The Wingfield Sculls Takes Place Today

UPDATE: view the results

Today will see the challengers line up to claim to the title Champion of the Thames from the current holders.  This is the Wingfield Sculls 180th year since Henry C Wingfield presented a pair of silver sculls “to be held by the best” as long as they agreed to race on his birthday 10th August “for ever”.  The events are organised by a committee consisting of the former champions, who meet each year to arrange the races and appoint an umpire from among their ranks.  Since the Earl of Iveagh (1896 champion) celebrated the race’s centenary in 1930 the committee has met for a dinner every decade.  This will be the first dinner for the female champions.   The organisers are grateful to the PLA for their support of the event, allowing this return to a summer date.

12.30 – Women’s Wingfields

Paul Thompson has encouraged his sculling squad to start their preparation for the World Championships in New Zealand in November by challenging Sophie Hosking for her title, Champion of the Thames.  Unfortunately two of the squad had to pull out before the draw.  So far none of the open weights have been able to match Sophie on her home water.

Anna Watkins has had an excellent World Cup series partnering Katherine Grainger to win the double scull, then doubling up with Beth Rodford to win the quadruple scull as well.  Beth has established herself amongst the top scullers finishing fourth at the April trials.  Ro Bradbury competed at the senior Worlds whilst still an U23 in 2009 then raced at the U23s this summer in her single whilst completing her finals at Cambridge.

Sophie Hosking continues to match or better her father’s rowing career bar the elusive gold medal, she may however have second thoughts about following his exploits in the Trans Atlantic rowing race.

The first WARA Championship was raced in 1927 over the full Tideway championship course and revived under the Wingfields banner in 2006 following support by the Wingfield Family Society.  The last champion to win a hat trick on the Tideway was Margaret Gladden, she held the title from 1966-1971.

Draw for the Women’s Wingfields- Start 12.30pm             

Surrey        Beth Rodford (Gloucester)                  
2.              Sophie Hosking (London)               
3.              Anna Watkins (Leander)               
Middlesex    Rosamund Bradbury (Leander)            
Umpire Rory Henderson (Champion 1990)               
Aligner Phil Bourguignon (London)                   
Record times                       
Mile Post           4.52    E.Laverick 2007           
Hammersmith     8.39    E.Laverick 2007           
Chiswick Bridge  13.30    E.Laverick 2007           
Barnes Bridge    18.11    E.Laverick 2007           
Finish                21.53    E.Laverick 2007

1.30pm – Wingfield Sculls

While Sophie is looking for her hat trick, Alan is aiming for his third win.  Illness and injury prevented Alan from defending his title won in 2006 he wrested it back from Mahe Drysdale last year.

Marcus Bateman and Brendan Crean are both products of the World Class Start system.  Entering the Wingfields they must be confident of the skills developed in their new sport if they wish to test them against the Tideway and the reigning champion. 

Marcus has formed a new double combination with Matthew Wells (Champion 2004-5) which has done very well in their first season finishing second in the World Cup series.  Brendan is the eighth man in the sculling team who has been called upon to sit in many of the GB crews this season.

Alan became the 85th Champion of the Thames in 2006 and will defend his title in the 170th race for the Wingfield Sculls. 

Draw for the Wingfield Sculls- Start 1.30pm

Surrey          Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers’ School)
2.              Marcus Bateman (Leander)
3.              Brendan Crean (Agecroft)
Umpire Rory Henderson (Champion 1990)   
Aligner Phil Rowley (TSS)

Record times   
Mile post           4.12    M.W.Wells 2005
Hammersmith     7.32    M.W.Wells 2005
Chiswick Steps    12.21    R.Henderson 1990
Barnes Bridge    16.45    I.J.Lawson 2003
Finish        19.58    P.M.Haining 1994