Home: The 1km Barnes and Mortlake Regatta from Kew Rail Bridge to Chiswisk Bridge was the first sculling outing for the Novice women’s squadron. The quadruple sculls and pair were scratched leaving it to the double of Maddy Whybrow and Sarah Tattersall and the single of Harriet Cross to defend IC’s honour. The double’s heat was eventful from the start as nerves got the better of them, leading to two crabs within the first ten strokes. Despite being down by approximately four lengths off the start, Imperial College had 5 lengths lead at the finish line. In the final, they won convincingly again, to bring home their first sculling points and lidded pots. Harriet Cross also won her three races convincingly, taking sculling points to add to their rowing points from their win at Walton and Weybridge Regatta a few weeks ago.
Away: Further up the Thames, Imperial’s coxed four was entered in the Elite and Intermediate 1 categories at the 1500m Reading Amateur Regatta. In their first race (heat of IM1), the crew (cox: Jess Johnson/Adam Seward/Danny Bellion/Jake Lea-Wilson/Simon Steele) had a storming start and left behind their Reading University rivals, so much so that when cox Johnson prepared the boat for a push early in the race, Bowman Seward simply said the word “Ten length”. The crew relaxed to the point that Jake Lea-Wilson waved to the solitary supporter [yours truly] on the bank and Johnson gave a running commentary of the events on the bank on the sunny Saturday afternoon. Race two was against local competition, University of London, who were left with half a length of clear water to make up by the time ICBC crossed the line and made their way to the final.
After a quick change of cox (Johnson for Libby Richards) and less than ten minutes rest, the boat was back on the water, ready for the semi-final of the Elite category against the fresh-legged University of Bristol. With a switch of station to the outside of the only bend on the course, the crew had everything to fight for. Despite the change in conditions from sunshine to downpours of rain, Imperial clung to the coattails of Bristol, never letting them take clear water. In a massive charge to the finish, Imperial surged from nearly a length down to less than a quarter of a length down as the two crews crossed the finish line [if only the course had been 200m longer]. Focus switched to the IM1 final race. Manchester University fell to the might of ICBC in the sheeting rain.
Even further afield, Sam Scrimgeour had the unenviable task of driving back to his homeland in order to compete in the Scottish Championships. On the Saturday, Sam was entered in the open single on Saturday and in the lightweight category on Sunday, both of which he won.
Congratulations to all involved and good luck to the Women's Squadron who race at Henley Women's Regatta next week, while the Gentleman's Squadron compete, once again, at Dorney Lake for Marlow Regatta 2011.