National Schools Regatta 2024 
  • Rowing
  • Senior
  • Sixth Form
  • Sport

National Schools Regatta held at Dorney Lake, Eton between 24th-26th May, is the biggest Junior rowing event of the year. Our rowers fought hard over three days of time trials, heats, semi-finals and finals against the very best rowers in the UK - and triumphed!  

Friday 24th marked the first day of racing and was contested by the J14s (U4). LEH entered 3 octuples and 2 quads which raced over a 1000m time trial and finals. The quads raced well in their time trial and placed 40th and 43rd in a 1st boat event, despite being our 4th and 5th boats. We had one octuple in the 1st octuples event, and two in the 2nd octuples event – all of these crews excelled in their time trials and placed in the top 3! This was then backed up by our 1st octuple placing 2nd in their final gaining a silver medal, the 3rd octuple placing as the fastest 3rd octuple, and the 2nd octuple winning the gold medal for 2nd octuples. This was a fantastic set of results for this group and are the first medals LEH has won at J14 level in many years. Well done to all our J14 rowers. 

Saturday 25th was the turn of our J15-J18 (L5-U6) rowers to race over 2000m time trials, heats and finals. Our J15 squad raced in three eights and a four – the four sadly were not able to make their final but raced their time trial and finished 18th as our 4th boat in a 1st boats event. The J15 first eight narrowly missed out on a spot in the A final by 0.4s, but not to be disheartened, they rallied and came back swinging in their B final to win by clear water and row a time that would have put them 4th overall in the A final. The J15 third eight raced their way into the B final of 2nd eights and placed as the 3rd third eight. The 2nd eight raced in the same category and stormed to a 3rd place finish in both the time trial and their A final, earning them a bronze medal! This was a fantastic set of results for a large group that has faced much adversity this year – well done J15s. 

Our Senior crews raced in two eights and a single, with the format for “Championship” events being slightly different to the younger years and involving much more racing over two days! Racing kicked off with time trials for our single, 1st and 2nd eights with each of them progressing into heats later in the day. Our 1st and 2nd eights racing in the same category ended up racing against each other in the heats, and both earned themselves a place in the semi-finals the following day. Nicole (L6) racing in the single had a tough heat against some tough opposition and finished the day by earning a spot in the C/D semi-finals the following day. 

Sunday 26th, the final day of the regatta, saw our crews take on the semi-finals, which are often the hardest races as there is a fight to push into the higher final, and our eights certainly found this to be the case. Sadly, neither crew was able to qualify for the A final, but once again, they rallied to stamp their authority on the B final, with the 1st eight finishing 8th in 1st eights, and the 2nd eight finishing 5th in 2nd eights. Perhaps the star of the show in many ways was Nicole (L6) - our single sculler. She raced through her semi-final and qualified into the D final of Championship singles. Having had three races previously over the weekend, that were all mentally challenging in one way or another, the attitude she showed to come back for her last race and pull out her finest performance of the weekend was inspirational. It was a tight race all the way down, a real battle of wills, and it was only a rogue gust of wind in the end that prevented her from coming 2nd after having held that position all the way through a daring middle kilometer.  

Overall, the resounding theme of the National Schools this year was the resilience of our rowers, and their ability to rally around each other – when things weren’t going their way, as well as when things were. We are proud of the team culture every year group showed across the whole weekend, and it is that attitude, to keep coming back against every challenge, that makes an LEHBC rower.  

  • LEH Rowing
  • LEH Sport