Indoor Rowing: Forster wins battle of man against machine

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Stefan Forster won the men's open category in the Perpetual Indoor Rowing Championships yesterday. Hugh Matheson, who finished second in the 45 to 49 age group, reports from Reading.

Double its size from last year, the Perpetual indoor rowing championship came of age yesterday here, when 1,200 competed over the Olympic distance of 2,000 metres on more than 60 machines.

The men's open was won in 5min 52sec by Stefan Forster, a German international studying at Cambridge who forms the core of the strongest Light Blue Boat Race squad in history. Behind him were Louis Attrill four seconds back and Greg Searle, winner last year, finishing in 5min 57 sec.

There was no head-to-head between the Boat Race squads with most of the Oxford group entered the Under-23 event, where they took nine of of the first 13 places. The Cambridge results were clustered around Andy Ripley, the 50-year-old M Phil student ranking fifth out of his squad in 6min 7sec.

Colin Greenway, of Kingston, made the second-fastest time of the day, winning the 30 to 39 age group in 5min 56sec.