Commons make it three in a row
Photos: Matthew Offord
The House of Commons beat the House of Lords to make it three in a row in the fifth Parliamentary Boat Race on a choppy River Thames yesterday.
Under leaden skies, the Parliamentary Boat Race was the highlight of four races, with the first between two London Youth Rowing crews cancelled at the last minute owing to the rough conditions. With the weather easing, the afternoon finally began with races between four London-based rowing clubs. In the women’s contest Mortlake Anglian & Alpha reversed their loss to Vesta at Henley Women’s Regatta, while London Rowing Club defeated neighbours Thames in the men’s race.
Guests included GB rowers Marcus Bateman and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, fresh from scooping bronze in the men’s double scull and the men’s eight respectively at the Lucerne World Cup. At the Parliamentary Boat Race for the first time, Bateman said, “To have a rowing race under Big Ben and the London Eye – it’s an ideal regatta. It would be a great venue for the Olympics if they didn’t have Eton Dorney!”
The day also had a serious side with £5000 raised and shared between The Royal Benevolent and Education Fund for Waterman and Lightermen and The Stroke Association. Accepting the £2500 cheque on behalf of the charity for Waterman and Lightermen, John Redman said, “We take rowing very seriously. We encourage all our apprentices to take it up and this helps enormously.”
Meanwhile the Commons will have to wait for their medals. Andreas Goss, CEO of Siemens, explained, “The truck carrying the medals was stopped by police so I can only say that we will get the medals to the rowers as soon as we receive them.”
British Rowing Chairman, Di Ellis, and GB Rowing Team Performance Director, David Tanner, were also present. Di said, “We are delighted that Siemens continue to support the Parliamentary Boat Race. Congratulations to the Commons on their third consecutive victory.”