After a very different season with very different challenges, our rowers proved that lockdown and a global pandemic were not going to have a negative impact on their rowing. The 2020/21 season continued throughout the summer holidays.
British Rowing Junior Championships
During the holidays the rowers travelled to Nottingham to compete at the British Rowing Junior Championships. Over 30 rowers from S3-S6 were proud to represent GWC at the biggest junior competition in the racing calendar. The competition ran over 3 days with J15’s racing on Friday, J16’s racing on Saturday and J18’s racing on Sunday.
We had lots of exceptional racing and the whole team was able to perform at a level that directly correlated to the level of training and coaching over the past season. We had a wide range of promising results from all of our crews.
On Friday the J15 Quad of Ewan (S4), Robert (S3), Conor (S4), Jamie (S3), and cox Matthew (S3) came 6th in the time trial and then went on to again come 6th in the A final which was an exceptional result. Our girls WJ15 quad also did very well with Rowan (S4), Grace (S3), Florence (S3), Sophie (S4), and their cox Thomas (S3) coming 12th in their time trial and then going on to come 6th in the B final.
We also had two WJ15 doubles and a J15 double competing. In our A boat, Tabitha and Emma (both S4), managed to come 5th in the time trial with our B boat with Scarlet and Orla (both S3) coming 19th, putting them in a top position in the D final.
Tabitha and Emma did exceptionally well in the A final, bringing home the first medal of the weekend by coming 3rd. Connor and Sam (both S4) racing in the J15 doubles also did very well by coming 7th in the time trial and then going on to come 5th in the B final.
On Saturday the first boat to race was Isla (S5) in the WJ16 singles. After coming 4th in the time trial she managed to push through and come 2nd in the A final, bringing home another medal, this time silver!
Tabitha and Emma were next to race again and this time in the WJ16 pair. Again they did an outstanding job coming 3rd in the time trial and then going on to come 3rd in the A final bringing home another bronze medal after missing out on 2nd by 0.48 seconds.
Next was James and Patrick (both S4) racing the J16 double. After coming 18th in time trial, they were in the C final which they came 3rd in, managing to come back and beat some of the boats to which they lost to in the time trial. Millie and Rowan (both S4) did similar, coming 20th in the time trial, then going on to come 5th in their final. Our final boat on Saturday was Campbell (S5), Ross (S4), Lachlan (S4) and Angus (S4) in the J16 quad event. They had an exceptional result, coming 12th in time trial and then going on to come 6th in the B final.
On Sunday, the last day of racing, we had our J18 quad with James (S5), Seb (S6), Alex (S6), and Angus (S6). In the time trial, the boys came 14th and were unfortunately 0.4 seconds of the A/B semis. However, they came 3rd in the C final after managing to row through 2 boats in the last 500m.
We also had 3 composite boats racing over the weekend, with Alex (S5) in a WJ16 double with Clydesdale, which won their C final with clear water behind them. We also had Kate (S5) n a WJ18 composite quad with Clydesdale which came 3rd in their B final. Our final medal of the weekend came from Izzy (S6) in her composite WJ18 eight with ASRA, Glasgow Schools, and George Heriot’s School, In which they came 3rd in. All of the girls in the crew had successfully made it through the GB trials process.
The club had a fantastic weekend of racing and a big thank you to all the parents who came to support and the coaches who made everything happen both in and out of the boat. It was a very challenging weekend, and all the crews managed to cope with the conditions very well and everyone managed to come together to support all the athletes racing with good sportsmanship shown throughout the club. We managed to bring home 4 medals overall as a club and a majority of our boats made the A/B finals. All of these results proved that we were the most successful Scottish Club. Very promising and we can’t wait to bring on next season and another brit champs where we can bring home some more medals!
Henley Royal Regatta
The racing didn't end there for our S6 and S5 pupils, Alex, Seb, Alex, and James. These boys had set a target at the start of the year that they would compete at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.
They had a successful year of racing achieving fantastic results at the National Schools Regatta, Scottish Rowing ‘Lochdown Regatta’, Tyne Regatta, and the British Rowing Junior Championships. These results were so impressive that they prequalified into the regatta to compete against the very best in the country. The boys travelled down south for a pre-regatta training camp, we joined Edinburgh University Boat Club training at Pangbourne College to find some last minute speed in preparation for the regatta.
The draw took place and we were set the challenge of racing Hereford Cathedral School. The race was nail biting for the full 2012 meter course, it took a gutsy final sprint for GWC to claim the win. They won by a very small margin of just a canvas!
The race made the highlight reel of the regatta and was one of Sir Matt Pinsent's favourites! In the next round GWC had to face Windsor Boys School. An experienced crew that had been successful all season. Angus, Seb, Alex and James gave it their all but unfortunately were beaten, but held their heads high as the first ever GWC crew to progress through the stages at Henley Royal Regatta.
Rowing report by Matthew Mole