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Juniors Update: Regatta Season so far

Our Junior squads have had a busy start of regatta season, see our race reports below:

Bedford Head

Due to the river conditions on the Thames being so poor and many local events being cancelled, we decided to send a full trailer of junior boats to Bedford for a days competition. We had 16 crews competing across the day in singles, doubles and quads over the challenging (and windy!) course. Ollie competed in his single 3 times across the day, posting consistent and fast times throughout the day. He did extremely well in the J18 1x coming 5th and also came 3rd in Nov 1x, a brilliant achievement.

The J16 boys (Sam, Henry, Max and Jasper) did very well in their 4x- coming 2nd in their category. They also competed in double sculls. Jasper/Sam came 5th in the category and Jasper/Max came 7th. Sam, also competed his first race in a single, where he displayed beautiful technique and timing throughout. 

Ruth (WJ18) and Molly (WJ16) both took to the river for their races in singles. It became very challenging for them during the second half of the course as the head wind increased! Both did the club proud and gave it their best shot. Unfortunately, Molly had a slight entanglement with a tree, but recovered well. Molly, also competed with Maisie (her first ever race!) in the WJ16 2x. This was a strong row from both and we hope to give them another race in this later in the season. Molly, Maisie and Ruth were joined by Hester to form a Nov 4x-. This was their last race of the day, with a very strong wind and Ruth’s first race steering a coxless quad. They rowed hard and gained 3rd place in their category. 

The WJ14s had two very strong races in the coxed quad. The combination of Caitlin, Emily, Holly, Ella DC and coxed by Hester came second in their category by a mere 5 seconds to Staines RC. They were disappointed, but will come back fighting. The second combination of Caitlin, Emily, Ella W, Beth and coxed by Jasper had a difficult run in a later division, with a very strong headwind! They came 6th overall, but it was the 3rd row for most of the athletes! 

The scratch coxed quad of Piers, Tom, Beth, Ella W and coxed by Hester, won the boys 4x+ by 18 seconds. A really strong performance from all, with some beautiful technique from some young rowers and a brilliant line steered by Hester. Very well deserved. 

It was a long day of racing, but all the coaches were delighted with the commitment from both the juniors and their parents! Especially when it came to trailer unloading at 8.30pm on a Sunday. We are thrilled to have a squad with so much potential.
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Ball Cup

We had a great turn out for the ball cup and everyone performed brilliantly in difficult conditions and the heat. Out of nearly 40 clubs we were ranked 10th overall at the end of racing.

J18 2x - Henry & Ollie - Had a strong heat coming 3rd. They came 6th in the final, staying in contact with the field the whole way down the course.
WJ18 1x - Niamh - Rowed a great race to come 2nd in her heat. She finished 6th in her final, racing against strong competition.
Ruth - Only her 2nd appearance in the single she rowed really well coming 5th in her heat, unfortunately she didn't qualify for final this time.
J13 4+x - Lorcan, Piers, Tom, Beth and coxed by Hester - Had a fantastic race coming a close 2nd in their heat . They had quite a dramatic final coming 2nd and challenging for 1st in the last 200m, when they caught a crab, they got it back together a finished 6th. Though disappointing for them, lots of important lessons were learnt.
WJ13 1x Ella DC - Had a great race and dealt with the windy conditions really well in the single, coming 4th in her final.
J16 2x Max & Jasper - had a strong row coming in 4th for their heat and narrowly missed qualify for the final by less than a second.
WJ14 1x Caitlin - Rowed well to come 3rd in her heat, her final was cancelled due to bad weather but she was awarded bronze for her time.
WJ13 2x - Beth & Ella - Won their heat with an impressive performance. Their final was cancelled due to bad weather but they were awarded silver for pulling the 2nd fastest time in the heats.
J18 1x Ollie - performed really well racing up a year category in a strong field he came 6th in heat.
WJ15 4+x - Hester, Maisie, Holly, Caitlin and coxed by Ruth - Won bronze in their straight final, they dealt very well with the windy and sometimes stressful conditions on Dorney!
J16 4x- Jasper Max Henry Owen - pulled together well to come a close 2nd in their heat. They challenged Charterhouse the whole way down the course and came in 2nd in their final
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Walton & Weybridge

Yet another blustery day in Surrey!

This event was 1000m downstream, with lots of local crews attending and was to be key preparation for those competing at National Schools later in the month. 

In the morning session we had 5 crews entered. First up were the WJ15 2x of Maisie and Hester. This was their first race as a paring and one that has a lot of potential for next season. They raced hard and gained valuable experience, but were knocked out in the first round by GRC (eventual winners of this category). The story was similar with Ruth and Niamh in the WJ18 2x, who were knocked out by KRC. However they did have the second fastest time of the day in their category. 
Caitlin had a strong start in her WJ14 1x, winning the first round, but was knocked out by a Walbrook sculler in the semi final. Molly had one of the most exciting races of the day in the WJ16 1x category. She fought from start to finish, but was defeated by the sculler from Christchurch. Both girls are developing into lovely single scullers and we hope for them to compete in them next season too. The WJ16 1x category was won in style by Megan, a member of the TwRC start programme. The WJ14 4x+ category was dominated by Surbiton High School, who successful got both their crews into the final. The TwRC crew of Emily, Ella DC, Ella W, Beth and coxed by Hester had a tough draw against Reading and lost narrowly in the quickest heat time. The time of the winning crew in the final was only a second faster than their heat, which shows that they are not far off the pace! 

The wind picked up throughout the day and by the afternoon session the tail wind was extremely strong and very difficult to navigate in! However, all the TwRC crews coped very well with the challenging changes. 

Niamh and Ruth both had good runs in the WJ18 1x event. Both rowed very strong and technical races, but unfortunately did not proceed to the next round. 

Ollie had a fantastic and nail biting race in his J18 1x against the Walton sculler (who eventually won the event). He lost by only a length and held contact with his opponent for 95% of the race! A strong start from a 17 year old in a 18 year old event. 

The final crew was the WJ15 4x+ of Caitlin, Emily, Maisie, Hester and coxed by Ella W. This crew has improved every session and this race was a test to see what they could do. They had a dodgy start and found it had to recover from. However at halfway they hit a fantastic rhythm and took a length out of the crew in front in 500m! This was a very promising row from a young and inexperienced crew. It will be great to see how they fare at National Schools Regatta! 

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National Schools 

This was the first time in many many years that Twickenham juniors attend National Schools Regatta! 

On Friday, we had the time trial for the WJ15 4x+ (Caitlin, Emily, Maisie, Hester & coxed by Ruth). With 48 crews in the category it was going to be a very tough field! They had some experience from Walton & Weybridge the week before, but were still nervous going up to the start. They rose to the challenge and came 23rd in the time trial, which qualified them for the D final. They once again improved their performance and came 4th in the final, giving them an overall ranking of 22nd. This was such a terrific race to watch and they gave it their all! 

On Sunday it was Ruth and Niamh’s turn in the girls championship double sculls. This is one of the toughest races of the whole event, with most schools putting their GB trialists into the mix. They raced hard in the time trials and got a place in the F final. They then gained 2nd place in their minor final, with a really gutsy race, leaving them both exhausted! We look forward to seeing their progress as senior lightweight women at university level. 

Scullery 

This was an opportunity for some of our more experienced younger juniors to compete in small boats over a 1500m race at Dorney lake. 

Hester/Caitlin in WJ15 2x and Ollie in J17 1x both raced a solid time trial, but sadly didn't qualify for the next round. They had 40+ crews in their categories and only the top 18 progressed. Strong and fighting performances from both and we look forward to seeing what they can do next season.

The WJ16 2x of Molly/Maisie gained a place in the B final after and gutsy time trial. They fought for the whole race after a shaky start and rowed through a crew in the field to come 5th! 
Fantastic performances from all the juniors and it was another step up from all previous events! We cannot wait to see how they fare at these events next year.