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Competitive Rowers News Section - 2007/8
Richmond - A plethora of pots - 28 June The rest of the squad were racing at Richmond the day after the Henley qualifiers, so there was chance to lift the mood straight away. This turned out to be one of those days where everything just fell into place. We were racing in 9 events, with the girls J15 double joining us to make 10. Top billing went to the senior 3 double of Pete and Richard, who found the odds stacked against them in the heat. With the course going round a big bend to Middlesex, the start and finish have a stagger, but when they attached to the Surrey stakeboat for their semi-final, it had drifted from its correct position. Expecting a lengths lead to counter the bend they were started 3 feet DOWN. Then their oppostion from Eton Exclesior turned out to be pretty good and it took a huge effort from the Ardingly double to get in front and then stay there, eventually winning by 1 length. The regatta sorted out the stakeboat very soon after, so there were only 3 or 4 races that were effected. In contrast the final was without drama and Pete and Richard claimed pots (and points) with a 4 length victory over Auriol Kensington.

The veteran quad had a field day against Vesta in their finals, winning Vet C quads and splitting into winning Vet C double and single. Bob then got in on the act by using his age handicap to the full and blasting over the course to win Vet E/F singles. Mark lost his semi of mens novice singles to the eventual winner, but Janet stormed the straight final in womens novice singles to win easily. Jess and Chloe faced the Royal Docks RC, who had looked strong beating Thames in the semi, for the final of womens junior doubles. Taking an early lead Chloe kept the rating up to hold off Royal docks crew and win by half a length of clear water. With Nicole and Anji winning WJ15 doubles from Kings Canterbury, the final club haul was 8 wins from 10 events (with the Carter family taking home 4 pots).
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Marlow and the Henley qualifiers - 22 June and 27 June First up was Marlow where the first quad was just racing on the Sunday in Elite quads in the morning and Senior 2 in the afternoon. Drawn against the British world champion womens quad (yes you read that correctly) in Elite quads over 2000m this was a chance to put together a good 2k performance. But in a very strong cross-wind with people tapping on to get the boat straight, Ardingly crabbed on the first stroke. By the time they got restarted they were clear water down on the whole field after only 5 strokes. This was a shame because it would have been an interesting race against the GB women, as it was the crews traded pushes and the gap see-sawed between clear water and 3/4 length for 1000m. But with their top level experience and having the one length cushion the GB quad were able to push out another length in the second half. However considering the start problem, it was a good row for the next 1975 metres.

The afternoon race over just 1000m left the crew frustrated as they produced the 5th fastest time but didnt qualify, knowing they should have attacked the shorter distance with more aggression.

After Marlow we had two more sessions before an outing over the Henley course on Friday morning ready for the Henley Royal regatta qualifiers. Racing a quad meant Ardingly had to enter an intermediate event , the Prince of Wales Cup, as there are no club events in that boat class. The qualifying standard looked daunting with the first 7 from 21 making it into the main regatta draw and many of the other quads containing GB U23 squad members and previous Henley winners. Ardingly (Aardvark RC hadn't entered) led off the time trial into a very strong headwind and quickly settled into a good rhythm at 35. Tom, having only seen the booms for the first time that morning, went straight up the middle of the course. The crew kept the rating around 34 despite the wind, which was making the course very long, and held there bladework together. Mostyn was pleased with the performance and received several compliments on the crews bladework and technique from other coaches, but the stopwatch was the only judge that mattered. In a headwind the shortage of power was going to be the problem and in the end the crew missed out by 9 seconds. However their time put them up in a distinguished group including UL/IC, Brookes , Molesey and Henley.
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National Veterans 15th June The main event for the,... cough ...cough... older members of the squad is the National Veterans Championships held on the 6 lane course at Nottingham.

In the last two years Keith and Slavo had been successful in Veteran D double sculls, but with neither of them available this year the baton passed to the home grown talent (SIC). The main aim for the vet group, since the head race, has been the Veteran C quad sculls at Nat Vets with a crew of David A, Pete, David P and Jon. Three of this crew turned up in the old wooden boat (RIP) a couple of years ago, saying that having now learnt to scull in the last few months they would like to try racing (so could they join in the training, please). Whilst the fourth member turned up two years ago to take up sweep rowing again, after a break, saying he couldn't scull (the word wouldn't might have been in there somewhere as well ).

Although the priority was the quad all the crew members had a second event as well with Jon going in C singles, David and Pete going for C doubles and David joining up with a Tradesmen sculler to make a D double. Completing the group was Bob who would take on the F singles event.

The C double started the day and decided to qualify for the final the hard way, one length off a qualifying slot with 250m to go they passed Hereford just before the line to slip into the vital 3rd place. In the final they got off to a better start and although not able to match the winners speed beat Nottingham to take 5th place overall and record a very respectable time.

The composite D double, in their second outing, looked good qualifying without the need for fireworks. In the final they led Nottingham and moved steadily through the middle of the race picking off Quintin and Tideway Scullers, but with only half a length in it couldnt quite catch Peterborough for the silver medal.

Jon had been keen to test himself in the C singles and faced some very experienced scullers in the heat. These turned out to be a cracking race with only about two lengths covering the first five scullers. Jon starting at 41 and attacking all the way was right in the race and failed to qualify by just over a length. As this was one of the higher quality events, despite not qualifying for the final, Mostyn thought this was the best Ardingly performance of the whole day. The final was similarly tight with the sculler who kept Jon out of the final winning in the end.

Bob racing at the Nationals for the first time struggled to match his opponents speed off the start, but concentrated on his own performance to scull strongly over the whole distance.

Finally the quad had an easy paddle in the heat to qualify alongside the strong Tees quad for the C final. In the final line up Tideway Scullers and Upper Thames looked strong, but Tees as last years winners were the favourites. Quickly off the start Tees established a strong lead with Ardingly right in the bunch. By 500m Jon had pushed his crew to the front of the bunch and was holding on to Tees. The second half with David calling the pushes, saw Ardingly going well clear of the chasing group and closing down Tees to win a silver medal three quarters of length down on the winners and two length ahead of third place.

With the organisers setting up senior 3 and novice categories, for people who start the sport later in life and cant realistically compete against experienced competitors. It was very satisfying to take a medal in the open category with just such a group of late starters. It was also good to have Pete lightening the load on Jon by towing the trailer and it was a happy crew that got back to Sussex late on Sunday evening.
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Peterborough Regatta 7th June Last year we tried out Peterborough and discovered a well run regatta, with a good standard of opposition and an excellent 4 lane course. So again this year we undertook the long haul up there to race in 8 events. Jon and Pete were scheduled very early in Senior 3 singles so they were on the road with the trailer just after 5am!!. Both raced well and gained useful experience of racing in a single, but with a large entry of 12 scullers neither managed to qualify for the final.

With Tom at home revising for his A-levels Richard stepped up to take his seat in the quad, and also in a double with Paul. Their first race was in the Senior 3 doubles, which also had 12 entries and they finished a solid second to go into the repechage. Winning this quite comfortably put them into the 4 boat final against Nottingham/Loughborough, Leicester and Sons of the Thames. In that race Richard and Paul were always in contention but The Notts/Loughborough combination proved just a bit too strong for the other three doubles.

The quad had a straight final in Senior 2, against a fast junior 3 club composite aiming for the Fawley cup at Henley and Royal Chester. Unfortunately they struggled with the steering early on and had to be content with beating the Royal Chester quad for second place.

The stern pair of the quad, David Law and Alex, were also racing in Senior 2 doubles and showed good early speed to win the event (and a point each) from Cambridge 99 and Yare.

The veteran quad was also racing in the Senior 3 event and were surprised to beat Nottingham University to qualify for the final. Here our Vet C quad (average age 43 plus) found themselves up against a crew of students (Sheffield Hallam), a junior quad (Derby) and four World Class Start giants from Rob Roy. The Rob Roy boys told the Ardingly quad they had average ergos of 6:09 (our vets can of course match that, except they don't quite cover 2000m in that time). Undaunted the Ardingly quad got away well and leaving Sheffield Hallam behind had a great tussle with Derby. In the second half with a small lead over Derby they started to pressurise Rob Roy, who saw their clear water advantage go when Ardingly started to overlap them. In the end Rob Roy won by a few feet of clear water and Ardingly beat Derby by nearly a length. The crew felt this to be a very good warm up for the National vets championships the following weekend.

The half of the veteran quad that hadn't raced in senior 3 singles were racing in Veteran C doubles against B opposition. This gave them a 5 second headstart but that wasn't enough to hold off a very fast Warwick double (who incidentally, won Vet B doubles at National vets the following weekend).

Bob Simpson was racing in Veteran F singles against some good scullers and struggled to repeat his recent speed in training.

Jess and Chloe had made the long trip to race above their status in the women's senior 3 doubles. With the aim of beating as many of these older doubles as possible, the girls started by beating Poplar and qualifying for their repechage in second place. Here on time they were the slowest of the three doubles so they knew a big effort was required. In their best race to date they attacked all the way and came second, this time beating a double from Sheffield.

So a long road trip but some good performances and useful experience for all, with a Senior 2 win to round the day off.
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Metropolitan Regatta 31st May and 1st June The first quad returned to Dorney for the second of their three planned trips there this summer. Not everybody was available for the Sunday so we entered the quad in Senior 2 on Saturday and a double in Senior 2 on Sunday.

Senior 2 quads on the Saturday was a straight 7 boat final, including two northern clubs Tees and York City, a Welsh squad boat, Oxford Brookes and Combined Services . Since Wallingford we had shuffled the order so that now David was stroking and Tom was steering. The race was pretty even off the start and David hit a good rhythm, and although by 1000m Ardingly were just last, there was still only 2 lengths covering all 7 boats. A strong second half saw Ardingly holding their own and having passed Reading Bluecoat the quad were dead level with the Services crew with 50 m left. In those last 50m Combined Services managed to push again and sneak a 2 foot margin with both crews just over 2 lengths behind the winners (Tees) and overlapping the Welsh and Oxford Brookes.

Crew and coach were pleased with the row and plan to do even better on the last visit to Dorney (Marlow regatta).

Very disappointed with the previous weeks race, Alex and Paul were keen to show their proper ability and take on the Maidstone double who had won easily in the Twickenham final. First they had to qualify for the final by being in the first three in their heat. This proved to be quite comfortable and they had plenty in hand when they crossed the line in second place. The big surprise from the first heat was that Maidstone who we had seen leading the race from the start had failed to qualify. The final was a tough race, but Paul and Alex produced the fastest time to date by an Ardingly double and in finishing 5th pushed Molesey right to the line and beat a London RC double. This was a very successful rehabilitation for the combination after the Twickenham race.
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Twickenham Regatta 25th May Ardingly competed in 6 events and during a long days racing made it through to 4 finals, but eventually returned to Sussex with no wins.

Jon arrived with the trailer at 7:45 am, as Alex had a very early heat in Senior 2 singles. It was thus somewhat galling to see Alex scull over the course as his opposition had failed to turn up. In the final Alex starting down on the stagger, found his opposition just too quick. Tom raced in the new lightweight senior 3 singles and made his opponent from Tideway scullers work hard for his win. Our third single sculler was Paul, who won his heat in Senior 3, by three lengths from a London Rowing Club sculler. In the final against a sculler from Thames, Paul struggled at first in the swelly water, and found himself one length down and on the outside of the bend after one minute. From here Paul fought really hard and stayed in contact, until with 30 strokes to go he looked like he would take the lead. The Thames sculler just held on to win by a slender half a length.

In the crew boats our veteran C quad found themselves giving a ten second start to a D quad from Broxbourne. With a length stagger and the stakeboat holding them from drifting with the stream, they were a daunting six lengths down when they got going. A strong chase continually cut into Broxbourne's lead but the older quad were able to hold on and win by one and a third lengths (about 3 seconds). The scratch Senior 2 double had a solid heat win, but then had a disastrous start in the final which allowed Maidstone to cruise to an easy win.

Last up was Jess and Chloe racing in Womens senior 4 double sculls. There were 8 crews entered but when only 7 of them reported at the start it was the Ardingly double who sculled over un-opposed. In the semi the girls faced Tideway Scullers and steadily rowed to a two and a half length victory (that was out 4th win in 5 head to head races against Tideway Scullers at Chiswick and Twickenham). With very little time between the semi and final the girls stayed on the water. Guildford had won through the other side of the draw and the final, into quite a stiff head-wind, was a hard fought battle that Guildford eventually won by just clear water (one and a quarter lengths).
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Ardingly face the big guns, Wallingford regatta 4th May The top group (although only senior 3) as part of our strategy to aim higher had entered Senior 2 quads and Senior 2 doubles, at this top quality opener to the season. However Ardingly were the only two entries in the doubles, so the organisers suggested we tried Elite quads. So the morning race saw Ardingly racing a Molesey quad containing the Searle brothers, London RC and a top junior quad. Getting away well and in a good position, Tom settled to a solid rating in the middle of the race. Over the full 2000m the class of some of the other crews started to tell but everybody was quite pleased with the eventual position of 4th ahead of Combined Services and Staines.

In the afternoon racing in Senior 2 quads, the crew just failed to capture the early speed seen in the morning and had to work very hard to claw their way through to fourth.

Overall this was seen a solid beginning to the crews aim to be the first Ardingly crew to enter Henley.
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2 wins at Chiswick regatta 3rd May With the top four due to race at Wallingford on Sunday the rest of the squad travelled up to the tideway to race for the first time at Chiswick regatta. Janet was none to sure about braving the tideway in a single to race in womens novice, but after a row-over found herself in a 3 boat final. Here she performed well to come second and gain some confidence for later in the season. Jess and Chloe had two King's School Canterbury doubles to race in the semi-final of Womens Junior doubles. At half way they were clear water down on one and clear water ahead of the other King's double, they then produced a storming second half to relentlessly cut back the lead eventually losing by just 4 feet.

Pete and Richard were entered in Senior 4 doubles and had an equally close race against Tideway Scullers in the semi, but this time Ardingly won by 4feet. In the final in much better conditions, against Furnivall from Hammermith, they managed too clear their opposition at half way and go on to win by two and a half lengths. This win lost Richard his novice status and earned them both a point.

Pete wasn't finished, as he still had to race Tideway Scullers in the straight final of Veteran C quads. Knowing that any TSS crew on their home stretch are going to be difficult to beat our quad (who have all learnt to scull at Ardingly in the last three years) went very hard off the start. In the middle of the course Ardingly started to creep ahead and eventually just cleared scullers before the finish line.

The winning quad was ; David Avery, Pete, David Phillips and Jon.

The squad enjoyed their trip to the big city and Richard seemed quite pleased with his pot and point.
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Heads of the River Race or Mission Impossible The challenge was to race an Ardingly RC eight in the mens Head of the River Race for the first time.

To be fair there were a few slight problems with this plan;
  • Out of thirteen squad members, ten are veterans and five have never tried sweep before (having learnt to scull at Ardingly)
  • The squad has never entered a sweep event before
  • We dont have an eight to race in or practise in
  • We only have 4 blades
  • We dont have a cox
  • Nearly all the people who had rowed before, said they were strokeside
Not being one for moaning and excuses, Mostyn declared it a grand idea !! and he set the target to finish in the top half of the race.

So after Christmas we re-rigged the quad as a coxless four and boated a sweep crew most Saturdays and Sundays (with the younger four and the veterans alternating) With some people starting from scratch and others changing sides, some of the earlier outings were..................agricultural (thus blending in nicely with the rural countryside on the hilly banks of our reservoir).

In the meantime negotiations were going on to get a boat, blades and cox for the big day. With an average of nine outings in the four, for each crew member, and a boat and blades secured form University of London Tyrian Club, Richard came up trumps when he signed up Lois from Curlew as our new club first eight cox. The Sunday before six of the crew (well of course two people couldnt make it), travelled up to UL and met with Lois for the first time. This gave those who had never been in an eight a feel for how different it felt to the four, and the outing went surprisingly well.

So the big day arrived and thankfully the weather was nice, as the full crew boated for the first time and slipped downstream to Barnes to their marshalling position. Starting at 266th means you have to wait for nearly an hour before your division paddles up towards the start at Chiswick Bridge. Given the "preparation" the plan was to keep the rating very steady, to keep everybody comfortable, and see if the crew could get stronger as it went down the course. Watching the top 100 or so crews power past the aim of finishing top half looked very ambitious, but the crew settled into a solid rating of 30 and looked well together as they shot Barnes Bridge to the cheers of their supporters. Keeping the rate constant Ardingly started to hold the three way battle, between higher rating crews, behind them and overtook their first crew at Chiswick steps. Lois was steering well and at Harrods they passed a second crew and were moving away from the crews behind. In the final mile Tom started to build the race as the crew chased , and caught on the finish line the students from Royal Holloway College.

The crew was happy on the long row back to UL, as the younger stern four had rowed well and had been ably supported by the veteran bow four, to produce the best row they were capable of on the day (thanks in no small part to the experienced coxing of Lois).

BUT.................. was it enough to finish above half way and beat 205 other crews (410 crews finished this year). The final results showed the crew had done it with only 3 seconds to spare and 9 places finishing 196th in a time of 19:54.57.This put them 44th out 97 in Senior 3 and perhaps most significantly 28th out of 76 crews in the Jackson trophy (for crews that dont row on the Thames). Looking down the list of 214 crews that finished behind Ardingly, there are some well known clubs and university crews that would probably like to remain anonymous if they ever read this !!

You can see video (in the gallery) of the crew going through Barnes Bridge (remember we are using Tyrians blades so they are half white, half purple)

The first Ardingly Rowing Club crew to race in the HORR was
Bow Slavo Radosevic, 2 David Phillips, 3 Jon Carter, 4 David Avery, 5 Paul Abbott, 6 Alex Dombrowe, 7 David Law, Str Tom Bloomfield, cox Lois Birrell
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February Heads, 2 races / 3 crews / 3 wins At last we had the chance to race in quads when the Thames slowed down enough for The Molesey Veterans Head and the Burway Head to go ahead on two successive weekends. With Burway running as two divisions we had the chance to race three different crews.

First to race on Sunday the 10th, were the veterans at Molesey. Entered as Veteran C, David A, David P, Jon and Slavo were racing against Staines (who as Veteran B needed to go 15 seconds quicker to beat Ardingly). Chasing Staines, who went off rating high, Slavo set up a solid rhythm at just under the planned rating. This gave the crew the chance to push on in the second half of the race and close back up on Staines. Despite the big gap Mostyn estimated that Ardingly had closed very slightly and thus with the handicap the win must be in the bag. The final times showed Ardingly to be a straight 5 seconds quicker than Staines (with no need to even use the handicap). The crew was pleased to have beaten about two thirds of the eights that raced, finishing 10th overall as fastest quad or four. It took just a week to get hold of the winners shield (but thats another story).
10th overall, Fastest quad or four, winners of Veteran B/C quads, time 9:36.

At Burway we took 7 people to race in senior 3 and senior 4 quads, with David L steering from bow both times. Like the veterans the week before this race gave the opportunity to not only go for a win, but also knock off as many eights as possible. In the first division the senior 3 crew of David L, Paul, Alex and Tom led off the quads and fours just behind some women's novice eights. David steered neatly round these moving obstacles and the crew looked powerful and together right down the course, opening a huge gap on the crews behind. The senior 4 quad in the second division was David L, David P, Pete and Richard, with only one previous outing together. Rating a little lower than planned they were moving well until one of the womens eight coxes proved one obstacle too many, and the crew had to stop for a few strokes. This setback fired them up and they raced more aggressively over the second half of the course.

The results showed both quads had won their status events, with the first quad winning pots for being fastest quad overall, but most pleasingly beating all but two eights. (Based on our times for five of the quads the organisers appeared to have got the senior 4 crews time wrong by 10 secs, but as they had still won senior 4 we didn't wait to query it).
3rd overall, Fastest quad or four, winners of Senior 3 quads, time 9:49
11th overall, 4th in quads or fours, winners of senior 4 quads, time 10:08 (corrected result for 10 sec timing error, but not for stopping that's just head racing)

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The Fours Head November 3rd and The Veterans Fours Head November 4th 2007 Our second chance to enter a higher standard event this Autumn was the fours head. This is raced on the tideway again, but over the full championship course (Mortlake to Putney).All the top clubs enter as its a chance to compete against the GB national squad and boat race candidates, so this was going to be quite a baptism of fire. The plan, with only one suitable boat, was to race our best quad in the main head on Saturday and then our best four veterans in the Veterans fours head on Sunday.

As winning was not a realistic option at this level of event, Mostyn set the two crews challenging targets which were top 100 (out of an expected 550 crews) in the main head and top 15 in the Veterans head.

So early on Saturday morning David Law, Paul Abbott, Alex Dombrowe and Tom Bloomfield pushed off from the UL boathouse in almost perfect conditions to became the first Ardingly crew to race at the fours head. Tom took the crew over at a controlled rate of 30 and the quad looked solid coming through Barnes Bridge. Learning from his pairs head experience David steered the first half like an old tideway hand. Despite the length of the course (4.25 miles), as the quad passed Fulham football ground they started to push for the line and they came past the Putney boathouses sculling strongly.

We knew it had been a solid performance but with so many good crews racing would Ardingly make the top 100. The final results were listed on 15 pages but you only had to go to the bottom of page 2 to find Ardingly in 61st position (time 20:17).

Could the veteran C quad of Keith Crawford, David Avery, Jon Carter and Slavo Radosevic follow this and hit their target. Slavo followed his instructions to the letter (no comment Ed.) and the crew pushed along at 31 all the way. Conditions were again ideal, but with a more varied standard, Keith had to perform far more overtaking manoeuvres than David had the day before. The new tideway buoys were obviously a bit of a surprise for Keith, but the crew coped well with the distractions and like the day before were still sculling strongly at Putney. The crew and coach were pleased with the performance and the results showed that they had beaten the target by 1 place, finishing 14th out of 119 crews (time 21:21).

With both crews "stepping up to the plate" at such a high level this was an encouraging start to the season. Unfortunately out next two events, Kingston and Burway, were both cancelled because of high river flows, so we didnt get the chance to add to the Weybridge wins
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Weybridge Silver sculls - 20th October 2007 This was the first autumn head race where we planned full squad attendance, and as some of them juniors and women were also racing, it was a very heavily loaded trailer that Jon and his truck hauled up the M23. Eleven squad members raced, with all racing at least once in doubles, and the bravest four also racing in singles.

David Law and Alex were due to race twice in their double going in the first division as senior 2 and in third division as senior 3. Tom had two different partners to contend with and we had three veteran doubles racing in three different age categories.

The stream was running surprisingly fast, but in bright un-seasonal sunshine a Weybridge crew led off the first division. David and Alex starting second managed to pass them before Walton bridge and had a clear run home at the front of the race. Behind them Sebastian and Tom (having swapped positions since the pairs head) were moving away from the crew behind them and trying to take some distance off Weybridge. The third double of David Avery and Jon looked solid but maybe not quite racy enough. Whilst further back Bob and Guy were going well, in Guys first race for about 35 years.

Only Pete went in the second division and he took the solid low rating approach to new levels, but it gave him a chance to practise his steering ready for his double.

In the third division David and Alex again started second and knew they had to beat Sebastian and Tom's time to win senior 3. With a good junior crew from Lea/Royal Docks in front of them they couldn't overtake this time, but had closed visibly by the end. Pete and Tom were forced , by the marshals, at the last moment to go through the centre arch at the bridge and then ended up stopping and losing time. Our final double was David Phillips and Slavo who attacked the course well and overtook the Guildford double who started in front of them.

Finally in division four Jon, like last year, showed how to race the course in a single. Sebastian in his first head race in a single, gave the course length a bit too much respect and like Pete before him could have done better with a higher rating. Whilst Bob, through absolutely no fault of his own, spent quite some time at Walton bridge interlocked with a Weybridge sculler (who you would have thought would know how to get through the bridge by now).

Check the junior section for other news, but.........................Jess and Chloe raced twice and showed their higher levels of fitness and guts when they rowed down a Weybridge double in the last three minutes of their second race. Unfortunately their times dont reflect this, as again Walton bridge had taken its toll on their second row. The best junior performance from Ardingly must go to Nicole and Anji who were only 10 seconds behind the winners of their event.

The final results showed two wins for Ardingly as David and Alex had won both Senior 3 and Senior 2, posting the 2nd and 5th fastest times of the whole day.

Results
Double sculls (120 doubles raced overall)
2nd David and Alex 13:54 Senior 2 winners
5th David and Alex 14:04 Senior 3 winners
13th Sebastian and Tom 14:25 (2nd in S3)
20th Pete and Tom 14:48
30th David and Jon 15:18
35th David and Slavo 15:23 (2nd in Vet D)
53rd Bob and Guy 16:41 (only Vet E, so 1st)

Single sculls (241 singles raced overall)
47th Jon 16:34
53rd Sebastian 16:39
105th Pete 17:32
159th Bob 19:04
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Pairs Head of the River Race - October 6th 2007 At the "start of season squad meeting" we agreed on a strategy where the top people would be racing at higher standard events this year. The first chance to do this was the pairs head on the tideway between Chiswick and Hammersmith bridges, so we entered three doubles in senior 3 and a veteran D double. Although only a few national team members race at this event, top club doubles and pairs from all over the country normally travel to London for the pairs head. Therefore, with an expected overall entry of nearly 400 of which over half would be doubles, the target was top 30, top 50 and top 70, with the veteran double trying to defend its title from last year.

Sadly Slavo was struck down ill and he and Keith had to withdraw form Vet. D doubles, but the good news was that there was no obvious front runner in the senior 3 entries. David Law and Alex were expected to be fastest of the Ardingly crews and raced well round the first Middlesex bend. In the second half they carried on attacking but David, on admitidly his first ever view of the tideway, kept too close to Surrey and thus out of the fastest stream. With all the senior 3 doubles starting together we could tell it was going to be tight between Ardingly, Nottingham and Tideway Scullers, but suspected that the other two had taken about a length off us.

Jon and Paul were racing here for the second year and produced a good row and course, to out perform what they'd been doing back at the reservoir. Whilst Tom and Sebastian, who had been faster than Jon and Paul in training the previous weekend, were a little disappointed with their row, but gained valuable experience of the tideway and a big race.

The final results showed that the senior 3 winners Nottingham, with a time of 13:15, were only 3 seconds quicker than David and Alex, but that our doubles had achieved the overall target with 23rd , 50th and 66th out of the 222 double sculls that finished..

David and Alex 23rd 13:18
Jon and Paul 50th 13:35
Tom and Sebastian 66th 13:45.
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QUICK REPORT LINKS
Richmond
28 June
Henley Qualifiers
27 June
Marlow
22 June
National Veterans
15 June
Peterborough regatta
07 June
Metropolitan regatta
31 May & 01 June
Twickenham regatta
25 May
Wallingford regatta
04 May
Chiswick regatta
03 May
Heads of the River Race
February Heads
Fours Head
03/04 November
Weybridge Silver Sculls
20 October
Pairs Head of the River Race
06 October