ROWING: Success for young rowers

News from Hollowell Rowing Club

Junior rowers from local club, Hollowell Scullers, had a great day at the recent Head-of-the-River race at Bedford. The event is a time trial that attracted 300 boats, and Hollowell's under-16 boys recorded the 4th fastest time of the day, 6:57, ahead of all the seniors. The under-18 boys were close behind with the 7th fastest time, 7:11.

The under-16 quadruple sculling team (that's four rowers and eight oars) included Pierre Scrase at stroke, who sets the pace, backed-up by Adam Hughes and Chris Mitchell in the engine room, whilst James Rudkin has the added challenge of rowing and steering at the same time– whilst going backwards! These fast boats are steered, using a wire attached to the rowing shoe and connected to the rudder.

The under-18 boys were represented by James Webb from Flore, Pierre Scrase from Buckingham, Tim Mitchell and Michael Hawes.

In under-17 single sculls, Time Mitchell was eased into 2nd place in his age group by just 3 seconds, in a time of 7:53.

James Rudkin from Litchborough, finished 3rd in under-16 single sculls in 8:01. Earlier in the Summer he finished 9th in his age group at the National Championships of Great Britain.

James Webb was 8th in Novice single sculls. Andrew Rudkin put in 7:50 to add the veteran event here to the single sculls title he won at the international Henley Veteran Regatta in the summer.

Many congratulations to our young competitors Sofia Bright from Rugby and Harry Webb from Flore. At 11 years old they were the youngest competitors at the event. They braved the appalling weather at midday, negotiated the notorious Bedford course, with its series of tricky bridges and were awarded the prize for under-12 double sculls.

Sofia and Harry have taken up rowing this year at Hollowell Reservoir, near Guilsborough. They have been enthusiastically supported by their dads, Andrew and Adam, who have driven the safety boat and been supported by the sailors of Hollowell Sailing Club, who have welcomed the rowers to their club. Sofia and Harry are keen to hear from other local youngsters who would like to try the sport too.

The club is very new, only formed last year, but has already enjoyed considerable success recording 7 regatta wins in 2008. This year the tally is 14, with the Hollowell Scullers enjoying their best ever result at Warwick Regatta, scooping an amazing 5 wins on a single day, making the club one of the most successful there.

Our under-14 sculler Max Marston from Wappenham might well have added to this, had he not been asked to race up a year group. He still gave the National Champion from Stratford a very close race. Max has been sculling since he was 10 and has already won a gold medal at Dorney Lake, the Olympic rowing venue, so we expect great things from him in the coming year.

The older juniors have their sights set high too. In the summer they took part in the qualifying race for the under-19 event at Henley Royal Regatta – the most famous rowing regatta in the world. The boys had the privilege of being started by Sir Stephen Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent – 5-times and 4-times Olympic Champions, respectively.

This year they aim to achieve the qualifying time and move on to the knock-out stages of the competition. In preparation they will be racing at the Eastern region trials at Peterborough in January. Last year James Rudkin was selected for Team East at the Inter-Regional Championships. This time we are hoping that more of the Hollowell Scullers will be selected to represent the East of England. If all goes well the boys intend to trial for the Great Britain under-16 team in June.

If you would like to try rowing, contact Andrew Rudkin on 07973 263 245 ( or visit the club's website – The club is affiliated to British Rowing, the sport's governing body – Rowing is a very popular sport for girls as well as boys, men and women – so give it a try!


Hollowell's under-16 boys racing in quadruple sculls