Over the weekend of 14-16th July, Cantabs sent 4 junior crews to race at the British Rowing Junior Championships at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.
Both a girls’ and boys’ J15 coxed quad raced, though had slightly disappointing time trials, only making it to the E-finals. However, at a regatta aimed at building experience, both crews showed great character by turning their days around. The boys’ J15.4x+ came 2nd in their final, significantly improving their performance against their opposition from the time trial. The girls’ W.J15.4x+ went one better, not only winning their final by 22 seconds, but also posting a time that would have put them comfortably 2nd in the C-final.
The W.J18.4x- arrived on the Saturday knowing that they were guaranteed to make a semi-final, with only 11 crews entered, including Gloucester Hartpury’s winning crew from Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s Regatta. A good time trial from the Cantabs crew saw them finish 4th and in the hunt for medals on the Sunday. After a night slightly filled with nerves, the girls came a comfortable 2nd in their semi-final on the Sunday morning and went into the final hopeful that a good performance could earn them bronze. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Despite getting out in front of Castle Semple, their rivals for bronze, and fighting hard through the first 1km to maintain 3rd, they weren’t quite able to maintain contact through the 3rd 500m and so finished 4th overall. Whilst slightly disheartened to have come so close, the girls reflected on the day and were happy with what they had achieved after a long and competitive season.
Their coach Oli Frazer said, “Whilst I’m gutted for the girls to miss out on the medal, I’m incredibly proud not just of today but their whole season and how they’ve approached what for most of them was their 1st year of doing more than 1 outing per week. They’ve really done themselves proud and I couldn’t have asked for more. With 3 of the girls only J17s and returning next year, and with some promising juniors on both the boys’ and girls’ sides in lower year groups, I think we’ll be back next year as strong competitors for medals.”
A J14.4x+ raced on the Friday, comprising of four J13s keen to get some experience of racing at a national event. Max Casciato and Paolo Cicolecchia competed in the omnium event in a 2x, placing 24th out of 45 in an event which tested balance, manoeuvrability and technical rowing skills at multiple stations along the 2k course. Oscar Coppins and Amun Varatak placed 37th, with both crews performing well after only having 1 outing to learn the specific skills for the omnium. These four then went on to race in the 4x+ with cox Amy Hill, who also coxed the W.J15.4x+, finishing 2nd in the E final.
The crews were:
- J14.4x+ ::: Amun Varatak, Oscar Coppins, Paolo Cicolecchia, Max Casciato, Amy Hill (cox)
- J15.4x+ ::: Borisz Kantor, Joshua Pearson, Robert Almqvist, Sam Askew, Charlotte Parr (cox)
- W.J15.4x+ ::: Amy Hill, Jessie Hassett, Mia Beauchamp, Zara Parr, Charlotte Parr (cox)
- W.J18.4x- ::: Tabitha Thornton-Swan, Emily May, Izzie Ritchie, Eva Hill