National Schools' Regatta

National Schools 2012

 The Boat Club has had another year of success with a record number of crews racing at the National Schools Regatta.

 The regatta started on Friday with the customary three Shiplake J14 Octuples racing first. The J14 C Crew have shown real promise this season and were hopeful to make it through the processional time trials and into the side by side racing. Unfortunately they missed out on this, finishing 17th, just 4 seconds off the top 12 who went into the 2 semi finals. Although the crew was disappointed by this they should be pleased to have been the second fastest C crew at the regatta.

 The J14 B Octuple had an easier passage through the processional races and finished 6th in the time trial, well placed for the semi final and with plenty still to give. They raced the semi final perfectly, were in 3rd place at 500m and then stepped up to qualify for the final in 2nd place behind London Oratory and ahead of Radley. The final was a fantastic race with the Shiplake crew blasting out of the blocks to be in 2nd at 500m once again behind London Oratory but moving away from the rest of the pack. Unfortunately they could not pass London Oratory but they finished with the Silver Medal which was a brilliant start to the regatta for Shiplake. Congratulations to the crew and to the coach Mr Bathe-Taylor for a second Silver medal in this event in successive years.

 The J14 A Octuple had shown some significantly faster pace recently and, although racing experience was minimal, the crew arrived at Nottingham determined to put in a good performance. They put everything into the time trial and qualified comfortably 9th out of 28 crews and well inside the top 18 crews that make up the 3 semi finals. The semi finals in this event were always going to be very hotly contested, with only the top 2 from each of the three semi finals going through to the final. The Shiplake A crew got out of the blocks well but found themselves in 3rd place behind Kings Chester and Grange, just outside of the qualifying place. Unfortunately they could not push themselves into the top 2 but they should be congratulated on a fantastic effort. Based on the recorded times of all boats, they could realistically consider themselves to be in the top 8 Octopules in the country which is a fine achievement for any crew.

 On Saturday the J15 A and B VIIIs also raced and both crews performed well in the processional races to qualify for the semi finals in their respective events. The B crew set off hard in their semi final and were looking well placed at 500m but unfortunately the superior power of the other crews pushed them further back in the pack and they were unable to qualify for the final. Although disappointed, it was the first time for a long time that we have sent 2 J15 VIIIs to NSR and it was great to see so many boys racing hard for Shiplake.

 The J15 A Crew looked “fired up” for the semi final and gave it a really good go but unfortunately came up short.  Although they will be extremely disappointed not to make the final, I am sure this crew will learn from this painful experience and I hope that this will be a catalyst for them to go on and achieve greater things.

 It was also pleasing to enter 3 Senior Squad boats to NSR and for the first time ever a 3rd VIII. The 3rd VIII will have been delighted with their performance finishing with a Bronze medal behind Eton and Hampton but well ahead of Abingdon and Radley. Congratulations to all boys involved and coach Mr Fitton.  I hope this, together with the tour to USA, will further inspire them for another campaign next season.

 The Second Four raced in the School Coxed Four event and comfortably rowed into the semi finals but this proved to be too much of a challenge and they were unable to secure a place into the final.

 The 1st VIII have been building speed throughout the season and started the regatta with high hopes. The processional proved a good sharpening exercise for the crew finishing in a very encouraging 2nd place behind Monmouth School. The semi final was a much tougher affair but thankfully the 1st VIII finished in 2nd place behind KCS having had a real grudge match with Reading Blue Coat but finishing at least 1 length ahead of them to qualify for the final. The 1st VIII took the final on, leading the pack through the 1000m marker, but started to run out of steam in the final 500m of the race to finish 6th. Credit should go to the 1st VIII for giving it everything and as a light crew in a tail wind this was a very good effort, but perhaps not a true reflection of their overall pace.

 On Sunday, in miserably wet conditions, the 1st VIII raced in the Championship Coxless and Coxed Fours event and the J16s raced in the J16 coxed Four. I was delighted to see the J16 crew race so well in the processional races and qualify for the semi final. However, the semi final was a step too far but, in light of the fact that one of the members of this crew only started rowing this year, they have much to be pleased with. The 2 Senior Boats raced well in the processional races but sadly only the Coxless Four progressed through to the Semi Final where their weekend also ended.

 Overall it was a good weekend for the Boat Club and I know all rowers and coaches will be encouraged for even greater success next year.

 Finally, special thanks must go to all the parents who supported us throughout the weekend and made great use of our very posh new gazebo. Also we send our very grateful thanks to Mrs Davies for feeding all our rowers which, in itself, is by no means an easy task!!!

 For full results please see this Link

 Crews

 1stVIIIMorgan Fitz Hugh Simpson Hearnden Vardigans Rockell Lapham Glover Girling

 1stSchool Coxed Four Barrett Rewcastle Rushent Elcock Miller Bains

 3rdVIII Arnold Mehmet Crichton Waldron Leeves MacPhee Jardine Rossi Bull Butler

 J15 First EightT Berkley H Berkley Galligan Sloman Sherman Harman Mottram Green Marsh

 J15 Second EightChandler Emerson Janes Love Tse Grun Clarke Yeates Sheppard   

 J18 Championship Coxed Four Simpson Hearnden Glover Lapham

 J18 Championship Coxless Four Vardigans Morgan Rockell Fitz Hugh

 J16 Coxed Four Coleman McCulloch Hogan Baker Marriner

 J14 A OctupleWhitelaw Game M Fenton Sichel Downing Cooke Brown Pollard Riley

 J14 B OctupleAldridge Allen Parker Bossons Sartain Robinson Urquhart Brady J Fenton Ozwell

 J14 C OctupleFullerton Chambers Orchard Thomson Cuffe Cummings Carey Ellis Hargreaves