Junior Sculling Head 2018:
Last Tuesday, the two top quads from the Star Club Junior Squad competed in the Junior Sculling Head. It was an early start for the athletes, all arriving at Eton Dorney Lake before 8:00. However we fortunately found SJW and Ted Poynter already kindly rigged by Sharon, Will Eason, David Osgood and Toby White, and by 9:00 we were ready to start putting the first boat on the water.
The 3600m race is made up of two sections. Crews will race 1800m down one side of Eton Dorney Lake, then spin and repeat this distance in the opposite direction down the other side.
Up first was the J18.4x (Harry Ashby, Ed Tame, Toby White, Jack Murphy), who were now back to their full strength with the return of Harry Ashby, after a bout of illness and injury. The boys faced a tough field, competing against the types of Leander and Henley Rowing Club, and their aim was to finish in the top 15. Unfortunately this was not to be the case, and they ended up finishing in 16th out of 30 crews, missing out on that desired fifteenth place by 8 seconds.
The WJ18.4x raced next; made up of Abi Ngwang, Millie Wardley, Hannah Hawkins and myself. We were determined to go into this race with a positive attitude and to leave all nerves on the landing stage. After completing the first 1800m of the race, we knew we had got off to a brilliant start, overtaking a crew from Yarm within the first 500m, and we were in high spirits as we turned and got into our lane for the second half. From a personal point of view, this section was an improvement on the first since I was much more comfortable steering the boat and steered a much better line, and yet again we over took another crew in the closing stages of the race.
All four girls got off the water exhausted but undeniably proud of each other. We finished 15th out of 34 boats – a result that we were all happy with but knew we could improve on.
It was now time to derig our boats and say goodbye to Eton Dorney until regatta season, but not without singing happy birthday to our head coach Sharon, who we must thank, along with David Osgood and Will Eason, for sacrificing a lie in and coming down to support us in the day’s racing.
This was the last head of the season for the Star Club Junior Squad and now we all await the Easter Camp in Banyoles, in which we will draw upon the events of the winter and focus on making all boats go as fast as possible, as regatta season approaches ever closer.
Written by Catherine Upex
Photos by Hannah Hawkins