The J14s were unfortunate not to get a race, after racing had to be abandoned on Friday afternoon due to high winds, but fortunately the weather was much improved for Saturday when the J15A and J15B crews won their silver medals (see full report below), and the J16B crew won bronze. The J16A were edged into fourth in their final, and the 2nd VIII finished a respectable fifth in theirs.
The 1st VIII put in a valiant attempt in their heat to gain automatic qualification for the final, but disappointingly the crew missed out by a little over a second. The crew did well to have a strong showing in the subsequent repercharge, but the effects of two close races took its toll and the crew had to settle with seventh position overall.
On the Sunday the girls’ quad did well to secure a semi-final berth after a late substitution disrupted their preparation.
George Patterson and Toby Thomas finished fourth in the J16 pairs final on Sunday.
It was a strong showing for the club overall and fantastic club effort.
Double National Schools' medal haul for J15 squad - full report
The A crew always knew that they had a major task to beat a highly fancied Westminster crew who have been winning comfortably all season. However, throughout the season our crew has consistently risen to each occasion, so a grim determination to beat the odds ensued.
Westminster beat our boys in the heat, by which time it was fairly clear that the final would be a two-horse race. This proved to be the case. Certainly, out of the blocks, it was obvious that our boys were not content to settle for silver; the crews were neck and neck for almost four minutes, before Westminster edged in front. It was a truly splendid race and one of which the boys should be very proud.
J15A eight with their National Schools' silver medals (l to r): Paddy George, Henry Thomas. Wilf Deacon, Jake Carter, Harry Lane-Fox, Joe Davies, Guy Cabral (Cox), Alex Mathews, Alfie Grocott
Our B crew came to the regatta not knowing where they stood in the rankings. A 6th place at the Schools’ Head was an average result with a weakened crew; certainly there was plenty of horsepower in the boat. The first step of getting through the time trial of 24 crews with as little effort as possible was key. With three 2,000-metre races in the day, energy saving would be critical. The semi-final went well with the boys coming in second, but when the times of the two heats were analysed it was obvious that a medal was possible. The boys started well and came through halfway in 3rd place behind a big Eton crew. As the race drew towards its climax, it was obvious that we would row through the Eton crew to take silver, who were in panic mode – a fantastic result for our boys. They were certainly ecstatic with their first National medal – congratulations to them all!
To have strength in depth at J15 level is critical for a strong boat club. We are lucky to have a very talented and dedicated group and the prospects for the future are very bright. It has been a joy to work with this group of boys this year and l am sure there will be many more medals on the national and international stage for them.
J15B eight rowing to Silver at National Schools' Regatta: Cox Ed Jones, Doug Major, Mischa Manser, Nick Watkins, Charlie Rassmuss, Tom Sykes, Alex Brinkley, Hector Kaye, Rhys Elliott-Williams