England dominates 2013 Home International

This year’s Home International Regatta, held in glorious warm, sunny and still conditions at the National Water Sport Centre in Nottingham on Saturday (27th July), was dominated by England, who won 26 of the 34 races that made up the programme.

The annual event goes back to 1962 and this was the ninth time it had been staged at Nottingham. It is split into four separate Matches – for senior and junior men and women and, not surprisingly, England won all of them.  This was only the third time that England had managed the clean sweep – a feat they had achieved in 2005 and 2001 too.

Putney Town’s Charlotte Taylor set the tone for the English team when she comfortably won the lightweight singles in the first race of the day ahead of Ireland’s Sheila Clavin from St Michael’s, Limerick. All of England’s single scullers went on to win their events – Nottingham’s Pippa Whittaker in the women’s open event; Dan Clift and lightweight John Hale, both from the Isle of Ely, in the senior men’s Match; and juniors Gabriella Hatfield from Eton Excelsior and Derby’s Jack Rubini in their Matches.

In 2012, the Welsh senior men won their team event for the first time to end an eight-year streak by England. In regaining the News of the World Trophy, England’s senior men nearly won all ten of the individual  events that make up this Match. The only English slip-up came in quad sculls, when a Cardiff University/Star and Arrow composite beat the English composite drawn from Isle of Ely, Molesey and the University of London by four seconds, one of four individual race wins recorded overall by Wales.

The other Welsh wins came through Cardiff University’s Helen Roberts and Becky Girling in women’s pairs; a composite King’s Chester/ Monmouth School men’s junior coxless four; and  the women’s junior pair of  Pippa England  and Emma Richardson from Haberdashers’ School in Monmouth.

Both Ireland and Scotland had two individual category wins. Both Scottish victories came in the women’s senior Match – through a Clydesdale/ Edinburgh University/ Heriot Watt University composite coxed four and an Aberdeen University/Molesey/Vesta coxless four.   These two wins help Scotland grab second place in the overall women’s senior Match.

A six-club composite won the women’s junior eights for Ireland, as did their junior men’s pair of Ryan McKenna and Alex Chadfield from Clonmel.

While England took away all the silverware, each of the other three nations had the consolation of finishing second in one or other of the team Matches – Ireland were second in senior men and junior women, while Wales finished second in the junior men’s Match.

The closest race of the day came in women’s junior quads when England, represented by Gloucester-Hartpury, held off a four-club composite Scottish crew by six-tenths of a second.  The men’s coxed four was won by Thames for England over Dublin University/Commercial for Ireland.  The only dead-heat of the day came in men’s double sculls when the camera could not split Scotland’s Henry Geiseler and Tom McIntyre from Aberdeen and Wales’ Tom Barras and Jack Thomas from Cardiff University for second place.

After the event, during which Martin Brandon-Bravo, Honorary Life Vice-President of British Rowing distributed the medals, Event Director Edward Lloyd Rees said, “despite the organisational challenges of arranging the banquet and accommodation for almost 330 people as well as the regatta itself, the Home International is a unique, enjoyable event to organise. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making it happen.”

Mike Haggerty

Photos from the 2013 Regatta are available at www.event-photos.co.uk.

For the full results, including the overall points totals, visit http://homeinternationalregatta.org.

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