Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham
22-23 October 2016
Olympic silver medallist Karen Bennett was back on the podium last weekend as part of a victorious Leander women’s eight at the British Senior Championships in Nottingham.
“Obviously it was massively different from Rio in terms of scenery but it was really fun racing with the girls, they are all up-and-coming and really talented,” said Bennett after her race.
Leander once again won the victor ludorum title for most successful club overall after wins in men’s doubles, men’s eights, and both the men’s and women’s quads.
Despite Oxford Brookes boating nine crews in the men’s eights they had to settle for silver behind Leander A crew who set a new regatta record of 5:36.50 over the 2000m course.
“Oxford Brookes are always big rivals of ours and we push each other on during the season, so it’s nice to get one over on them this time but I am sure they will be back,” said the Leander 7 man, Tim Clarke.
Leander’s Jess Leyden and Holly Nixon both won gold at this year’s combined Senior and U23 World Championships in Rotterdam, and on Sunday they claimed another victory in women’s quads, teaming up with Lucy Burgess and Emily Carmichael to win by clear water in the final.
“I always like coming to the British Championships and representing my club, it’s really fun,” said Leyden. “I love competing and it helps make this time of year a bit more interesting.”
The men’s quads final came down to a battle between Leander’s openweight and lightweight crews, with lightweights Ed Fisher, Charles Waite-Roberts, Jonathan Jackson and Samuel Mottram coming out on top.“That was a really enjoyable race and it went as we wanted it,” said Waite-Roberts. “Tail-wind conditions are always going to be a bit scrappy but I was really pleased with how we composed ourselves.
In men’s fours Oxford University Boat Club broke a 26-year-old record as they held off a strong challenge from Leander to win gold in 6:03.17.
The men’s doubles were dominated by Leander’s Nick Middleton and Tom Barras, who took gold ahead of club colleagues Harry Leask and Andy Joel, the top U23 crew.
“It was great to row with Tom, he’s a new guy into the GB squad but obviously one with great promise for the future” said Middleton.
Barras, who represented GB in the U23 singles this year, said: “It was brilliant to row with Nick – he’s been to World Cups and won this competition before, so he knows what to do.