From the 24th of September to the 1st of October four Newcastle Alumni were representing Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, USA. Tom Ford ’15 and Tim Clarke ’15 in the Men’s Coxed Pair, Gemma Hall ’14 in the Women’s Lightweight Quadruple Sculls and James Rudkin ’16 in the Men’s Eight.
In the Men’s coxed pair both Tom Ford and Tim Clarke were at their first senior World Championships but performed strongly in the heat winning and progressing straight through to the A final. In the Final they didn’t quite manage to pull off the same performance they had in the heat and came 4th. This is still a very impressive result for a young crew and even though this isn’t an Olympic class event it is still a good start to this Olympiad looking towards Tokyo in 2020.
Tim Clarke '15 (left) and Tom Ford '15 (middle)
James Rudkin '16 (seven seat)
In the Men’s Eight, James Rudkin was also at his first senior World Championships. Having had a strong row in the heat they came 2nd to a quick Italian eight which put GB into the repechage. In the repechage the GB eight were edged out into third place by strong crews from the Netherlands and Romania who took the two places in the A final. The GB eight raced in the B final and put in a good performance and won placing them 7th overall.
In the Women’s Lightweight Quadruple Sculls, Gemma Hall was racing in her second World Championships. In the heat they came in 2nd which put them straight through to the A final. With many countries putting their best lightweight women into this event the final was very tough. The GB crew didn’t manage to hold onto these faster boats in the second half of the race, coming across the line in 5th place.
Gemma Hall '14 (Bow)
With four alumni competing at these World Championships this is the most in NUBC history and shows how our high-performance program at Newcastle is pushing more of our athletes to an international standard at a senior level. Tom, Tim, Gemma and James will now continue their aim of competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Words by David Stephenson
Photos by Naomi Baker