Last weekend was the British Championships held at the Water Sports Centre. The lake was characteristically unwelcoming for all who tried to compete on it, with wind and rain forecast for the whole weekend.
After a series of earlier rounds, all crews made it safely through to the finals. The women’s quad of Catherine, Fiona, Lindsay and Nikki were first up. After blasting out of the blocks and beating the rest of the crews by 7 seconds to the first 500m, they maintained their lead comfortably, to take gold ahead of the GB junior composite and a Clydesdale/Bath composite.
Next to race was Pippa in the under 23 singles. Pippa had dominated her heat the previous day, and lead the field comfortably in the final to take gold by 15 seconds. Nikki was doubling up and was also competing in the lightweight singles and won silver.
Rich Watton was competing with the mens’ squad in the coxless 4 which narrowly missed out on a Henley Royal win, partly due to an unfortunate re-row the day before, meaning they had an extra race in their legs when it came to the final against London RC. The boys turned this result around at the Championships, becoming the British Champions and beating London RC into third.
Last to race was the new combination of Lindsay and Fiona, who despite a lack of time together controlled the race from the front with style, beating the field by 12 seconds.
Based on these performances Nikki, Rich, Fiona and Lindsay were all invited to compete for England at the Home International Regatta held a week after the Championships. Lindsay and Fiona will both be travelling up to Scotland, where they will compete in the double scull, and then move into a quad where they will hopefully maintain their winning streak – good luck!
The squad were involved in 4 boats at Henley Royal Regatta. Rich was competing in the coxless 4, a crew who prequalified after their success at the Metropolitan Regatta. Stu was racing in the u23 lightweight quad. Vicky was competing in the European 8 who had also prequalified. The women’s quad and Pippa in her single were required to compete in the qualifying race the week before the regatta. This is held in the format of a time trial, with 2 boats going through for the quad and the single, as a large international entry had meant there were only a few places left in the 8 boat draw. Pippa raced well, beating some established scullers who have spent their season in the single, and just missed out on qualification as the fastest non-qualifier. Unfortunately Catherine had come down with tonsillitis during the week, so the quad raced with Pippa as a substitute. The quad qualified for the main regatta, and drew USA ‘B’ in their first round on Friday. Despite a gutsy row, the girls were outpaced, and were knocked out. The USA ‘B’ crew went on to win the final. Vicki beat Vesta on the Friday, and were then knocked out by the USA eight on the Saturday.
Rich’s crew made it comfortably through racing from Wednesday to Saturday. On the Saturday they came up against Tideway Scullers. Despite beating them by just under a length, an appeal on the finish line by the Scullers crew saying weed had impaired them was upheld, and the crew had to re-row as the last race of the day. The crew kept their nerve, and beat Scullers again by the same distance. Unfortunately the extra race appeared to have taken its toll on the crew, as they were beaten by London RC by 2 lengths in the final. They had an excellent run at the regatta, the best that the mens squad at NRC have ever had which is testament to the hard work that the boys have put in over the year. Solace can be taken in the knowledge that London RC lost to Nottingham and Union last year – our turn will be next!

Stu's quad had a comfortable race against Tideway scullers beating them easily in the heat. The next race wasn't as easy, they were up against a strong Agecroft/Durham university composite. After leading the race up until the last moment they were eventually overhauled and beat by 2 feet!
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