Leeds Rowing Club

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Leeds Rowing Club
The Lakeside Restaurant,Waterloo Lake, Roundhay Park, Leeds. - geograph.org.uk - 41355.jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Roundhay Park, Leeds, United Kingdom
Home water Waterloo Lake
Founded 2006 (2006)
Affiliations British Rowing
Website www.leedsrowing.org.uk

Leeds Rowing Club is a British Rowing affiliated club in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire. It was founded in 2006 and is based in Roundhay Park, to the north of the City centre.[1] The club row in dark blue, with a vertical yellow stripe between two white stripes down both sides. Blades are dark blue with a lighter blue tip.[2]


Up until 2006, there were no clubs rowing in Leeds. Leeds Schools Boat Club were no longer in operation, and Leeds University Boat Club rowed on the River Ouse in York. Leeds Rowing Club is the first open membership rowing club in the city, and caters for adults and juniors of all abilities.


The club rows on the 800m Waterloo Lake, in Roundhay Park, Leeds. The boathouse is beneath the Lakeside Cafe, with an additional clubhouse providing changing and training facilities. The club races in fours, quads, doubles, pairs and single sculls with a fleet of fine racing shells and several training boats.

In Summer 2010 the club successfully secured a grant from Sport England to buy a coxless quad, an additional training boat and several new rowing machines.


The club competes in regatta and head races across the UK, with recent wins at Peterborough Regatta, Durham Regatta and Metropolitan Regatta.[3] The club attends many events in the Yorkshire and Northeast regions, and competes in head races between September and March.

2011 Regatta Season[edit]

In Summer 2011, the club managed great success with wins at a number of regattas including Nottingham, Durham City, Bradford, St. Neots and Peterborough. Crews also raced at Wallingford, Poplar and Durham.

The club sent crews to Henley Women's Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta for the first time, and the performances at these events established Leeds RC as one of the more successful clubs in the North of England.

At Henley Women's, a two lane regatta over 1500m, raced over 3 days, Leeds had three entries. In the Senior single sculls, Kristine Johnson was representing Leeds RC and produced a series of magnificent performances to win the competition. She secured comfortable wins in the opening rounds over her opponents, firstly from the Isle of Ely BC on 15 June and then Cardiff Uni BC on 16 June. In the semi-final on 17 June, she beat her opponent from Bath Uni by two-and-a-half lengths, and later in the day raced a close final against a sculler from Wallingford, winning the race by one length in a superb time of 6:02. In the Intermediate Club coxed fours starting on 15 June, the Leeds crew produced one of their best performances but couldn't keep up with the strong Sons Of The Thames crew, losing by 3 lengths, and their opponents went on to make the semi-final in the competition. In the Senior coxless quads starting on 16 June, the Leeds RC crew raced strongly and beat their Worcester opponents easily in the first round. Their second round opponents, a composite crew from Sport Imperial BC, Imperial College BC and London RC proved tougher opposition, and the Leeds crew couldn't keep with their opponents who had the luxury of being fresher for the race, having received a bye through the first round.

At Henley Royal Regatta, held on the same water as Henley Women's but 2112m (officially 1 mile, 550 yards) long, and raced over 5 days, Leeds had two crews entered. Kristine Johnson returned to Henley to race against some of the top single scullers from around the world, producing a magnificent performance to achieve one of only two qualifying spots in the qualification time-trials. Johnson was drawn against US national rower Gevvie Stone of Cambridge (USA) Boat Club, 2010 runner-up in this event and one of the top scullers from the USA. Johnson raced well but her opponent proved too strong, winning by four lengths. Stone again went on to make the final of the event. In the Wyfold Challenge Cup for coxless fours, Leeds RC's first men's crew was entered. No crews were required to qualify for this event, and Leeds were drawn against their local counterparts from Bradford ARC in the first round. The first of five rounds in the event took place on Wednesday 29 June. Despite a poor start, where Leeds lost three-quarters of a length very quickly, and trailing at the first timing marker, Leeds picked it up and rowed through Bradford, winning by a relatively comfortable two-and-a-quarter lengths. In the second round the next day, Leeds raced Henley RC's "B" crew, who had beaten a crew from Thames RC in round 1. After a close start with the crews neck-and-neck at the end of Temple Island, the crew from Henley, racing on home water, started to pull away. With significant support for Leeds on the bank, the race remained close but Henley produced a more solid race to win by two lengths in a time of 7:21.

At Peterborough Regatta over the weekend of 13-14 August Leeds RC won 9 senior events (one in a composite crew) and one junior event, meaning the club was the most successful of all visiting clubs to the regatta and were therefore awarded the Victor Ludorum. Over 1000m on Saturday 13 August, crews won Open IM1 coxed fours (course record time for this event), Open IM2 coxless pairs (composite with Tyne United RC), Women's IM3 coxed fours and Women's Novice double sculls. On Sunday 14 August, crews won Women's IM2 coxed fours, Open IM3 coxless pairs, Open IM3 single sculls, Women's IM3 coxed fours, Women's IM3 coxless quadruple sculls and Junior 15 double sculls (course record time for this event). 24 club members celebrated victories in winning crews, and many others managed to make finals.

2011-2012 Head Season[edit]

Leeds RC kicked off the head season in 2011 at Nottingham Autumn Head on 16 October. Seven boats were entered, and the most notable performance was the Men's Novice 4+ winning their category.

On 29 October the club sent four crews to the Head of the Dee in Chester. The best performance was a win for the J16 double scull, with the Men's IM2 4+ missing out by 3 seconds in their event after clashing with a Lancaster University crew whom they were overtaking.

On 5 November, a Men's IM2 coxed four raced at the Head of the River Fours on the Thames in London, from Mortlake to Putney. The event is raced on the same course as the Boat Race, but in the opposite direction. The crew completed the 6.8km (four-and-a-quarter mile) course in 20 minutes 56.44 seconds, which placed them 178th overall and 15th out of 65 in the IM2 coxed four category. This was a 95 position improvement in the rankings over the 2010 position of 273rd.

On 20 November, a number of crews raced at York Small Boats Head. The only winners from the club on the day were the Women's J17 2x.

Three successive race cancellations then followed as bad weather made it difficult. Rutherford Head, Peterborough Head and South Yorkshire Head were all called off.

The club got back to racing on 26 February at the Head of the Trent in Nottingham. The crews racing were the Open IM2 4+ (4th in category), Open IM3 4+ (3rd in category) and Women's IM2 4+ (2nd in category).

The main goal of the winter head season for many, the Yorkshire Head took place on 3 March. The club had close to 40 members rowing in varying events. The club recorded wins in the Open IM1 4+ (by 27 seconds), Open IM3 4+ (by 26 seconds) and J17 2x (by 1 minute 36 seconds, in a composite crew with Tees RC). Other creditable performances came from the Open Masters Quad, a crew of 2 men and 2 women who beat the opposing crew of 4 men by a narrow 0.2 seconds, and the Open IM3 4x+, who were 3 seconds quicker than their opposition. As there were only two entries for these events, they were not officially recorded as wins.

On 17 March, the club made their debut appearance at the Head of the River Race, held over the same course as the Head of the River Fours. The club were entered in the IM2 category, and came in 207th of 394 crews in a time of 20 minutes 01.39 seconds. This put them 47th out of 74 IM2 VIIIs.


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