Quality racing at Met Regatta

Blessed with glorious weather and excellent conditions, this year’s Metropolitan Amateur Regatta once again attracted top level competitors from across the country to race over two days at the London 2012 Olympic Rowing venue.

Leander Club collected several trophies on Saturday, starting with Jack Beaumont and Angus Groom winning the elite double sculls, with club mates Sebastian Devereux and Sholto Carnegie finishing second. The four then joined forces to race in the elite quads where they won by over 10 seconds ahead of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. There was also exciting racing in the final of the senior coxless fours with a battle between Tideway Scullers School (TSS) and Upper Thames Rowing Club with TSS eventually taking the win by just over half a second. 

On Sunday, the regatta hosted the challenge eights – a new format with all crews competing in a time-trial in the morning to determine their seeding for the semi-finals later in the day. 

Luke Dillon, the Honorary Secretary of the Regatta said: “The new challenge eights event proved very popular with competitors and coaches alike and will be something we hope to be able to offer for future regattas.”

In the men’s event, the final contained three crews from Oxford Brookes University – each entered in three separate categories. The first eight dominated the race from the start beating Leander Club by almost six seconds. The Brookes B crew finished fifth winning the senior eights trophy and the C crew finished seventh.

The final of the women’s challenge eights saw a very close race between Oxford University and a composite crew of GB development rowers. The two crews were never further than two seconds apart for the entire race and despite the composite crew taking the lead at around 1500m, the Oxford crew pipped them to the post by just over a second to take the gold. Oxford’s second crew finished third in the same race to win the senior event. 

After the race, Christine Wilson, Chief Coach of Oxford University Women’s Boat Club said, “The structure of the challenge eights’ event offered an opportunity to race against some of the identified talent in the British system and to measure our progress since the Boat Race. 

“For the young and developing Oxford rowing athletes, racing three times in one day exposes them to a terrific competitive format. The women can learn so much about tactics, racing intensity and how to manage their emotions appropriately as the competition builds toward the final race.”

After the day’s racing, Luke Dillon concluded: “We are privileged to have some of the top clubs, coaches and athletes attend the regatta. We appreciate the support they give and thank them for choosing to compete at the Met.”

Full results are now available at: www.metregatta.org.

James Lee