This Saturday saw Cantabs’ J16 Squad head to Nottingham’s National Water Sports Centre as part the Eastern Region’s team for the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta (JIRR).
Representing the Eastern Region as the boys’ J16 4+ and girls’ J16 8+, the juniors arrived to be presented with their team shirts – a lovely sunflower yellow – and prepare for the day after several hard weeks of training.
The boys were first up, and started the day off really well with a really close 3rd place in their heat. They unfortunately missed out on the A final by just 1 second and so went into the B final, aiming for a win. Dropped slightly off the start of their final, they rowed through everyone except the West Midlands crew, just being pipped by half a length to finish 8th overall. Whilst disappointed not to have made A-final, the boys had a great day, ending up only 12 seconds off the overall winners and were part of the Eastern Region’s team that won the boys’ Victor Ludorum.
Having taken lots of confidence from the boys heat, the girls were next up and got their day off to a flying start, comfortably winning their heat by just over a length from Shrewsbury School who were representing the West Midlands. This put them through to the A final as 3rd fastest and in with a very strong chance of a medal.
After a nervous few hours waiting for the final, the girls got to the start and lined up alongside some of the best girls crews in the country including Henley Rowing Club and Surbiton High School, who had come 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the Schools Head of the River just over a month ago.
A strong start saw Cantabs 3rd after 500m behind Henley and Surbiton, and they consolidated this position extending their lead over Kings School Chester and Shrewsbury to 1 length with 250m to go. A late surge from the chasing crews saw them close to just outside half a length at the finish but Cantabs held on for a well deserved bronze medal.
Coach Oli Frazer said of the day:
It has been amazing to see the progress of all our junior 1 st squad over the last couple of years and to see them reaping the rewards today makes up for all their hard work in the wind and rain through the winter. Both crews really excelled themselves and for the girls to come away with a medal is great. We knew they were quick but you never quite know til the day.
It was a great day and hopefully bodes well for the National Schools Regatta and British Junior Championships later this year.
Boys’ J16 4+: Catherine Pearson (cox), Robert Almqvist, Tom Sharrock, Samuel Askew, Joshua Pearson
Girls’ J16 8+: Charlotte Parr (cox), Katie Oliver, Rachel Stratfold, Amy Hill, Jessie Hassett, Zara Parr, Rosie Oliver, Sofia Cicolecchia, Mia Beauchamp
Many thanks to all of the parents, coaches and volunteers who made the day possible, and thank you to Guy Beauchamp for the lovely photos!