Great turn out at Metropolitan Amateur Regatta 2015

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While the GB Rowing Team were busy winning medals at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, some of Britain’s top club rowers were racing at the 2015 Metropolitan Amateur Regatta at Dorney Lake. 

Oxford Brookes were the only club to get two crews into the A-final of the men’s eights with the first eight finishing second overall. Their win of the senior category in a time of 5:37.41 broke their club record which was set by their crew that won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta last year. The fastest eight overall was from Leander club finishing in a time of 5:34.34.  

Conditions were good throughout Saturday with racing held every five minutes from nine in the morning until just after seven in the evening. The afternoon provided some spectacularly close finals particularly in the junior quad sculls where Leander finished ahead of Northwich RC and Grange School. Meanwhile, Sir William Borlase opted to race in the senior quads event which they won by just under one second ahead of a Welsh composite crew. There was a strong field in elite single sculls with several GB Squad members racing. Brianna Stubbs from Wallingford RC won the women’s event and Oliver Cook representing the University of London BC took the honours in the men’s event. 

Sunday’s racing saw slightly more challenging conditions, but didn’t prevent the organisers from being available to run the full programme with some excellent racing. The day began with a time trial for the challenge eights with 52 men’s crews and 23 women’s crews racing over 1900m then being seeded into ranked semi-finals. The format provided an exciting series of side-by-side racing for all of the eights, a format which was well received by the competitors. 

Leander also took the honours in the women’s eights with Thames RC in second place (winning the senior category) and Oxford Brookes in third (winning the IM1 category).

While some of the students from Exeter University BC were busy winning medals (in women’s IM2 4+ on Saturday and women’s Senior 4+ and lightweight elite 2x on Sunday), the rest of the club were at the start all day covering stakeboat duties.  Aldert White who was part of the team said: “It was great to be able to stake boat for such a prestigious regatta and fantastic to have the opportunity to watch so much good racing. The team worked well with the umpires and it was an invaluable and exciting experience for the EUBC members involved.”

The overall entry was much larger than 2014 with Regatta Chairman Jess Terrell commenting: “We had crews from all the Home Nations this year (and Republic of Ireland) which resulted in some great racing. It was also really wonderful to see crews such as Sport Imperial and OUWBC providing some of the best domestic women’s racing outside of HWR.”

In addition to the large clubs from the Thames region, the Regatta also attracted crews from smaller and further afield clubs with notable appearances from City of Cambridge RC, Aberdeen RC and Dart Totnes Amateur RC.

After racing had finished, Terrell said: “Conditions were tough this year, especially Sunday, so congratulations to all the crews that raced – and all the umpires and volunteers that kept the racing safe and fair. I hope we see everyone back next year for our 150th anniversary!”

Full results from the Regatta are now available at: http://www.metregatta.org

Report by James Lee

Photos by James Lee & Paul Williams

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