Record entry for Nottingham Autumn Head

Athletes came from far and wide to enjoy some quality racing on the River Trent last weekend

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Nottingham RC coxless four overall winners of Division 3. The crew members are Simon Deacon, Steve Bennett, Jack Coulthard and Harry Richardson

On Sunday 17 October 600 competitors from over 40 clubs turned up for the Autumn Head on the River Trent. The event received a record entry and for the first division of 150 scullers there was a waiting list. Unfortunately, over 30 dropped out due to illness, but that is a reflection of the times we live in.

The weather – apart from a bit of drizzle – was perfect and the day was reasonably warm. The first division for scullers started five minutes ahead of schedule. First home was Callum Dixon who was selected for the World Rowing Under 23 Championships but failed to travel. He was chased hard down the course by Harry Richardson of Nottingham RC, but Callum prevailed by 17 seconds winning in a time of 15 min 58 seconds.

The third sculler was Jack Warren of Windsor Boys’ School beating Finn Larkin of Nottinghamshire County Squad by two-tenths of a second. Windsor Boys’ School also picked up a win in Junior 17 sculls but Bates of Notts County won Junior 16 sculls. Kemp of Strathclyde Park Glasgow was the dark horse winning Band 4 singles and finishing in the top 10 making his five-hour trip to the head race worthwhile.

Jess Leyden of Leander, a member of the national squad, won the women’s sculls, finishing ahead of Olivia Bates of Notts County by 12 seconds.

Nottingham RC picked up wins in Band 5 with Oliver Dominique, Jen Titterington in Women’s Band 2, Dave Sperry in Masters E, Jojo Bowman in Band 8. Notts County picked up a further two wins, and Nottingham & Union won Women’s Masters C with Alison Pressley.

Division 2 for beginners and youngsters actually started 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The marshalling was a slight problem as the route for a Race for Life charity event was along the tow path.

The Nottingham & Union women’s junior 15 quadruple sculls won their event coming second overall to the boys’ beginners coxed four from Trent. Their women’s junior 13 double sculls and their women’s junior 14 sculler both won. Nottingham Rowing Club won beginner’s double sculls. For the first time two of the competitors were Para athletes and they enjoyed the experience.

Division 3 was another large division with 112 finishers. This division would have started ahead of schedule, but two crews had equipment failure on the way to the start causing a delay. The overall standard was very high with outstanding crews from the local clubs and universities.

Windsor Boys’ School were strong, winning junior 16 quadruple sculls and junior 18 double sculls. The overall winners for the division were a Nottingham RC coxless four beating Nottingham University by 16 seconds as well as all the quadruple sculls. Harry Richardson was stroking the four – in his second outing of the day.

Not to be outdone, Jen Titterington and Jojo Bowman, having both won in their singles, combined with Kate Doleman and Marlene Ortiz to win women’s Band 1 quadruple sculls. Nottingham RC also won women’s’ Band 1 coxless fours, masters C quadruple sculls, masters F coxed fours and women’s master C double sculls.

Nottingham & Union won women’s junior 17 quadruple sculls, masters open coxless pairs. women’s masters double sculls and women’s coxless pair, while Notts County won Band 2 coxless fours.

The results were all done by 4.15. The day went extremely well and the weather was kind. The athletes were just pleased to be racing again and had come from far and wide to race on the Trent.  The event was as slick as usual, despite being in furlough for two years.

Thanks to Nottingham RC for the report and photo 

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