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THE CARL SMITH MEMORIAL FUND

For talented, dedicated or deserving junior rowers from the East Midlands

 Carl Smith tragically died in a car accident on New Years’ Day 2010 aged just 48. He was one of the most successful oarsmen for Great Britain and Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association, with an international rowing career spanning between 1980 and 1996, when he retired from international competition and later took up coaching.

A “local lad” who attended West Bridgford Comprehensive School, Nottingham, he showed an enormous potential in rowing from his early days as a cox, junior sculler and rower. His first time international selection was at the 1980 Junior World Rowing Championships in quadruple sculls. A year later he was at the Senior World Championships as the lightweight single sculler and then won his first medal, a silver, in 1983 as a member of the GBR lightweight coxless four, a “home-grown” crew produced out of the NCRA. At the 1986 World Rowing Championships in Nottingham, Carl, together with Allan Whitwell, won Gold in the lightweight double sculls. Carl also won three more World Championship titles: in lightweight coxless fours twice and lightweight eights once. As well as being one of the very few athletes to have become World Champion in both rowing and sculling disciplines, he also had a sack full of other World Championship, International and Henley medals to his name.

Carl was also involved in possibly one of the greatest moments in rowing history, in the 1989 final of the Ladies' Plate at Henley Royal Regatta. In this race the NCRA lightweight eight produced a heart-stopping performance by beating the favourites (and heavyweights) from Harvard University, USA, and set a new course record for the event. When the Stewards announced there was to be a re-row due to Harvard’s boat lodging a small piece of driftwood on the fin, Carl and his crew mates had already begun celebrating by popping the champagne corks. They were ordered to race again, and in true style, changing back into their famous green lycra, won a second time that day - setting yet another new course record in the process!

Carl trained with the highest, unimaginable degrees of effort, dedication and personal sacrifice and raced with a fierce tenacity renowned amongst his fellow competitors, yet he was modest in victory and magnanimous in the few defeats he experienced. The epitome of a great athlete. Even with a modicum of these traits, we believe that promising East Midlands junior rowers and scullers, male or female, deserve the chance to try and emulate Carl’s outstanding achievements and keep rowing at the forefront of sport in our region. Carl had a passion for his city, county and country to excel in rowing and truly touched people from all corners of the community, not just in sport, but employment, as a father, husband and good friend. With the help of generous donations, this fund has been set up to distribute financial support to young aspiring athletes for the next decade.

Trustees: John McKirdy, Chris Bates and Andrew Wilson

Click here to download the PDF application form.