Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:35 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:07


On Sunday 26th February, 1375 competitors turned out for the annual Head of the Trent, a timed rowing race over the River Trent in Nottingham. With 94 eights and 150 fours competing over the day, it was the largest entry for many years. A large contingent of Master rowers from Belfast BC had travelled over to take part in the 'Masters of Trentside', a sub-event especially for the 'older' rower.

With a strong wind from the southwest, coupled with a fast flow in the river, conditions were challenging for rowing, although would potentially provide fast times

The first division was held on the long course from Clifton Bridge to the TS Orion, a distance of some 5700 metres and was won by Goldie BC (a.k.a. Cambridge University Boat Club) – their winning time of 14'24" is indeed a new course record. Coming in second place was Goldie's second boat, with Eton College finishing third. Behind these three top crews came entries from provincial clubs Agecroft RC, Royal Chester RC and Nottingham RC, with all three of these club crews winning their respective categories. In Junior eights, Eton College, King's School Chester and Royal Shrewsbury School were all within 10 seconds of each other, promising some exciting racing in the main regatta season. Nottingham RC's Junior Women's quadruple scull won their event overall, closely followed by the Nottingham & Union RC Masters' quadruple scull who also won their event, as did their Women's Intermediate 3 quadruple scull. Nottingham RC also recorded wins in Masters E coxed fours, Masters G coxless fours and Masters I coxed fours.

By the time the second division (for novice and junior crews) started, weather conditions had deteriorated, so the course was shortened to start at the Toll Bridge and finish outside Nottingham Britannia RC. This division was won by the Royal Shrewsbury School Novice eight in a very fast time of 6'24". Nottingham & Union RC picked up two more trophies with their Women's Junior 14 octuple scull and their Women's Junior 15 quadruple scull. Nottingham RC won the Women's Novice quadruple sculls.

The third division started in the same place as the second division but finished at the TS Orion. By now the wind was very strong, which made the first part of the course somewhat difficult, but to compensate there was a raging tailwind approaching the finish. The division was won by Grosvenor Masters' D eight in a time of 11'26".  The outstanding performance of the division though was from Nottingham RC's women's eight, who finished 3rd overall to claim the Robin Haslam Trophy for the fastest women's crew for the eighth successive year. The Nottingham RC senior men, not content with winning the eights in the morning, also won Intermediate 3 coxed fours.  Nottingham RC also picked up the Masters C eights, which was a nice surprise.

Overall the standard of the rowing was high despite very trying conditions. Nottingham RC won nine events, Nottingham & Union RC won four. Of the visitors, Royal Shrewsbury School won three. Belfast BC's women won as well and their squad thanked us for our hospitality before dashing off to East Midlands Airport for the flight home.

Tony Lorrimer, a member of the organising committee said: "Despite the incredibly challenging weather conditions we had a fabulous day of racing, with a large turn out and some amazing performances across all age ranges and levels of experience.  Attracting the Cambridge University crews and competitors from as far afield as Belfast demonstrates that the Trent Head and Masters of Trentside are key events in the rowing calendar.  Trentside was positively buzzing and it was fantastic to see so many athletes and spectators enjoying themselves."

The Trent Head is one of three events organised by the Nottingham City Regatta Committee, a partnership between Nottingham Rowing Club and Nottingham and Union Rowing Club.  The next event, Nottingham City Regatta is in May at the National Watersports Centre.


Below: Goldie BC in action in Division 1


Below: Agecroft RC in Division 1


Below: Nottingham RC in Division 1


Below: waiting for the start of Division 2