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Sheffield Business Boat Race 2021

The inaugural Sheffield Business Boat Race was held on Saturday 31st August 2021 over a 1500m course on Damflask Reservoir. The race was in aid of Sheffield City Rowing Club’s new boathouse fund. All three crews were new to the sport and underwent 12 hours of on-the-water training before the event. The prizes were very kindly donated by Wentworth Pewter.

Over a hundred spectators showed up for the club’s first event since ‘freedom day’ on 19th July 2021.


In the first race architects Race Cottam Associates had their nose in front for the first 500m, but Freeths Solicitors found their stride and rowed through them for the win.


Race Cottam Associates fared better in the second race where they made the most of a nervous start by distributed computing specialists Wandisco to win by 20.1 seconds.


In the final race Freeths Solicitors led from the off, taking first prize overall, and relegating Wandisco to the bronze medal position, with Race Cottam Associates taking the silver.

In between the business boats, CSRC ran a series of support races. Charlotte Duff’s four won the senior women’s race. In the race between novice crews Lizzie Ribey’s quad triumphed, whilst the juniors celebrated a victory over the recreational squad.


In his closing speech at the end of the prizegiving ceremony, Chris Whitehead, the event organiser, gave special mentions to:

  • Liz, John, Rosie, Charlotte, and Olivia for the coaching and coxing

  • Malky, Meri and Shirley for the catering

  • Meri of CSRC and Harriet Adamson of SURC for the hype!

  • Ben Eaton of SURC for the first two sessions with Freeths and for lending us David Starkey (Novice 8+) during training.

  • Graham Woods our president and the race umpire.

  • Donald MacDougall, launch driver.

  • Dan Felgate for standing in when Freeths were short for training.

  • Karen Millar and Rosie Cowen for standing in for COVID affected crew members from Freeths and RCA during today's race.

  • Rebecca Horrey, finish line judge

  • Jodi who coordinated the support races.

  • The boathouse cleaning crew!

  • Everyone who participated in the support races. They were a perfect complement to the BBR races and kept the excitement up

Jochim Dreimann of the Wandisco team spent the time that he was not rowing, flying a drone around the dam, and produced this excellent video that captured the spirit of the race day and the beauty of Damflask Reservoir very well:


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