Caroline Cole reports on the GB-France match, held in Gravelines:
On Sunday 24 June eight of Junior women travelled to Nottingham to race in coxless fours at the J16 trials for the GB v France match.
The initial selection was based on a time trial in which the four of Christa, Issy, Jenny and Helena came second, securing them a place in the GB eight. The other four - Katherine and Jackie, with J15s Saskia and Ella - came a close third, but had to race again to decide which crew would be selected as the other half of the eight. The girls put in an amazing race, beating their previous time but sadly finished second to a Great Marlow/Sir William Borlase composite. Sophia, the cox from the club's WJ16 eight, was enlisted as cox and Saskia was asked to be the women's team spare, meaning that TSS had the largest representation of any school or club selected for the British team.
Although the eight had only had a week training together before the regatta, this did not deter them as they lined up against the French crew. The girls got off to a superb start and took the lead, but then the French pulled ahead by a boat length. With five hundred metres to go, the British crew put in a push that saw them gain on the French, crossing the line only a fraction of a second behind.
Overall, the Great Britain team won the match by nine races to four. Saskia was not needed to sub into any of the crews, but she did have a resounding victory in the spares race. The British supporters also made their mark with a plethora of Union flags, versus nil tricolores from the French supporters.