British Rowing Championships 2012: five gold medals for Nottingham Rowing Club

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Monday, 16 July 2012 11:51 Written by Administrator

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Early indications were that the 2012 British Rowing Championships, rowed over the 2000m Olympic distance at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, were at risk. A flooded River Trent meant that rising water in the rowing lake was unable to drain away: landing stages were covered ,boat racks were surrounded by standing water and all the grassed areas were sodden. Fortunately the rain held off enough for the flood to subside and the three day event went ahead as planned.

As ever, the talented Nottingham Rowing Club junior squad trained by Junior Co-ordinator Claire Parnell were first into action and despite the fact that some were on international duty in France won three gold medals.

Anna Thornton (Fernwood School, Wollaton), after only a full year in the sport, won the gold medal in the Women’s Junior 15 single sculls after winning bronze and silver at the National Schools Championships in June. She recorded Nottingham Rowing Club’s 50th regatta win of the season, beating Hollingworth Lake RC and Glasgow RC by clear water. Harvey Kay (Rushcliffe School, West Bridgford) and Faisan Shah (Farnborough School, Clifton) followed their silver medal at the National Schools' Regatta with gold at the Nationals, beating Trentham RC and Peterborough City RC. Connor Gamble (South Notts Academy, Radcliffe-on–Trent) and Dominic Parnell (Grove School, Balderton) repeated last years success by progressing through the repechage system to record a dramatic win. From the bows Dominic made the race calls lying in 5th place for much of the race, and with 500m to go called for a big push. Connor responded and yet another gold was in the bag as they led High Wycome Royal Grammar School and St Neots RC home by clear water.

On the final day the men and women joined the fray. Pippa Whittaker won the gold for women’s single sculls, in convincing style beating Sport Imperial RC and Molesey BC in the final. Laura Wheeler and Lyndsay Marshall rowed away from the field to take the gold in the women’s coxless pairs from Thames RC.

Nikki Spencer won silver in the women's lightweight single sculls, losing out to Isle of Ely RC. Ed Mace and brother William won bronze in the Open pairs, being squeezed out by Oxford Brookes and Úpper Thames RC. Matt Gotrel won bronze in the open single sculls; he was headed home by Isle of Ely RC and Henley RC. Both Ed and Matt were taking time out from the winning Wyfold crew.

Several other crews made the finals but were out of the medals. The women’s coxed four stroked by Lyndsay Marshall won their repechage and came 4th in the final. Rob Jephcote and James Walsh were fourth in the open lightweight coxless pair. Peter Savage was 5th in a field of 12 in the men’s J14 single sculls. Lucy Mason and her Trent RC partner Ellen Sutherland came 6th in women’s junior coxless pairs.

Nottingham Rowing Club finished the 2012 Rowing Championships with 5 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals and 8 National Champions. The club has also been selected to represent England in the men’s four and eight at the Home Counties International to be held in Cardiff Bay.

Richard Watton, Peter Dean, Peter Muhley and Ed Mace, coached by Dan Johnson, are to row in the coxless fours and are to join the winning Britannia Cup crew from Star RC to row in the eight against Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Several of the club’s women, coached by Dez Atkins and Julie Edwards, have also been selected to represent Team England. Lyndsey Marshall, Laura Wheeler, Nikki Spencer, Catherine Lineker, Alex Johnson and Fiona Bassett will join the men in Cardiff making a total of ten wearing England kit.