Regatta Online - News
Issue 106 - March 1998
Super scullers or just a trick of the tide?
Does the tide really matter, or have we had some amazing 'up and coming
scullers' in recent years? Mike Rosewell investigates
Roy Dauncey, the press organiser of the Scullers Head, tells me that the event this year will start on April 4 at the rather unsociable hour of 9.30 am. This will mean a very early night, and early start, for over 400 young ladies and gentlemen. The decision of the early start is based upon 'the state of the tide', since members of Vesta RC are not masochists by nature.
I wonder if results in recent years, also provided by Roy, might indicate that we could all have had an extra hour in bed because there have been some remarkable times recorded by 'late starters' in the past few years, such as:
- 1994. Peter Haining won in 19m 53s.
Thirty scullers came home within a minute of him, some of them from lowly places. Kalizan (Thames-Sen.3), went from 232 to 12th, Wild (I.C.-Nov.) went from 316 to 18th, Kettle (I.C.-Nov.) came up from 289 to 23rd, and Lee (Walton- Junior B) produced a scull which took him from 322 to 27th.
- 1995. Niall O'Toole won in 22m 16s.
Nineteen scullers were within a minute of him. Again some came from lowly starting places such as Smith (Leander-Sen 3), 241 to 8th, Bullas (Gravesend-Open), 456 to 11th, Simpson (London- Sen.3), 238 to 14th, and Faultless (UL Tyrian) from 205 to 18th.
- 1996. Peter Haining won (21m.49s.).
Twelve competitors were within a minute of him and Kettle that Novice climber in 1994, was second, 15 seconds behind. The main high flyer was Greenaway of Kingston finishing 5th from 265.
- 1997. Martin Kettle won in 20m 31s.
Thirty scullers finished within the magical minute. The outstanding low starters were DiLuzio (Mortlake Anglian-Junior), 301 to 10th, Westerling (Leander-Sen 3), 233 to 19th, Nolan (UL-Nov), 281 to 22nd, and Thompson (Royal Chester-Sen 3), 228 to 25th.
As far as I can remember, there were no exceptional circumstances with the tide over these years so the low starters must have really done their stuff, unlike some of us in 1961 when the first 60 or so competitors went off with the tide against them. Those starting after that all did exceptionally well. It was my debut year and I went from 96th to 29th. A Nottingham University student, Kevin Smith, started two behind me and won it! The Almanack called it a 'controversial' race. I was happy, since my father chipped in towards a new sculling boat for me.
© Copyright Mike Rosewell, 1997.
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