The Great Eight supported by Rowperfect, Coxmate and Dreher


Apex Sweeps

Tideway Scullers School coach Bill Barry has dreamed up a fabulous crew to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the club entering crews to the Head of the River Race.   The club was formed by top scullers who competed against each other for national squad places and traditionally formed an eight for the Head out of the top 8 fastest single scullers.

Taking this as his inspiration, Bill has chosen a crew from the fastest 7 scullers in the World at last year’s Beijing Olympic Games.

His crew will be:

Cox – Ali Williams

Rowperfect UK was approached to support the crew and will be providing a for the race.  We hope to publish the race data and split times / speeds / distance moved per stroke afterwards as a record of the event.

Beijing Olympics 1x results

Norway Olaf Tufte 6:59.83
Czech Republic Ondrej Synek 7:00.63
New Zealand Mahe Drysdal 7:01.56
Belgium Tim Maeyens 7:03.40
Great Britain Alan Campbell 7:04.47
Sweden Lassi Karonen 7:07.64



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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Alex Macpherson


  2. James

    What a load of c**p Bill Barry has got these guys over for no other reason than to try and say TSS is the greatest club in the world, it isn’t or else ther club crews would win stuff. It shouldn’t be allowed to enter and Ms Caroe you shouldn’t encourage them with adverts like this. It’s bad for rowing in this country and it@s bad for TSS athletes who now won’t get to row with Campbell and Dysdale two genuine club members at TSS.

  3. Beryl Crockford

    Great idea!!! Looking forward to hearing more news about it. Wished it had happened in my day – but thats progress. Keep those ideas rolling.

  4. rebecca

    Beryl, thanks for your enthusiasm. I guess you can name us the ‘fantasy’ eight of women scullers that you’d have liked to row with….

    How’s Aussie shaping up? Still coaching the school kids? Did you just have your nationals?

  5. rebecca

    James – I don’t have insight into Bill Barry’s motivations.
    I hear what you say but I still hope that you’ll enjoy watching them race Cambridge.
    Thanks for your comment.


  6. Stephen

    This is a brilliant idea. Rowing needs more of this or it is in danger of losing its Olympic status.
    The public will really be interested in this if its marketed properly. This could be the greatest 8 of
    all time ..who knows. watch & find out.
    We need to replace the rowing celebrities of yesteryear, Redgrave, Pinsent & Cracknell, whom the
    British public at large, admired & supported,with current high profile winners.. for the good of Rowing.
    Hope the Scullers 8 get the fastest ever time & get new people interested in this magnificent sport.

  7. rebecca

    thanks for your encouragement and support. All of you can help us tell more people about how “good” and “interesting” this is by sending the link round to as many rowers as you can. particularly those who use social media like Facebook, email group lists, Twitter and write blogs so that as many people as possible know about it and can get enthused.

    Then we’ll recruit more people interested in watching and possibly participating in our wonderful sport.
    What can you do?

  8. James

    What a sham , rent-a-crew win the head. I agree it has been interesting to watch them and to see them struggle against Cambridge. very interesting. If the HORR want crews like this which I can see a lot of positives fro then they shopuld race under an independent flag eg: HORR invited entry.

    As it is, Stephen is very much wrong if he thinkg the public outside of rowing will take any notice of this crew, for that we need the Hodge’s, Reed’s, Grainger’s etc to keep winning races as the publice will identify with British rowing stars they see on TV winning, not rent-a-crews by Bill Barry.

    Stepehn I would be interested to know how on earth you think this could have possible have any bearing on rowing as an Olympic Sport which, despite much misinformed chat, is not at risk. Where do yopu get your facts that rowing is at risk? I have seen the latest IOC list of “at risk sports” split into catagories rowing is at not on the “at risk” list and is at no more risk than cycling or swimming, only athletics could ever say it will be always truely safe, but rowing isn’t far behind athletics in that, so facts Stephen, keep to facts.

    For the rowing public in the UK it was great to see top rowers at our home event, but what do the atheltes who didn’t get a chance to race with Campbell, Drysdale who ahve been TSS members and trained there for some years in singles get from this? Perhaps their crew that lsot at HRR last summer could ahve learnt some key lessons from racing with those two guys, and perhaps gone onto win this year, and surely British rowing would be better served by more clubs able to produce winning crews at HRR rather than just another Leander/ London/ Molesey crew winning?

    An opportunity for young athletes at TSS has been taken away, and for what? To inflate Bill Barry’s ego, not to help his club develop into a truely great club, as opposed to one he deems great because he made some phone calls.

  9. D'Elroy

    James – you clearly are a very angry young man! This was clearly an all-star 8 and TSS made no claim that it was a genuine TSS club crew hence not competing for the Vernon. Had the Great 8 not raced, and Drysdale and Campbell raced in a revised TSS1, then it would have had the likes of Tom Gale, Tim Male and Mike Hennessey in it, not the Thames-eligible club guys who would have been kept separate. So no one was robbed of the chance of a life time. In fact, I’d imagine just having guys like this around the club for a week was a pretty awesome experience for the young athletes at TSS. It sounds like your issue is not that such an 8 raced, but that they did so under TSS colours – perhaps jealous that you / your club could never pull something like this off? Crews like this are never going to happen unless someone makes them – we get the odd international guy rowing in a crew, or the occasional national crew racing, but to pull together a squad of guys who make a career out of being individuals takes some doing – fair play to Bill Barry in having the ability to pull something like this off. I don’t understand your attitude as this can only be positive for the sport. Even Leander probably took some plaudits for it needing a crew of this strength to beat them!

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