Laura and Anna prepare for the 'big one'


Tuesday, 30 June 2015 11:17 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2015 10:49


While the rest of Nottingham Rowing Club were either recovering from Henley Women's Regatta or else getting ready for Henley Royal Regatta or Henley Masters' Regatta, high performance coach Dez Atkins was in Holland over the weekend of 27th - 28th June with Senior sculler Laura Wheeler and Junior sculler (and Becket School sixth former) Anna Thornton.

The girls were looking for quality international competition at the Holland Beker regatta in Rotterdam and, as Dez reports, found it. "They raced well, stepping up at each stage. Laura made history by being the first GB athlete ever to make the A Final. She has been selected in the Princess Royal event at the Henley Royal Regatta, a first female selection for the club. Anna was second in the B Final, a fantastic achievement; to put this in perspective, Jess Leyden only reached the C Final last year when she was Junior World Champion. Anna's percentages of gold medal times were the highest of all GB athletes. We have caught up 13 seconds but it still might not be enough to be selected as a single for the Rio Junior World Championships later this year."

At the very same time, at a windy National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham Rowing Club under 16s were in trials for Team GB to face France in the annual challenge match.

Rachel Heap (Rushcliffe School ) was 5th out of 10 in single Sculls, but Lucy Holgate and Hannah Stocks, coached by Declan Gamble, using a Wintech Cobra double scull loaned by Ruddington-based Oarsport, won their event by seven seconds and were selected to represent Team GB. They are the fifth NRC athletes to wear GB kit this year, and follow others who over the years have trodden the Club's Junior Development Pathway.