Furnival Sculling Club

Furnivall Sculling ClubRowing club based in Hammersmith, London. Established 1896

Race report: Furnivall retains the Dewar Shield 2013

Wednesday, 27th February 2013

The annual grudge match between local (but friendly) Hammersmith arch rivals Auriol Kensington, Furnivall Sculling Club and Sons of the Thames took place on Saturday 9 February and was a race much anticipated by all three clubs.

The event is the litmus test to demonstrating who the best club in Hammersmith really is; and enough to get the competitive juices flowing at the beginning of the season – if only just to prove a point!

Following last year’s debacle when the (then) Sons Captain made a call not to take part in the Dewar Shield race due to snow on the pontoon, this year’s race was Sons quest to show their domination on the water and for AK to demonstrate their recent intake of 2012 novices has paid off. All clubs were determined to win back the shield; and as defending champions, we knew it.

This year’s race was not without its drama

Not without controversy, this year’s event nearly did not happen. A few days before the race there were rumors of a last minute race being organised by a school involving 60 crews from competitors in the cancelled Hampton Head. They were said to be planning their race at the same time as our race. Potential disaster loomed!

It took a lot of emails, phone calls and sleuth like detective work for our Club Captain to discover the source of the rumors which turned out to be true. Sara contacted the powers that be at the PLA and Thames Regional Rowing Council to negotiate a compromise start time and thankfully the race was saved. But whilst all this was happening, AK’s Captain lost patience and announced to his club that the race was off and they were no longer hosting the event! At this stage Furnivall and Sons did not want a repeat of last year so agreed to continue with the race and thankfully we were all delighted that AK did, in the end, also turn up to race, determined to take part.

20 VIII’s in total entered for Dewar Shield, 11 men’s and nine women’s crews. Six from Auriol Kensington, eight from Sons of the Thames (including a mixed crew) and seven from Furnivall.

More drama was yet to come

The race was to start at 15:00 but was delayed… Supporters at the White Heart pub spotted a major incident ahead of the race and were able to warn our marshals. A children’s Octuple in the previous race was caught broadside to Barnes Bridge and had snapped! This resulted in a hand and butt numbing cold and delayed start for our competitors. We are all glad that no one was hurt of course thanks to the RNLI and PLA who fished them all out to safety and quickly, peeling off the damaged boat off the bridge and enabling us all to race safely.

Furnivall winner of Dewar Shield 2013

Furnivall won with 50 points, with Sons of The Thames one behind on 49 points – it was close and testament to the two clubs. Our women’s crews came in first (12:25.39), second (12:38.34) and fourth (12:46.25). Sons M1 was the fastest men’s crew of the day (11:13.96). They were followed by AK and Sons’ M2 and Furnivall took 4th place (11:46.94).



“It is a proud moment” said women’s coach Steve Albrecht “that we all helped retain the Dewar Shield by a single point. The women’s Novice B truly played their part as without their point we would not have won outright. It was good and invaluable experience gained by all crews. I was pleased overall with the women’s result and we gained useful information/data about ourselves and the local clubs”.

We are immensely proud of all the crews that raced, especially our two masters crews; our ‘old boys’ and ‘old girls’ who came out to play to show them all how it’s done. The ‘old girls’ stole the show with the fastest women’s time, beating some of the men’s crews. Our two novice women’s boats had never raced before. A special mention is due to our W.NovB crew who only started rowing in October – Dr Furnivall, founder of women’s rowing, would have been very proud of you indeed!

Dewar Shield to enter annual events calendar

The event is a true demonstration of the strength of the three Hammersmith clubs. There were a total of 20 coxes, 160 competitors, four safety launch marshals and six timing marshals. The Port of London Authority have requested that this event in the future be listed on the annual events calendar.

Thank you

Furnivall will retain the Dewar Shield for yet another year. Big thanks to our Captain Sara Nanayakkara and AK's Kate Rennoldson for making the event happen. Also to Sons Stephen Baldwin for getting Sons out in full force and to their new Captain Tony Brown who was coxing and who came along after to share a drink and congratulate the winning club. Thank you also to our coaches, our amazing coxes without whom the race would never have happened. And as always, thank you to the cake bakers, bar servers, bar drinkers, the supporters on the balconies, bridges and along the course - and the medal makers!

More write ups

W.NOVB HELP WIN DEWAR SHIED, by Victoria (Vic) in Women’s NovB squad


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