Furnival Sculling Club

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

Race report: Peterborough Summer Regatta, 10 & 11 August 2013

Monday, 12th August 2013

Furnivall were transported up the A1 for the weekend of 10th and 11th August to solely think-rowing, sleep-rowing and eat burgers. We had over 30 rowers and coxes competing, with our lovely supporters keeping Camp Furnivall (wo)manned while we were out demonstrating how rowing should be done.

The weekend started very early for our women's novice IV (Emma, Vic, Rachel, Meri R and cox Kate W) who were on the 6:15 train from King's Cross for one of the first races of the day. Despite the early start they put in a great performance to come second in their heat and make it through to the repechage.

We also had men’s and women’s coxed IVs competing at IM3 level. Craig, Dan, David, Jonathan (coxed by Scot) and the Richmond-winners Roma, Paulina, Cathryn, Tania (with Ben) took the water just after 10 a.m. Unfortunately they were not to progress beyond the heats, so it was back to Camp Furnivall to take stock before the afternoon races.

Only an hour later, the ladies’ IM3 IV+ was joined by Sarah, Fran, Liz and Tania to take to the water in the VIII. With only two other crews in their heat (Tideway-neighbours Thames and City of Cambridge), coming first or second would mean a place in the final or repechage respectively. However, Furnivall were determined to get the automatic place in the final. They indeed executed a perfect race plan, keeping with City of Cambridge until 100 metres to the line, and then winding the rate up to cross the line one length ahead. Footage of the entire race as seen from City of Cambridge's bows is available below, thanks to John Walley:


Winning novices

This race was immediately followed by a heat of the men’s novice IV+ event in which Angelo, Brian, Rob, Will and Scot were up against crews from Lea, Milton Keynes and Bristol. Furnivall truly wowed the crowds, going over the line lengths ahead of the other three boats, looking more like an IM2 crew than a novice crew. The guys were clearly on for an excellent day’s racing!

Fiona and Sarah were next up in their first race together, in the novice double sculls. After taking the decision to connect their rudder up, they quickly learnt that double sculls and rudders are not happy companions. Feeling distinctly like a pinball stuck between rows of buoys, the girls had all but given up hope of progressing through to the final and even went so far to declare an “epic fail” after a couple of hundred metres. They therefore met the overtaking of Parrs Priory with disbelief quickly followed by relief that they’d still make it through to the final albeit by travelling approximately double the intended distance in the process.

Meanwhile, Camp Furnivall were looking forward to seeing the men’s novice IV+ again, who duly delivered the goods by winning their semi-final with lengths to spare. Alas, the women’s novice IV+ did not fair quite so well in their 3 p.m. repechage. They crossed the line in third place but had done extremely well in progressing that far and they were welcomed back to the Camp with many congratulations.

Finals time

The first of three finals for Furnivall commenced at shortly after 5 p.m. with the men’s novice IV+. Having already created quite a name for themselves by cruising through the heats and semis, our chaps must have been confident whilst lining up on the stakeboats. It was therefore no surprise when the chaps came past the Furnivall supports lengths ahead of the other three crews. The loss of their novice statuses was met with much whooping and cheering in Camp Furnivall!

The women’s IM3 VIII and novice 2x who’d made it through to their finals were unfortunately not able to claim any titles, finishing fourth and second respectively. However, they were both pleased with their performance on the whole and were happy to retire to the pub-at-the-end-of-the-lake for dinner and jugs of Pimm’s!

Sunday sprints

Sunday started promisingly, with no obvious signs of boat-joyriding having occurred during the night’s festivities. Furthermore, all competitors were looking forward to the excitement of some 500-metre four-lane sprints. A back problem for Craig meant that Rod was drafted in to fill his seat. And so it was that the men’s coxed fours were up first. Furnivall were proud to be fielding two crews at this level, following the promotion of Angelo, Brian, Rob and Will from novice status. Both crews made it through to their semi-finals and then, later, through to the final due at 4:30 p.m.

The girls’ IM3 IV+ were up next at 9:30. Alas they were overpowered by strong crews from Bristol Ariel and Milton Keynes and so retired to Camp Furnivall for second breakfasts. Meanwhile Fiona and Sarah, having ditched that pesky rudder, had an easy victory in the novice 2x.

The VIIIs were next on the water. The girls won a closely-fought heat by a mere 0.2 seconds although the guys made lighter work of it with an “easy” verdict, leaving the Furnivall supporters hoping for a repeat of the previous day’s success for the novice IV+. Lo-and-behold, in one of the first finals of the day the VIII claimed yet more pots for the men’s squad!

The other Furnivall crews to make the finals (the women’s VIII, women’s 2x and men’s coxed fours) alas weren’t able to get their hands on these particular pieces of silverware. However, all retired to Camp Furnivall happy in the knowledge that half of each squad contained members who’d learnt to row at Furnivall merely a year ago.



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