Success for Nottingham RC at Gent Spring Regatta

Nottingham RC Junior rowers

Nottingham Rowing Club’s annual team entry to the Gent Spring International two-day regatta last weekend brought home a medal tally of two Golds, two Silvers and a Bronze. Racing against Clubs and Schools from up to seven European nations in many events, this performance  further underlines the strength in depth that the junior Squad has built up over the last three years.

In the packed racing schedule, J16 double scullers Dominic Harrison (Col Frank Seeley School) and Edward Fisher (Harry Carlton School) took Silver on Saturday in a 20-crew draw, then topped it on Sunday with a Gold, a length ahead of Germania Dusseldorf  RC, hammering home with a sparkling performance in a vicious cross-headwind.

In Sunday’s U23 single sculls event, Ben Sibly, 18,  (Bilborough College) won Gold and the East Flanders Province Trophy with a blistering attack on the Dutch/Belgian/British field in the same tough conditions.

J16’s Holly Oughton and Mary Wilson kept the Club flag flying with a Silver medal in J18 coxless pairs, having challenged themselves to race two years above their age.  In a similar adventure, they followed up with Bronze in the J18 double sculls, lending further credit to the effective training programmes at all levels provided by the Club’s coaching team.

On both days the club’s J18 quad scullers, in untried combinations, including Ben Thomas of Boston Rowing Club, produced top-drawer results in the top five, overcoming several rival UK school crews in the process.

Saturday evening’s  final event saw a surprisingly effective combined Gentse RS/Nottingham RC eight,  fielding Tom Huskinson, Ed Fisher, Nick Musson and Tom Savage with four Gentse RS rowers Reinout Laureyns , Iskandar Kholbadayev, Hannes Zeghers, Jonas Vanderhaegen with cox Julien Vandenbroucke, racing in a top flight  Empacher  boat provided by the home club.  Breaking  into the top half of the rankings among well-practised school opposition after only two short training sessions, they came out of the woodwork  to upset many longer-standing UK school crews. Both Clubs agreed that this again proves the standard policy of single sculling, which always gives the racing skills to do well in any bigger boat type.

At the beginner level this Regatta’s J14 events enabled Peter Savage, 12, to kick start his rowing career with his first races in both single and double sculling (with Davide, a Gentse sculler) among 41 other J14 scullers.

A big thank you goes to  Annemarie de Wispelaere of Gentse RS Club for hosting such a highly competitive and enjoyable regatta, and to Dieter Oosterlynck, GRS Junior Coach,  for making the combined eight possible.  

Martin Kay
Nottingham Rowing Club