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May 2019 : National Schools Regatta

NSR is the hardest regatta to race at in the year for us.  Everyone is there, there aren’t many events and its in big boats which doesn’t really suit us. Getting into an A final is very hard, winning medals even harder, so the comments below need to be viewed in that light! I’ve attached some pictures for those who haven’t seen them. 

For Friday the j15s decided to try the coxed four rather than the quad they are more used to. This worked out well as they were 7th in the time trial, 2nd in their semi and then 3rd to half way in the final, only a length back on the leaders.  The front 2 crews had obviously done more sweep than the TSS boys and they used their better technique to just draw away but the boys stayed in third place to earn a well deserved bronze medal.  

On Saturday we had 2 J18 quads, one in the Champ event and one in the 2nd quads event, a new event. The 2nd quad sculled really well throughout, being third in the time trial to go to the final, where they hung in with Leander and Henley until 1500 then the others were just a bit quicker, but the boys were still only 4 secs down at the finish to come third and claim an amazing bronze medal. 

The Champ quad had a good time trial to be 5th and go to the semi.  Here they let three crews get too far away in the middle, and despite a very quick last 500m failed to get to the final by 0.4 secs. This looked like just a lack of confidence but was really close.  The crew were up for winning the B final but unfortunately Toby wasn’t able to race. 

On Sunday we had three J18 doubles, a J16 double and two J16 quads.   In the J18 Time trial Alfie and Alex were 5th, behind 4 doubles who have been ranked up the top of junior sculling all year, which was fine.  Quite astonishingly Hamish and Cyprian were 7th, only 10 secs back, so both went to the semi-finals.  Julius and James didn’t have a good scull possibly due to being overboated, and were 23rd. In the semi Alex and Alfie sculled through in 3rd quite comfortably to go through, in the other semi 2 crews broke clear but Hamish and Cyprian were locked in a  tussle with Hartpury and Twickenham all the way for third, just losing to Hartpury  to go to the B final.  Here Walton snuck away from them to lead by 4 secs at half way.  However the  boys kept pushing and closed them down and sculled through them with about 250 to go, to earn a  really good 7th place. In the A final Alex and Alfie really went for it from the start, and were with the pack all the way to the 1500m, having done the fastest third 500m, but just couldn’t get up with the top crews and finished 5th.  However this was only 10 secs back in a  really quality field, they were 3 secs behind the Lea double, exactly the same margin as last year! 

The J16 double of Seb and Albie have been really quick in training, and should have been up with the quickest crews in the event, but it just didn’t work out. They struggled to get to the A final where they finished 6th -  disappointing. 

The J16 quads raced well in the Time trial to be 1st and 10th, the B quad were 28 secs quicker than the next B crew! In the semi the A crew raced really well to be 7 secs up at 1500 m and then cruising home to win by 5 secs. The B quad had a tough semi to finish 5th, from where they went to the B final and finished 3rd, or 9th overall climbing one place from the Time Trial.  The A quad sculled really well for the first 1000m of the final to be 5s up, but then let it slip and Trentham took over 2 s back off them in the last 1000m giving Jonny huge worries on the bank, but in the end they had enough to win a well deserved gold medal, although with some lessons to learn! 


So we had 9 crews of which 3 won medals, a really good return.  Crew of the event were Hamish and Cyprian in their double, with an honourable mention to James and Julius in the quad with them,  who really showed everyone how to race. We had 22 boys performing at the highest level of GB junior rowing and sculling, with 13 (incl Indy) winning medals which was just fantastic. Well done all of you. 

Thanks to Dave and Rhona for all their efforts sorting crews out in my absence on Friday and Saturday and helping on Sunday, to the parents for running the tent and BBQ and feeding the coaches. We really do appreciate it even if we don’t always have time to say thank you. 

Finally congratulations to Jonny for coaching a crew to a first NSR win. That’s something a lot of coaches never manage! Well done