Peter Rudge, Master i/c Rowing, writes: It was an extremely busy and successful weekend for the Boat Club with crews racing at three different locations. Our Shell and Fourth Form boys went to Shiplake, our Shell and Fourth Form girls went to Pangbourne while our senior girls and Fifth Form boys raced at Bedford Regatta.
The Shell girls took three quads to Pangbourne College with the intention of racing in a round robin event against our hosts and Cheltenham College. Sadly, Pangbourne were not able to field a crew on the day but Cheltenham were keen to race their eight and our girls took on the challenge of racing them in a four. The girls were game for this challenge and despite having four fewer scullers in their boat, the Teddies four triumphed over the Cheltenham eight by a full length over the course distance of 500m. Our B four went on to beat the Cheltenham College A and B fours easily; a fantastic result. The Teddies C four then lost narrowly (by a canvas) to the Cheltenham A four before going on to beat their B four easily. This meant that Teddies won the overall fixture by 4 wins to 1.
The Fourth Form girls raced a very competitive crew from Pangbourne and were unlucky to go down to three close defeats. They might well have won two of the races but a few slight mistakes meant they let slip a winning position. They are clearly a very good crew and the racing will have given them some valuable experience.
On the boys’ side we took a large flotilla of boats to race Shiplake and while our B and C crews were unable to win, they all enjoyed some close racing. It was a very different story for our A crews as our Shell A crew recorded a resounding win which was matched by our Fourth Form A crew similarly despatching Shiplake with ease.
Whilst the junior crews were busy at Pangbourne and Shiplake our senior girls and Fifth Form boys raced at Bedford regatta. Our Fifth Form boys were rather unlucky to lose an extremely close race against Kingston Grammar but our senior girls were kept extremely busy throughout the day. Their coach, Tom Burton, has this to say about their efforts:
“The first eight was narrowly beaten by a South African junior crew in their first race. This was slightly disappointing as the school eight were leading their international counterparts until the halfway point. The eight then split into two fours with the first four beating Bedford Girls’ School convincingly, the second four then beat Cheltenham College in a very entertaining race. In their semi-finals, the first four lost out to a very fast crew from Lady Eleanor Holles and the second four had a ‘nip and tuck’ race with the hosts Bedford Rowing club where the result wasn’t certain until the last 50 meters. The day finished with the eight racing a club crew from Maidstone, narrowly losing in a close fought encounter.”
The Boat Club has another busy day this Saturday with crews racing at Thames Ditton Regatta, Nottingham City Regatta and also here in Oxford as crews complete their final preparation for the National Schools Regatta in two weeks’ time