Monday, 31 October 2016 14:41 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 15:42


Nottingham Autumn Head was held on Sunday 30th October in some of the best rowing conditions imaginable, with totally flat water and almost no stream. In fact, the general lack of rainfall in October meant that the river was too shallow for rowing in its upper reaches, so the start for the first division was moved downstream for the first time in a while.

Starting 13 minutes ahead of schedule from the revised start at Grove Farm, the first division for single scullers was contested by 86 boats. Coming out head of the pack was Nottingham Rowing Club’s Elite sculler Alex Watkins, rowing as Loughborough Students’ RC, in a time of 16’28” - Alex is a member of the GB Rowing Start programme based at the club. IM1 singles were won by Nottingham Rowing Club’s Dan Rowe, placing 9th overall. Women’s Elite single sculls were won in 17’59” by Rosie Wilkins from Nottingham Rowing Club who finished in 13th place overall, thereby beating all but 12 men. Senior men’s coach Hamish Roots won IM2 singles in 18’03”, placing 15th. Women’s Senior singles were won by Kate Parsons in 29th place, Women’s J18 singles by Lucy Holgate in 32nd place and Women’s J17 singles by Jenna Draycott in 45th place. Rosie, Kate, Lucy and Jenna train in Nottingham Rowing Club’s High Performance Programme.

The second division for younger juniors was contested by 43 crews. It started at the Toll Bridge and finished at County Hall, a distance of some 1800 m. Overall first place went to a J15 double from Becket School RC in a time of 6’50”. Nottingham Rowing Club’s Andrea de Bruin placed 22nd overall to win Women’s Novice singles in a time of 7’54”, and Toby Buxton won J13 singles in a field of six, placing 31st overall.

The third division was made up of 88 small boats, and was raced over some 4000 m from Clifton Bridge to the rowing clubs on Trentside. Overall winner was a composite Masters B quad from Leicester RC, Peterborough RC and Star Club, who came in in a time of 13’05”. Nottingham RC’s IM2 quad of Daniel Roe, Piers Pye-Watson, Toby Piggott and Ben Townsend won their event in 13’38”, placing 5th overall. Coming in just one place behind in 13’43” was the winning Nottingham Rowing Club Women’s Elite quad of Annie Campbell-Orde, Rosie Wilkins, Kate Parsons and Caitlin Boyland. Despite losing out to the York City D4+ on elapsed time Nottingam RC’s Masters E coxed four of Chris Beesley, Andy Townsend, Andy Brown and Shane MacSweeney, coxed by Fergus Robertson-McIsaac won a handicapped D/E/F event in 15’01”, placing 20th. Iain Hill and Steve Hill won Masters D pairs in a time of 15’49”, coming in in 41st place.

So overall a successful day for Nottingham RC; other clubs that did well were York City RC and Leicester RC with eight and seven wins respectively. Club Captain Ruth Hyde said: “What a great day on the river.  There was some cracking racing - 14 wins in total - and across the whole of the club. But what impressed me even more today was the level of volunteering support that we had for the event”.

Below: Perfect conditions and beautiful autumn colours at Nottingham Autumn Head