We had eight people racing at the British Masters Championships in Nottingham this weekend (horrible weather again – the BBC apparently reported that Nottingham was the wettest place in the country on Saturday) but our team all did very well – here are the highlights.
Debbie and Sally were drawn in an outside lane a six boat final in the Masters B Novice 2x final. At the halfway mark, a crew from Falcon RC (from Oxford) had the lead but our crew were well up in second place, with the remaining four crews dropping back. As the race progressed, the leader’s gap got smaller and smaller and the crews were almost level with ten strokes to go (left). In the end, Falcon’s closing burst proved enough to give them the verdict by just 0.25 of a second, but Upton came away with a very well-earned silver medal (right).
Our women’s quad was also on the wrong end of a 0.25 second verdict, in failing to make the final by that margin in an ‘Elimination race’ (left), which shows a blanket finish for the contending crews.
Jo and Linda also raced in Mas E 2x, in both the Championship and Intermediate events. In the first of these, they had a very tough semi final, being drawn with last year’s gold and bronze medallists as well as two doubles from Tideway Scullers, and with only three to qualify for the final. But they really rose to the occasion and qualified in third place, eliminating one of the Tideway Scullers crews and the 2014 bronze medalists from Christchurch (right). In the final they rowed to a very creditable fourth place, beating the second and third placed crews from the other semi, but missing out on the bronze medal. In the Intermediate event they had a straight final of six crews and again finished fourth – frustratingly just out of the medals once again. But this was nonetheless a big step on from last year, and they are clearly on an upward trend.
Maggie and Liz raced in a handicap Mas D/E 2- event in a field of just four crews. As the only Mas E crew, they were given the handicap start and held the lead until the closing stages but were unable to hold off two of the younger crews and finished third (left). And under the rules of the event, because there were less than six crews no bronze medal was awarded in this case. However they also rowed in a composite women’s eight (Upton/Grosvenor/Norwich/Northwich) which did win a bronze medal (right, Liz at bow, Maggie at six), and Maggie also won a silver medal rowing for Birmingham in MasF 2x.
Jules and Tabs raced in Mixed Mas D 2x, the event which they had won at Nottingham a month ago. However, this time they found the opposition a bit fiercer. Their main competition was City of Oxford, whom they had beaten into second place the last time, but on this occasion the Oxford crew won by about a length, and Upton were also pipped on the line for silver by a fast-finishing crew from Abingdon (left) and were left with the bronze medal (right). But Jules finished off his regatta with a gold medal in Mas D eights, rowing for London Rowing Club in the very quick time of 3.03 for the 1000 metre course. (left.)
So although there were some disappointments, we had a lot to celebrate in Nottingham: all but one of our crews achieved a top four placing in their various events. We should build on that for the future, and we’ll aim to take a bigger team to Nottingham next year with that in mind.