The Junior Rowers of St. Michael’s battled the sweltering heat, a fierce crosswind and the best junior oarsmen and women that Britain had to offer and produced some impressive performances at the National School’s Regatta on Dorney Lake in Windsor last weekend.
First up were the Boys and Girls J14 Coxed Quadruple Sculls. The two boys crews placed 28th and 15th out of fields of 60 crews. Unfortunately, only the “B” boat qualified for the finals in which they took pole position in their C final. The Girls took 17th out of 82 crews to put in a stellar performance in the hotly contested C final with less than a length separating the entire race. Having tasted competing at one of the most prestigious venues in world rowing, they will have gained invaluable experience for years to come as they develop within the sport.
The following day saw Louise Blair take 38th place overall in the J18 Girls Single, a highly contested event and the J15 Boys Eight finish 23rd overall competing against some of the household names in British schoolboy rowing, while the Boys J16 Coxed Four and Girls J18 Eight both finished 3rd in their respective B finals, placing 9th overall, while a highly commendable effort from the Girls J16 Eight saw them finish 6th in the A final.
The final day saw action from the J16 Girls and Boys Coxless Quadruple Sculls, the J18 Girls Coxless Four and Ryan Spelman in the J18 Boys Single. Both J16 Quads finished 22nd and 21st respectively, gaining valuable experience of racing without a cox, which will stand to them as they become more familiar with competing in smaller boats as they get older. Both Ryan and the Girls Four Made into the semi-finals of their events and qualified for their B finals. Ryan finshed 4th, placing 10th overall in a field of world class junior scullers while the Girls’ four put in a hard fought race to win the B final, finishing 7th overall, showing great promise for the rest of the season.
All of the crews, following a well-earned rest, will then focus their attention to the remaining regattas of the Irish racing calendar, particularly Cork Regatta at the end of June and then the Irish Rowing Championships 3 weeks later, both taking place in Inniscarra, where they hope to make best use of their overseas experience in order to bring home some silverware for the club. Well rowed St. Micks!