The British Rowing Championships (ex-Nat Champs) took place last weekend at the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham, and for the first time included members of the GB National Squad rowing for their clubs.
Robs had representation on the Saturday in the Open 4- competition with the Henley Wyfold finalists (Rob Stark, Dan Clift, Leo Lundgren, John Hale) finishing second to University of London by a cat’s whisker in the B Final. To put this achievement in perspective the Open 4-s was won by a Leander crew consisting of Alex Gregory, Tom Ransley, Peter Reed and Will Satch. Another Robs member, Nick Hazell, rowing in an Isis crew finished third in the A final and, just to emphasise the quality of the field, his crewmates were Karl Hudspith, Constantine (‘Stan’) Louloudis and Iain Mandale. Charlie Rutter, rowing in Reading University colours, came a creditable third in the H Final of the Open 2x competition.
Sunday saw Robs enter two composite (with Isle of Ely) 4xs in the Open 4x competition. The ‘A’ crew of Dan Clift, John Hale, Leo Lundgren and Will King won the B Final beating into second a Reading University crew including World Championship medallists Sam Townsend and Adam Freeman-Pask. The ‘B’ crew, featuring Matt Castle and Chris Covey and suffering from recent sickness and last minute crew changes, did well to notch a fourth place in the E Final. Having swapped seats and developed a race plan as the day wore on they showed good progress and finished well. Robs were also represented, albeit in university strip, by Charlie Rutter and Ivo Dawkins (Will’s ‘little boy’ at 6’9”). Charlie made fourth in the C Final in the Open 4x competition won by a Leander crew containing ex-Rob member Charles Cousins. Another good result in this quality field and importantly placed them third U23 4x which may interest the GB selectors with trials coming up shortly. Ivo, rowing in the 5 seat, helped Goldie to a fourth place in the Open 8+s C Final and fifth placed University 8+ behind two Oxford Brookes crews, Newcastle and Imperial.
There is a slim chance that Robs will have representation on both sides of the University Boat Race next year (Nick Hazell and Ivo Dawkins). Start counting chickens.