ROWING: Abingdon and Headington bask in double glory

8:00am Friday 30th May 2014

Abingdon School and Headington rowers celebrated remarkable doubles when they both retained the eights titles at Nottingham, writes Mike Rosewell.

The Abingdon coach Dave Currie, a former Great Britain international and Henley winner, said of their Queen Mother Cup win: “We had not had a good run into it, but the boys had motivation and patience.”

His delight was matched by that of Ryan Demaine, the Headington rowing supremo,whose girls had done him proud and defended their women’s Championship eights crown with more than ten seconds to spare.

Demaine thought this girl’s eight were “a very exceptional unit.”

That, however, was not the end of the story for Abingdon and Headington.

With their younger crews, Abingdon also won silver in the second eights event.

In all, Headington won four golds, four silvers and one bronze medal. Danielle Semple triumphed in the J15 single sculls event.

Other victories came in the second eights and the J15 coxed quad sculls.

Meanwhile, St Edwards Oxford’s first eight, tipped for a top-three place in the Championship eights, suffered a big blow.

Teddies were on the way to the start of their first race when their stroke, Olly Knight suffered rib pain and could not go on.

Knight, one of Britain’s top juniors, was replaced by Charlie Smith, their second eight stroke, who had never rowed in the first crew.

Getting used to each other, the new combination got through the qualifier and won their semi-final.

But the final was a bridge too far and they finished fourth, with Radley College, also qualifiers, two places behind them.

Radley did win the J14 quads and the J15 eights and took a further silver.

City of Oxford duo Robert Crowther and Will Rogers won the J15 doubles.

Hinksey, a club on the up, took a bronze in the J16 girls eights.

Wallingford RC’s top J16 quad scull of Tim Waller, Alex Lyons, David Wilcox and Henry Edwards won the silver medal, missing out on the gold by less than three feet.

And the club’s Champion-ship girls double scull of Katie Metalli and Alice Walker got a creditable fourth.

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