The senior squads travelled to Belgium for the International Ghent May Regatta, and returned with gold, silver and bronze medals.
On Saturday, Judith Schulz, Rowi Mortimer, Caroline Matthews and Elaine Johnstone won gold in women's coxless fours, then split into two pairs, with Judith and Elaine winning silver. Bronze medals were won by the coxed four of Tom Wheeler, Eddie Beckett, Tom Chung, Laurence Kaye and Fran Whitehead, and Stan Livy, Dimeji Ogunyoye, Max-Vincent Wentzel and Paul Bruce in lightweight quads.
The following day, the women's four again took gold, and there was a second pairs silver for Elaine, racing this time with Caroline. The lighweight quad, having repaired the broken gate that hampered their race on Saturday, won gold.
- J14 4x+ Sam, Charlie, Marcus, Hugo, Maddie (cox)
- J15 4x+ Mathieu, Monty, Dan, Hamish, Susie (cox)
- WJ16 2x Ava, Ella
- WJ16 4x Ava, Ella, Saskia, Ellie
- WJ18 4+ Christa, Flora, Katherine, Issy, Essy (cox)
- WJ18 2x Brenna, Imogen
- WIM3 1x Zoe
- WME/F 1x Jo
- WME 2x Jo, Kasia
Wallingford, the first of the year's multi-lane regattas, was held at Dorney Lake, and a large TSS contingent delivered some encouraging early-season results.
Saskia recorded the club's only win of the day, crossing the line nine seconds ahead of her nearest rival in Women's J18 singles, a very strong performance and follwing on from her fifth place in the A final at junior trials the previous weekend.
There was also a clutch of second places, in Elite eights, Senior coxed fours and Women's IM3 singles.
The Junior men’s group had a long day with some excellent results, as Chris Williams reports:
The J16 quad of Ben, Tom, Ollie and Jack raced at the unheard-of hour of 7.40am, but overcome the very difficult task of getting themselves there on time to rig the boat, be awake and get to the start in good shape. They raced well, qualifying comfortably despite every blade on one side hitting a swan at about 250m gone. In the final the crew went off well, but from 250m to the 1000 they let Molesey get too far ahead, watching other crews, and by the time they started to reel Molesey in they’d left too much to do and lost by half a length. They had some very good crews behind them but this was an opportunity missed.
The J16 coxed four of Ed, Lucas D, Lucas R and Ryan, coxed by Susie, had what looked like a really hard heat, but quickly got into a qualifying position in the front three and left the others behind. The final had Eton A and B, Hampton A and B, King's Chester and TSS: a truly stellar of cast British junior crews. The boys started slowly, being in fifth at 500m, but settled well to be fourth at 1000m and third at 1500m, and pulled away from the other crews to finish a good third behind a very quick King's Chester and Eton A. All in all a very good result for the crew's first race.
In the afternoon the first crew off was the J18 quad of Alex, Jack, Ollie and Freddie, who had a good start but then didn’t really pick up the pace of the race and were twelfth quickest of the twenty crews so didn’t qualify for the final. The crew could have gone better, but this was their first exposure to top-level regatta racing and we will work onwards from here.
The final event was the J16 eight, with the quad and four combining. They went off the start in the pack but just didn’t quite have the cruising speed, partly from tiredness but also lack of time in this boat, and finished 0.07secs outside of qualifying for the final despite Ryan's late charge scaring the life out of Bedford Modern in front of them.
Overall, a good day's work and it helped focus on what we do from now on. The boys made further progression into the ranks of British junior rowing, season, but with more work to do.
Thanks to parents for early morning ferrying, in particular to John Parkinson who was also an excellent rigging assistant!
Richard Ratcliffe and Andrew Eames report:
Facing a total of eighteen boats and over three rounds, the J14 coxed quad (Marcus, Sammy, Charles, Hugo and Maddie) won an emphatic victory. First round they pushed a strong start into an even stronger finish to win by a substantial distance. They finished the semi-final five lengths ahead, then in the final, against Norwich School, they won by two lengths.
The Junior Men's squad had a mixed day. Tommy, Stevan, Will and Alex W, coxed by Theo from the J14 group, were entered in Novice coxed fours. Alex takes up the story: 'We knew it would be a struggle to get it to move, and our first ever outing in the crew/boat combination was on the morning of the race. Fortunately, every start we did in practice was better than the last. In our first race against two other junior boats we pulled away instantly and won by two and a half lengths.'
The final was more of a challenge, however, as Stevan writes: 'We came up against senior men's crews from Twickenham and Lea who looked particularly big.' Lea pulled away quickly, leaving TSS to battle it out with Twickenham, ending with a clash. 'Twickenham managed to get free of the tangle first and nip us to a second place that we felt should have been ours. Overall, I feel that the boat went surprisingly well. We improved massively on the day.'
Meanwhile Adam and Mathieu were having equally tough times. Adam, in J18 singles, came up against Bradbury from Westminster, one of the best junior scullers in the country, but pushed him all the way to the line. And Mathieu, a J15 racing in IM3, found himself outpowered, but by no means outskilled: 'The Tyrian sculler pulled away pretty easily. But with a good finish (which I am pretty proud of) I took two lengths out of the Surrey side sculler. It was good experience for when I come back to J15 racing.'
Finally, there was a win in Masters E doubles for Mark Alloway and junior coach Chris Williams.
Draw 123, covering the period from 1st November 2010 to 31st January 2013, was held on 10th April. Prizes totalling £950 were won:
P. Jamieson £200
P. Willis £200
H. Wheare £100
A. Wallace £50
A. Kapica £50
C. Collerton £50
C. Williams £50
J. Stoner £50
L. Wymer £50
N. Dale £50
S. Luker £50
W. Almand £50
The next draw will be held shortly and will cover subscriptions received in February and March. After that, draws will be made quarterly.
See the 100 Club page for more information on taking part, and to download an application form.