Nottingham RC's successful training camp and regatta in Gent, Belgium


Thursday, 18 April 2013 12:30 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 18:04


A combined squad of Senior and U23 men and women, plus two junior women, returned on 15th April from Gent International Spring Regatta with three gold and three silver medals.

On Saturday, GB Rowing Start programme athletes Bethan Lloyd and Sarah Bonar stormed away to win women’s U23 double sculls and followed this up with silver in a different line-up on Sunday. They claimed another exciting gold medal in senior women’s quad sculls, teaming up with Nottingham’s Katie Bartlett and Belgian international Annick de Dekker, of the home Club Gentse RS, to show impressive form in hostile wind conditions on the well–known 2000 metre Watersportsbaan course in Gent .

Nottingham juniors Olivia Kay and Kyra Edwards, both rowing up an age group in WJ18 double sculls, won a fierce tussle against a good German crew in the last 250m to win the gold medal on the Sunday, having previously taken a silver medal on the Saturday in the same event. Olivia is sponsored by Derby-based Tracsis plc, who are information management specialists to the transport industry, whilst Kyra is supported by GB Rowing’s Start programme.

Sunday morning also saw them pick up silver and 6th places respectively in a field of 23 women’s junior 18 single scullers, while Katie Bartlett (sponsored by Insideland), competed in a strong field of women’s U23 single sculls to improve her 5th place on Saturday to a hard fought 3rd place on Sunday. All these results underline the benefit that both commercial sponsorships and UK lottery support can bring to young athletes aiming high in their chosen sport.

The men’s group, a combination of Loughborough University and Nottingham Start group athletes, represented Nottingham Rowing Club in a combination of single, double and quadruple sculling events. They all benefited from taking the experience gained from Saturday into the Sunday regatta. In particular, Sam Hayes in men’s U23 single sculls, Lee Holland in men’s single sculls and Declan Gamble, in men’s lightweight single sculls made significant performance improvements on the Sunday. The quadruple scull of Alex Watkins, Sam Hayes, Jared Minnican and Ayrton Carlton, racing over 2000m in this event for the first time, also raced much better on the Sunday to move themselves up the rankings and give them a great base for the summer season in the UK. The training effect of racing on the big stage is immeasurably positive, with quality crews all around to set the standards.

As in previous years, we would like to thank Annemarie de Wispelaere, Regatta Chairman, and all at Gentse RS, for such a great welcome which is always offered to visiting crews, making our training camp and racing weekend there such an enjoyable one.