Wingfield Sculls attracts top rowers in bid to be Champion of the Thames

[newsimage=1]On Thursday 1st November the Thames will once again be the backdrop for two races featuring a select but truly international line-up.   This is the 172nd Wingfield Sculls race for the pair of silver sculls presented by Henry C Wingfield “to be held by the best” as long as they agreed to race on his birthday “for ever”. 

The event pre-dates the Boat Race on the Tideway and is 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. 

Many of the rowers who have earned the title of ‘Champion of the Thames’ were Olympic medallists this year at Eton Dorney.  Sophie Hosking (2008-9 Wingfield Champion), Anna Watkins (2010-11 Champion) and Mahe Drysdale (2007-8 Champion) were all gold medallists, while Greg Searle (1998-9, 2000 Champion) and Alan Campbell (2006, 9-10 Champion) coached by Bill Barry (1963-6 Champion) won bronze medals.  

Among the contenders in the 2012 line-up is Adam Freeman-Pask (2011 champion) who was Olympic spare and set a record time for the race last year of 19 mins 14 secs.   A list of all the competitors is below.

The organisers are grateful to the PLA and the Tideway rowing clubs for their support of the event. 

12.30 – Women’s Wingfields

Beth Rodford is the only challenger in the women’s race to return from last year’s record breaking contest. She also broke the previous record so will be hoping to match that performance this year.  Beth was in GB’s fifth placed women’s Olympic quad.  Jess Eddie has challenged every year since the women’s race was restarted except 2011, so will be hoping this is her year after finishing fifth in the Olympic eight.  Debbie Flood challenged in the women’s first race 2007and raced with Beth in the quad at the Olympics.  So the only new challenger is Imogen Walsh looking to emulate her club mate Sophie Hosking’s success as she comes fresh from winning The Diamond Jubilee Championship double sculls. 

1.30 – Wingfield Sculls

Adam Freeman-Pask will be defending his title against two of the biggest names in world sculling, both former champions returning in an attempt to reclaim the title of Champion of the Thames.  Alan Campbell and Mahe Drysdale have a friendly rivalry dating back to the Athens Olympics when they both decided to concentrate on their single sculling and trained together at Tideway Scullers School.  Whilst Mahe has the edge on the world stage winning this summer’s Olympics, Alan has won the Wingfield Sculls three times and beat Mahe in 2009 in their only meeting over the Championship course.

Adam became the 88th Champion of the Thames in 2011, Alan became 86th champion in 2006 and Mahe 87th in 2007.  Adam set new recordsto Chiswick steps, Barnes Bridge and the finish last year.
The starting order is in the attached file.