Tim Koch writes:
In my piece on this year’s Head of the River Fours I said that the quad that went off first but finished sixth, Tideway Scullers I, were ‘probably very unhappy’ with their result – especially as a lightweight quad and a coxless four were faster than they. This reporting of the crew’s feelings was, I admit, based on an assumption about the mind of competitive athletes and I had thought that, as assumptions go, it was a fairly safe one. However, it seems it was not. Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell (who was in the Sculler’s ‘2’ seat) responded on Twitter:
@boatsing your reporting of @TidewayScullers performance @HOR4s is taken out of context. We’re very happy with our performance.
I asked Alan for more details:
We started first as a result of the Tideway Scullers crew that won last year, containing four Olympians, three of which medalled. This year’s crew couldn’t compare in standard to last years and didn’t consider trying to race Leander squad crews. We were racing to compare ourselves to club crews such as the Leander Elite Lightweight Quad that did beat us and the London RC Elite Quad. Tideway Scullers had three quads in the top fifteen. That bodes well for us looking towards the Eights Head and an eye on the Vernon Trophy *…… Thanks for asking for my opinion, I hope it gives a more balanced view of the result.
I am glad to put the record straight and also to have an excuse to reproduce again one of my favorite rowing photographs, taken by me of Alan at the 2010 Wingfield Sculls. The 2014 Wingfield’s is on 6 November.
*Awarded to the fastest Thames Tideway club crew at the Head of the River Race for Eights.