Thursday 27th October will see both champions return to defend their title Champion of the Thames after medalling at this summer’s World Championships.
This is the 171st race for the pair of silver sculls presented by Henry C Wingfield “to be held by the best” as long as they agreed to race on his birthday 10th August “for ever”, predating the boat race on the Tideway.
The events are organised by a committee consisting of the former champions, who meet each year to arrange the races and appoint an umpire from among their ranks.
This year’s championship represents a direct link between London’s long sporting heritage and next summer’s home Olympic Games. Both our champions and four of their challengers were at this summer’s World Championships in Bled. All of our challengers are contending for places in the Olympic team. The umpire, Elise Sherwell, a former champion, medalled at the last two Olympic Games. Of the thirty five champions since the second world war, twenty two have been to the Olympics and thirteen have medalled.
In recognition of London and the City’s support for sport and link with next year’s games, the Wingfield Family Society have invited the Lord Mayor of London elect David Wootton to attend this year’s races and present the trophies. We are grateful to the PLA and the Tideway rowing clubs for their support of the event.
12.15 – Women’s Wingfields Anna Watkins retained her World title this summer and established her double scull as one of GB rowing’s top crews for London 2012. She is looking to retain her position as Champion of Thames. Beth has established herself amongst the top scullers, World Champion in the quad in 2010, this summer they qualified for the 2012 Olympics. Ro Bradbury competed at the senior Worlds whilst still an U23 in 2009, was spare this summer and raced at the European Championships. The first WARA Championship was raced in 1927 over the full Tideway championship course and revived under the Wingfields banner in 2007 following support by the Wingfield Family Society. The last champion to win a hat trick on the Tideway was Margaret Gladden, she held the title from 1966-1971.
1.15 – Wingfield Sculls Alan Campbell is the first Briton to medal in the single scull on the World stage, this summer he won another bronze medal at the World Championships. Tom Solesbury went to the last Olympics as a rower, over this Olympiad he has converted to sculling and qualified the quad scull for next year’s Olympics. Adam Freeman-Pask was the lightweight single at the World Championships and he last challenged for the Wingfields in 2008. Henry Pelly sculled for GB at U23s and this summer at European Championships, he has also been president of CUBC. Alan Sinclair has expressed an interest in challenging before, his victory in the Prince of Wales at HRR this summer has qualified him but his entry relies on him finishing in the top two scullers at the GB trials. Alan became the 85th Champion of the Thames in 2006, he has won three times but this year will be his hat trick if he retains his title.
Draw for the Women’s Wingfields – start time 12.15pm:
Surrey: Beth Rodford (Gloucester)
3: Anna Watkins (Leander)
Middlesex: Rosamund Bradbury (Leander)
Umpire E|lise Sherwell (Champion 2007), Aligner Tony Larkman (Thames)
Record Times: Mile Post 4.46 (A.Watkins 2010), Hammersmith 8.29 (A.Watkins 2010), Chiswick Bridge 13.30 (E.Laverick 2007), Barnes Bridge 18.11 (E.Laverick 2007), Finish 21.53 (E.Laverick 2007)Wingfield Sculls – start time 1.15pm:Surrey: Henry Pelly (London)
2: Tom Solesbury (Leander)
3: Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers’ School)
4: Alan Sinclair (Leander)
Middlesex: Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial)
Umpire Ellise Sherwell (Champion 2007) and Aligner Phil Bourguignon (London)Record Times: Mile post 4.12 (M.W.Wells 2005) Hammersmith 7.32 (M.W.Wells 2005) Chiswick Steps 12.21 (R.Henderson 1990) Barnes Bridge 16.45 (I.J.Lawson 2003) Finish 19.58 (P.M.Haining 1994)
The umpire’s briefing for everyone will take place at 11.30am outside London Rowing Club. There will be a following launch for the press. Tickets should be booked with the Hon. Secretary, cost £40. For those wishing to avoid driving to Putney a launches will collect ticket holders from Tideway Scullers’ School boathouse (northside of Chiswick bridge) at 10.45am. The presentation will take place after the race at Tideway Scullers.