A strong start to the New Year

Over the past fortnight the whole of the Boat Club have been in action as they prepare for the Schools’ Head and Scullery at the end of term.

Quintin Head saw the 1st VIII and the J16 VIII take to the Tideway to race over the first half of the Schools’ Head course. With both crews facing strong opposition they were out to set a marker for the coming season, and that is exactly what they did. The 1st VIII started at the back of the Junior eights division and soon made short work of over taking all the other crews in front of them to win the WJ18 8+ pennant by 17 seconds. The J16 VIII followed the example of the senior boat rowing away from their opposition to win the WJ16 8+ pennant by 18 seconds.

The following week saw the J14, J15, J16 & Senior squads racing at Hampton Head. This is one of the top junior events over the winter and the competition is always tough. In the morning division we saw the Seniors racing in the pairs, doubles, and coxed and coxless fours, with the pair of Gemma & Catherine winning WJ18 2- and the coxless four of Katie, Kat, Emily and Emma finishing 2nd by 0.6 seconds behind Henley in WJ18 4-. The J16s raced in coxed and coxless fours, with the coxless four of Tash, Emma, Flo and Darcie finishing 2nd in WJ16 4- and the two coxed fours finishing 5th and 9th in WJ16 4+. The J15s entered 4 boats in the WJ15 4+ with the four of Hannah, Harriet, Sophie, Emily & Grace winning the gold and the others finishing 4th, 5th, & 7th. The J14s rounded off the morning with three octos racing in WJ14 8x+. The 1st octo of Dani, Becky, Emily, Shreya, Katherine, Maddie, Charlotte, Sienna and Aisha-Jane finished 2nd to Kingston, with the 2nd octo of Saoirse, Sasha H, Ella, Ravi, Alex, Inara, Jess, Sofia and Freddi finishing 6th overall and winning the WJ14 2nd octos gold medal. The 3rd octo, with three J13s on-board sculled well to finish 11th overall, beating two A boats and two B boats.

The afternoon division saw the Seniors move into an eight and quad, with the 1st VIII of Lizzie, Celia, Katie, Emily, Emma, Kat, Catherine, Gemma, and Jiya finishing 2nd in WJ18 8+ and the quad placing 14th.  The J16s raced well to finish 3rd in the WJ16 8+ and 5th in the WJ16 4x. The J15s boated two eights and a quad to finish the days racing. The 1st VIII of Harriet, Hannah, Sophie, Emily, Elissa, Eliza, Margo, Yazmin & Grace finished with a bronze medal in a tough battle with Henley and Surbiton High, and the 2nd VIII of Bella, Hibbeh, Sorcha, Karmena, Ellie, Amelia, Lucia, Alice & Sahana finished 6th overall and winning the WJ15 2nd 8+ gold medal.

To round off the weekend, 19 of the J13s entered the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships in Abingdon. In the Individual race Mia raced brilliantly to finish 2nd out of 77 and win the silver medal. Charlotte, Olivia, Clara, & Claudia finished 6th, 7th, 13th and 20th and we were the only club with 5 girls in the top 20. Well done to Daisha, Helene, Jessica, Jasmine, Katie, Temitope, Phoebe, Sophia, Ashna, Harleen, Natalie, Avleen, Zainab & Enam who all achieved personal bests when they raced. The team race was the final event during a very busy weekend for the club. The team of Mia, Charlotte, Olivia & Sophia finished a strong 2nd to win the silver medal, with the other teams finishing 11th, 12th, 16th and 17th. A great finish to a long weekend.