Nottingham Rowing Club dominates 2012 National Schools' Regatta

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Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:00 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2012 20:53

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The National Schools’ Regatta took place at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont over three days over the Bank Holiday weekend. It is the largest gathering of junior rowers in the country with youngsters from all the major public schools and rowing clubs.

Nottingham Rowing Club’s juniors, marshalled by Junior Coordinator and coach Claire Parnell, put in some impressive performances and came away with 9 medals: 3 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze. They were the most successful rowing club, coming second to public school Headington and beating the mighty Eton in the process! They also established two new course records.

On day one, rowing over a 1000m course, Rowan Law from West Bridgford School won the men’s J15 single sculls gold medal from 30 other scullers. In the final, he was down at half way but a charge to the line gave him the verdict by 0.5 seconds over his Sir William Borlases opponent!

In the women’s event, three of Nottingham’s girls made it to the final from 33 entries. The gold medal was won by Olivia Kay from Rushcliffe School, who sprinted away from her Bedford School opposition to set up a course record of 3 minutes 54.40 seconds - the previous record was over 4 minutes. Anna Thornton (Fernwood School) was also within the old record time and took the bronze. Kyra Edwards, coached by Julie Edwards, in her first ever regatta, came sixth.

To finish the day Faisan Shah from Farnborough School and Harvey Kay, Rushcliffe School, won the silver medal for Junior 14 double sculls in a field of 22, losing the gold to Peterborough City who set up a new course record, breaking the previous best set up by the Nottingham crew in their semi-final earlier in the day.

Day two, this time rowing over the full 2000m. stretch, brought more medals and another course record. Katie Bartlett, a pupil at Trinity School Aspley, sponsored by ‘Insideland’ and coached by Siemens World Class coach Julie Edwards, faced her great rival Lucy Burgess from Northwich Rowing Club in the final of Championship Sculls for 18-year olds. After a blistering start Katie led by half a length until 1250 metres when Lucy drew level. In reply Katie, in what is becoming a Nottingham Rowing Club tradition, put in a powerful killer burst and took a length lead. Not only that, she took the gold and set up a new record time for the event. Olivia Duckworth, Fernwood School, and Mary Wilson, Nottingham Girls’ High, rowed in the final of Championship Double sculls and worked their way from sixth place to take silver in an impressive display at the end of an exciting afternoon.

Day three was wet and cold. Nonetheless it was highly successful, with another three silver medals won by the club. Anna Thornton, rowing up a year was the fastest qualifier and won silver in the Women’s J16 event just behind American School but ahead of Walton Rowing Club. Anna has only been in Claire Parnell’s squad a year. Rowan Law also rowing up a year won silver in the Men’s J16 competition. He was 5th at 500 metres but second by 1500 metres and finished behind King’s Ely and ahead of Bedford Rowing Club. The girls’ quadruple sculls, coached by Julie Edwards, of Livy Kay, Olivia Duckworth, Mary Wilson and Katie Bartlett, who had been racing all weekend, faced a fresh Canford School crew that had beaten Nottingham at the City regatta convincingly. The crew stuck to their race plan, were fourth at 500m and second by 1000m. They never let Canford get away and took silver with less than a length between the boats, ahead of Latymer Upper School and Headington School. Connor Gamble and Dominic Parnell, having won their semi-final came fourth in the J16 double scull final.

‘A great National Schools’ Regatta for Nottingham Rowing Club’, said club President Keith Atkinson. ’To see our athletes take it to them is a joy and puts us in the forefront of junior rowing in the country. All credit to Claire Parnell and Julie Edwards for their coaching expertise getting the youngsters to turn it on at the right time and of course credit to the young rowers. The club is very proud of them indeed. We also thank their long-suffering parents for their unstinting support and great patience.’