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News and Results

National Schools Regatta

This year (26-28th May) ASRA headed to the National Schools Regatta - the biggest junior event in the UK - with 38 athletes across 8 crews at all age groups from J14 - 18.

The Friday kicked off with our WJ14 Quad, OJ14 Quad and OJ15 Four all racing and encountering no shortage of competition and challenging conditions. A fierce cross wind and 25 entries in the boys J15 four, 39 in the boys quad, and a staggering 53 entries in the girls quad proved to be quite the challenge for our rowers, most of whom are new to rowing in the last 9 months. Our newly formed J14 girls quad of Lottie M, Sabi B, Mackenzie P, Natalia T and coxed by Iona D did a fantastic job to place 19th out of 53 in the time trial and proceeded into the D Final of lane racing later in the day where they placed 3rd in their final. Our J15 boys four - John F, Finlay M, Nic D, Rory T, coxed by Hugo L - were unfortunately the victims of the many timing issues on the day and found themselves in the C Final after the time trial, but not before the time trial results left everyone waiting until less than an hour until race time to be finalised and changed order several times in that time. The ASRA boys, however, were not to be put off or distracted and showed impressive resilience, winning their final convincingly against the other crews and putting forward a time competitive with the B Final crews. Our J14 boys quad raced a brilliantly level-headed time trial for a crew so new to rowing and placed third overall, putting them firmly in the A Final and in the race for medals later in the day. The medal, however, was not meant to be and the boys placed 5th in a fiercely competitive final.

On Saturday the opportunity for medals arrived for the WJ16 4+ and Ch 4+. The WJ16 4+ of Gabrielle T, Jem A, Sophie J, Emily J, coxed by Abbie P placed a brilliant 3rd of 19 in the time trial, putting themselves straight into the A Final and in the race for medals. In the end, inexperience at lane racing won out and the girls came fourth against some very impressive crews from England. The girls showed great potential, especially for half of the crew being J15s and three of four of the rowers and the cox being new to rowing this year - they are ones to watch in the future! ASRA’s big victory of the weekend, however, belongs to our Championship Boys Coxed Four of Harris Pe, Murray B, Magnus H, and Sam D, coxed by Samuel C racing on the Saturday. They took to the water up against tough competition from Hampton and Eniskillen and took the fight right to the line in what was arguably the most exciting race of the day. The boys came through from third to first with a famous ASRA finish in the last 500m to win by just 0.57 seconds. A big win for the boys and for the club in ASRA’s first ever Boys Championship gold medal outside of the pair!

Both of our Championship Girls Pair and Championship Boys Pair raced on the Sunday along with the A Final for ASRA’s first ever Championship Girls Eight. Both pairs put forward solid time trial performances putting the boys in the A Final and the girls into the B Final. The girls pair of Ella J and Isla P raced out the the B Final into a punishing headwind for such a light crew to place third behind Newark RC and fellow Scots from Strathclyde Park. The boys pair of Callum S and Henrik G, although young for the event, pushed their way into the A Final alongside some very accomplished rowers from Emanuel, Reading Blue Coat and Hinksey. The boys placed 6th in the A Final, gaining valuable experience of racing in a Championship event for a young crew of two returners to Champ events next year. The penultimate event of the day was the A Final of the Championship Girls 8+ and having qualified straight from the Heat the day before the girls were in a good central lane surrounded by competition from some of the top junior rowing programmes in the country, and veterans of the JW 8+ at the National Schools. The girls put in their best fight against some extremely impressive eights from Headington School, Henley Rowing Club and Surbiton but were unfortunately not able to break past the might of the Thames valley in this event and came up one short of a medal in 4th place.

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