24 July 2018
Göran R Buckhorn writes:
Bristol was the location for an action-packed sprint regatta on Sunday. Sixteen eights – eight men and eight women crews – were fighting out head-to-head races at the inaugural Power8 Sprints over a 350-metre course in the sundrenched habour of Bristol.
The crews came from Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Oxford. Thousands of spectators watched the races from the banks. The short distance made it easy for the spectators to watch the action from start to finish. The regatta was broadcast live on BT Sport and BBC Sport online.
At the end, it was the men from Manchester and the women from Oxford who were crowned victors.
Lance Tredell, a member of Manchester’s winning crew, said, according to British Rowing’s website, ‘To see the guys give everything out there today was really special and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements. To be crowned the first ever men’s Power8 Sprints Champions is a real honour and their names have now been written into the history books.’
Andy Parkinson, CEO of British Rowing, remarked: ‘Today was a brilliant example of the great rowing talent which exists across the country. Every race across the men’s and women’s competitions went to the wire and that is what we love about sprint rowing; it grips you from start to finish.’ He added: ‘We’re really looking forward to holding Power8 Sprints in Bristol again and it is our ambition that Power8 Sprints evolves into a three-event series in the future, so that we can reach even more people with this wonderful rowing experience’.
Here is the men’s final between Bristol vs Manchester:
Here is the women’s final between Bristol vs Oxford:
All the heats can be watched here.
For a few years in the beginning of the 1990s, the Swedish Rowing Association invited club eights to compete in a series of sprint races around Sweden. Six eights from the largest Swedish rowing clubs competed during the summer at different locations. As the race course was 500 metres, some of these regattas were held in harbours or on canals and rivers in city centres, which meant that huge crowds of spectators gathered to watch the heats. The winning crew was determined through a special points system (the crews got points depending how they placed at each competition) and announced at the last sprint regatta of the season. This became a hugely successful event.
Everything points toward a success in Britain, too.