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ROWING: Houghton takes a rare ducking
4:43pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Sport
The Tideway has not been a happy place for local crews in the past week, writes Mike Rosewell.
The Pairs Head, with an entry of 476 pairs and doubles last Sunday racing from Chiswick to Hammersmith, did not produce any overall division winners for any local clubs.
There was also no joy for local star Frances Houghton, a veteran of four Olympics, who suffered a rare indignity in the Wingfield Sculls, a race for the Championship of the Thames.
Six scullers lined up for the race over the 4 ¼ mile Boat Race course, all internationals including Houghton’s former GB partners Beth Rodford, the 201212 champion, and her current doubles partner Vicki Meyer-Laker.
Two abreast for eights with coxes in the Boat Race causes steering issues – six scullers abreast clearly increases the problems.
Houghton, who began her sculling at Dragon School, Oxford, and boasts two Olympic silver medals and a four- times world champion, led from the start.
She was just one second outside the record at the Mile before disaster struck. With the opponents chasing hard, she hit a navigation buoy and ended up capsizing.
“It was the first time I have fallen in since I was 14,” she said “At least I quit while I was ahead. “I was struggling when I fell in, but I would like to do it again.”
Imogen Walsh, from Glasgow, won the race.