into lane 5, Tees and GHS getting too close agian. Everyone having a load of difficulty now. Tees have no sprint finish, down at 31 while the rest over-rate them, but even Reading are looking out of power. Gold Reading, and we're waiting for the umpire to show a flag. It's white, which is really odd, since it's obvious several of these crews got in each other's ways, if only by washing down. That makes silver GHS, and bronze Tees.

Race 571: Women's Under23 single sculls final
Just waiting for them to get close enough to see who's where. Hodges from UL is up front, with Aberdeen Uni's Crighton and UL's Mann just behind. 750 to go, Hodges looking well in charge, and we think it's Mann next. (I have my expert binocs user and GB lightweight pairs coach Rob Dauncey helping me now). Crighton doing well, pushing Mann very hard, and Rob's professional opinion is that Hodges is sculling very well. Could be a photo for the two lesser medals, Hodges has the gold well in hand. Crighton on for silver we think, 50 to go, Mann next and then a very large gap to the rest. Gold UL B (Hodges), silver Aberdeen Uni (Crighton), bronze UL A (Mann).

Race 570: Men's junior quadruple sculls final
Tiffin in the lead, with about a length over St. George's/Walton, but it's close for the minor medals. Then a Welsh composite, with Yarm behind them. Tiffin looking very secure, but it's very tight for St. George's, the Welsh giving them a good try. Welsh at 36, coming through, St. George's may have blown, being closed right down by Yarm School, but they just hold on.

Race 569: Women's lightweight coxless pairs final
A useful bit of cloud has come over, cooling everyone down a bit. Quite a brisk occasional breeze too, though the windsock's got itself knotted up and looks like a Harry Potter scar-zigzag. Anyone willing to climb up and release it? As TSS A men's light quad come in to the raft, we can see their scooped-out spoons, an idea perhaps nicked off the GB men's quad (or vice-versa?). Ok, on to the women's light pairs, again a close pack from the middle lanes. Auriol Kensington look like the early leaderes, though ther is a gap in the lane next to them where Glasgow Uni should be. No, it is Glasgow Uni, but I was put off by Kingston veering into lane 1 out of their assigned lane 2. Leaders Glasgow, then AK, then it would be Kingston but their steering's letting them down and allolwing Clydesdale back in. THey're also steering very badly, have shifted across two lanes. Very odd. I think unless there's a dsq, it will be Glasgow, AK, then Clydesdale.

Race 568: Men's lightweight quadruple sculls final
These guys are now at 600 to go, Tideway Scullers well in the lead. Behind them a serious scrap is developing for th eminor medals, with Notts County, Peterborough City, and TSS B all up for it. A big charge from County, but will it be enough? Yes, just, and a photo for third. In the end Peterborough beat TSS B.

Race 567: Women's junior double sculls final
Not yet - a coastal race first. OK, they're on the course now. Lanes 2 and 5 are doing well today, this time Maidenhead and Queen Elizabeth High School up at the front. A Maidenhead/UTRC composite is also looking quick. 500 to go, and it's the composite coming through with a well-timed push, Maidenhead proper holding second, and a lot of yelling on the far bank for the school crew, while the presenters try to give out coastal medals. A great row from this composite, holding their length beautifully, slightly under-rating the rest. Gold the composite, silver Maidenhead, bronze QEHS.

Race 566: Men's coastal single sculls final
They've optimistically given this just six minutes to clear the course, but I think the doubles will be panting at the tape behind them. Four scullers in this, or at least there should be, but it looks like six for some reason. This is going to make it pretty hard to tell who's in the lead. As they get near the tower it's the middle four lanes (the ones originally planned to be used) up front, so I think it's Cure ahead of a blanket pack of Hammond, Pike and Powell. Powell coming up on the outside, Cure just holding him off, now Hammond charging. That will be another photo for the medals. Final result was gold Cure, silver Hammond, bronze Powell just 0.02 seconds behind - the closest medal result so far.

Race 565: Men's double sculls final
Quite a long way down the course, they're starting them faster now. Vesta/TSS out in front, then Hollingworth Lake/Grosvenor, and the best fight for third with Glasgow Uni and TSS up against each other. TSS charging, not sure who has that. Gold Vesta/TSS, silver Hollingworth Lake/Grosvenor, and third will be a photofinish. TSS won it over Glasgow, by 0.06 seconds.

Race 564: Women's coxed fours final
More fours on the course, this time women's and coxed. We're about 10 minutes behind on race time, and the crews are relatively evenly spaced as they get to 500 gone. Looks like Thames have taken a flying start, with Furnivall beginning to challenge them. Next could be anyone of Osiris or Agecroft, with lanes 1 and 6 more out of it. 900 to go, Thames still out in front quite comfortably, Osiris look to be next, with Furnivall on their heels. Furnivall pushing, very effective, and get ahead of Osiris, while I see Thames start to falter, not as dominant now. 300 to go, looks like Furnivall and Thames, then Osiris, then a few feet back to the rest. Furnivall at 36, Thames at 35, perhaps Thames have the edge. 100 to go, it's still very close, Thames seem to be moving away again, yes they are, it will be gold for Thames, silver for Furnivall and bronze for the Oxford girls. Half the Remenham eight it looks like for Thames, so that was good work by the rest staying with them.

Race 563: Men's junior coxless fours final
A pretty tight race leading off, with perhaps Bedford School in the lead. Not a lot of commentary while they stick medals on the lightweight doubles. 750 to go, and Bedford are still leading, from a Scottish composite, who are holding off RGS Worcester. Marlow would be doing better if they weren't scraping along their buoys. Bedford look quite composed, a steady but useful rate, while the Scots pull furiously to hold off RGSW. Scots nearly on their buoys now, but they have enough in hand, get straight and cross in second place. Gold Bedford School, silver Strathclyde/Castle Semple/Heriot Watt's, bronze RGS Worcester.

Race 562: Women's lightweight double sculls final
I've now started putting the photofinishes online - see this directory for the pictures. In the W4- one City of Oxford aren't even in the picture, having slewed into lane 0 at the bottom.
On to the racing, and with about 750 gone of the lightweight doubles, it's Mortlake Anglian with the advantage in lane 2. Up alongside them are Upper Thames with some former internationals on board. 750 to go, and Strathclyde Park have copme into contention while Upper Thames drop back. Tight between Morlake and SP now, but SP are rating higher, and start to move away. Gold to Strathclyde, silver Mortlake, and Upper Thames hold on for bronze. More photos in the extra directory.

Race 561: Men's lightweight coxless fours final
These lot are at 500 to go, and it's NCRA and London up at the front (well of course). London A is one of their Wyfolds original fours, and NCRA are having a job to hold them off at the moment. Both up at 38-39, a serious battle. London edge in front, 100 to go, can they hold on? NCRA fading, London will get this, some very happy lightweights punch the air as they cross. Gold London, silver Notts County, bronze Durham.

Race 560: Men's coxless pairs final
A bit of a break for a minute, as the pairs get started and the organisers clear a jam on the medal rafts. Must be a delay - they don't look as if they've started yet. Ok, they're off. Not much commentary to start with, ah they've switched it on. Looks like a pretty even field at 500 gone, everyone from AK, IC, Marlow and Molesey in the game, with perhaps Molesey and Scullers/IC having the best go at the moment. Worcester in the lane alongside Molesey also up with the pace. 1000 gone, and it's settling down - looks like Worcester in front, minor places still unclear. 250 to go, the field piling back in hard, Worcester have the upper edge, but IC/TSS coming frantically, overhauling Molesey. AK on the outside, Worcester clinging on, TSS/IC now challenging them for the gold, photofinish. I'll bring you that one when we know it. It was Worcester, then IC/TSS, then Molesey.

Race 559: Women's quadruple sculls final
More fun for Nautilus, their junior women finishing well ahead of the field in the women's quads, while Upper Thames/Mortlake/Scullers and the Headington/NRCA etc. composites battling it out for the minor medals. They finish in that order, the rest way back.

Race 558: Men's quadruple sculls final
Sorry, missed this one, but the gold was won by Nautilus (the junior worlds squad), with Scullers second, and St. Ives third. A very large margin of victory for the juniors, who race in Brandenburg in a couple of weeks time.

Race 557: Women's coxless fours final
They're around halfway, can't see clearly at the moment who's leading. Marginally City of Oxford, I think - remember they won two fours titles last year, including this one, so are defending champions. Chasing hard are a composite from Worcester/St. Edward's etc (junior I think), and Furnivall. City of Oxford have clear water plus on the field, and the composite in lane 3 are next quickest. CORC have shifted over into lane one, though, the steering trouble costing them as they veer over the buoys. Over into lane zero, they had enough to spare when they started this, but now the composite is coming. They'll get through, CORC in real trouble, being shouted at by the umpire, and it's won by Worcester/St. Edward's/Gloucester/St. Neot's, City of Oxford second, Furnivall third a length back. Later on these close-finish pictures will be put online for you.

Race 556: Men's lightweight coxless pairs final
We're on with the lightweights, and the commentator's getting excited - this is a close race at the front between Leander and Notts & Union. Their battle is dropping the rest off the pace, and it looks as if Leander are slightly leading with 500 to go. Both rating above 36 now, best of the rest behind them is probably either St. Andrew/Strathclyde Park, or NCRA A. 150 to go, Leander making a massive effort to stay in front, Notts & Union chucking all bar the kitchen sink at them. Another quick spurt from N&U, they're level, they're over the line, that will be a photo. Leander looked as if they stopped on the line, may have cost them. NCRA A finished third. Nothing up on the screen yet. Both crews called over to the medal raft, but no result. And it's NOtts & Union, by 0.2 from Leander. Good work.

Race 555: Men's coxed fours final
This lot are now racing, with the tight schedule all the way through we're going to have lots of overlap. In this are Leander, Brit winners, being chased down hard by Molesey, and with Imperial/TSS now overtaking them. Imperial have the edge, but there's 200 to go, Molesey coming through hard. Molesey push ahead, Imperial rush to match them, Leander getting dropped, and the rather stacked Molesey and IC/TSS crews take gold and silver, while the Pink Palace has to settle for bronze. Not a photofinish - though I've been promised we can bring you pictures if they do happen. Looking at the programme I see the Leander four actually includes some of their Ladies' eight, so 'could have done better', boys, surely, alhtough at least it was quite a fair contest.

Race 554: Men's lightweight double sculls final
500 to go for this lot, and it's Glasgow University clearly in the lead. Behind them Royal Chester and Upper Thames are scrapping, Upper Thames havng slightly the upper hand as they come to the final stretch. They finish in that order, Glasgow obviously gold, UTRC silver and Chester bronze.

Race 553: Women's junior coxed fours final
The coxed fours are on the course, 500m gone, and the fight is on between what looks like Reading and George Heriot's School. I think Reading just have the edge, but not by much. Both crews at 30 on rate, both clearly pulling hard, now 250 to go and there's nothing between them. The nearest crew back is Haberdasher's Monmouth i nthe outside lane. Inches between the two leaders, up they go again for a last push, Heriot's inch in front, and then get the gold, Reading silver, Monmouth bronze despite a late challenge from Henley.

Race 552: Women's single sculls final
This one's on the course, but we'll wait until we have more information. OK, the commentator says Hilary Powell from Osiris is leading, then Rebecca Rowe from (you guessed it) Rebecca Rowing Club. A break in commentary while they present the pairs medals. It looks as if Thames' Easton is on the ball for the women's singles bronze, a bit back from the leaders. Coming up to 750 to go, Rowe's taken the lead from Powell, and Easton's closing on both of them. Looks neck and neck from here, could be a very close race. Yup, nothing to choose between them. Rowe at 33.5, Powell at 29, Rowe takes it up again, moves ahead, Powell has nothing left, Easton fine for bronze but not close enough to challenge higher. Gold Rebecca, silver Osiris, bronze Thames.

Race 551: Men's junior pairs final
Again picking them up at halfway, and it's Lancaster Royal Grammar and Strathclyde/Castle Semple vying for the lead. Nothing on the scoreboard to help us, of course, but from here it's probably the Scottish composite, then Shiplake coming through strongly, and Lancaster in third. A hell of a race developing between the Scots and Shiplake, slightly dodgy Scottish steering, but they straighten in time to keep just a length ahead, despite Shiplake belting it along at the end. LRG get the bronze safely ahead of Bedford Modern.

Race 550: Women's junior quadruple sculls final
The girls are halfway down the course, and it looks as if St. Neot's are in the lead. Yes, they're well clear, with Hollingworth Lake and Calpe from Gibraltar also in the medal hunt. Coming to the line, Neot's well in command, and it's actually Canford/St. George Watson's winning the silver medal, Calpe the bronze and I don't think Hollingworth were racing - sorry, couldn't see in the glint off the water.

Race 549: Men's junior single sculls final
Lots of clapping for the adaptive medallists, and nothing on the commentary for the men's junior singles, which should have started by now. From the lack of commentary but using my binocs, it looks as if lane 3, TSS's Davidson, is in front. Price giving him a good run, but in the end Davidson wins by 2 lengths, and flops back, exhausted.

Race 548: Open adaptive single sculls final, 2000m
Waiting for this to start, should be off at 13:27 but clearly delayed. OK, the adaptive race ought to be the one on the course - looks right with the rowers at rate 43 - remember they're not using legs at all, and most not even any body-rock. The one to watch in this is Rob Holliday, double world silver medallist and selected already to go to this year's Worlds in Gifu. From what I can see he has a 3-length lead over Sewell of the Royal Docks, despite Holliday being very modestly cast as the B sculler from Ardingley. Not much commentary for this, but the scullers are working hard, with some good bladework as well. Come on commentators, get the crowd going! Holliday finishes, a good six lengths ahead by the line, and looks exhausted. No wonder. With the adaptive rowing going to the 2008 Paralympics, the distance has pushed out to 2000m and they're having to work very hard.

Copyright Rachel Quarrell 2005