Amateur Championship of the Thames
Putney to Mortlake
25 October 2018
Leander’s Ruth Siddorn became this year’s winner of the Wingfield Sculls for women last week when she beat Meghann Jackson of London Rowing Club in the 4 ¼ mile race from Putney to Mortlake.
Siddorn, who won the Women’s Boat Race with Oxford two years ago, moved to Leander to further her career and was selected as the GB sculler earlier this year at the U23 World Championships in Poland.
But it was Jackson, a former Canadian lightweight, who got the fastest start, punching in 40 strokes a minute and leading Siddorn by a length as they passed the Putney boathouses.
By the end of the Fulham Wall Siddorn’s rhythm and length began to show and she closed the gap to half a length at the Black Buoy before taking the lead past Barn Elms. Sculling at a steady 26 strokes a minute last Hammersmith she was able to eke out a further lead, and despite Jackson putting a finishing burst at Barnes Siddorn took the win by 38 seconds.
The men’s race saw a return to form for Charles Cousins, the former Leander athlete who raced the the GB men’s quad at London 2012. A back problem ruled him out of Rio 2016, but he is now racing for Abingdon School, where he coaches, and is hoping to get back into the team in time for Tokyo 2020.
Sculling at a lower rate than the opposition Cousins dug in and got his nose ahead straight away, followed off the start by Molesey’s Ashley Cowley, with GB lightweight Jamie Copus and Molesey’s Sam Tuck level for third. A minor hiccup at the Mile saw Cousins lurch to on side as his blade struck some driftwood, but he remained clear of the chasing pack, and went on to win by 18 seconds ahead of Copus, with Tuck in third.