January's Regatta

Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) 2018

On January 13th Christchurch Rowing Club was well represented at the Wessex Junior Inter-Regional Regatta qualifying trials at Coalporters Amateur Rowing Club, Southampton. This took the form of a series of side-by-side races over a 700 metre course to decide which crews should represent the Wessex region at the regatta.

The JIRR is an annual event for Junior 14 through to Junior 16 rowers. It includes virtually all boat categories and is held at the National Water Sports Centre (NWSC), Holme Pierrepont, near Nottingham. This year the regatta will take place on Saturday 21st April.

The Championship is contested between all of the British Rowing Regions, with the Thames region split into three (Thames Upriver, Thames London and Thames South East) to make 12 teams in total; ours being Wessex. Each region selects a crew per age / boat category to represent it at the regatta. With twelve regions and six lanes at NWSC, each event comprises two heats. The fastest six boats across the two heats contest an A final and the rest a B final. Therefore, all crews are guaranteed two races. Points are awarded according to final positions, 1st place in A final = 12 points through to 6th place in B final =1 point. Once the day’s racing is complete the final points tally is calculated and the 12 regions are ranked accordingly.

Wessex is mounting a serious challenge and following the trials has amassed a keen and able group of juniors looking forward to a couple of months of hard graft – on the water and in the gym – in order to be well prepared to take on some of the country’s best junior crews.

Back to Coalporters. Christchurch crews contested six categories and qualified directly for five.

Sol Hewitt – junior 16 single sculls

Ollie Leat / Ned Clarke – junior 16 double sculls

Molly Morris – girls’ junior 15 single sculls

William Tate – junior 15 single sculls

Annabelle Donaldson – girls’ junior 14 single sculls

Alice Facer and Hannah Eddicott had a fine row in the girls’ junior 16 double sculls event but didn’t get the favourable verdict in a photo-finish. However, in recognition of their effort, they have been invited to be part of a Wessex composite girls’ junior 16 eight.

Christchurch juniors – along with those from other clubs selected to represent Wessex - will now focus on their training with some early spring head-racing planned from late February.

L-R: Annabelle Donaldson, Molly Morris, Alice Facer, Ollie Leat, Ned Clarke & Sol Hewitt (Missing: Hannah Eddicott)

Weybridge Winter Head January 20th

Attended by CRCs Masters,

Particularly wet and wintery conditions in the lead up to Weybridge Winter Head left the organisers in some doubt as to whether this years 3000m time trial race on the Thames would run. Thankfully the rain abated enough to allow a drop in the current and a conditions window coincided with Saturday 20th January and Christchurch Rowing Club received the happy news that the event was on.

Christchurch had 3 crews racing (you will need details from Faye and Rob) the womens masters 8 was itself beset with pre-race crew member issues eventually settling out a crew with 3 substitutions that had not trained together before the race day. The final line up was; Louise Fair-weather, Amanda Pearson, Susan Ponsford, Julia Fabrizi, Sally Percival-Foy, Emma Kelly, Sara Glen, Lucy Hart coxed by Oli.

The row up to the start consisted of the usual jostling as crews of varying abilities meandered across each other’s paths. Then there was the timing of de-robing down to race kit (vest and shorts with or without long sleeve and leggings), too early and it’s freeing cold hanging around, too late and there’s the mad panic to get ready before the starter shouts ‘start’. This time we timed it right, made our way to the start, turned round the buoy and headed for the start line. Oli called the start perfectly and we set off at a blistering 29 strokes per minute, a push for 10 hard strokes was called under every bridge (there were 3) and using the very British land mark of the Swan pub the call for the home push was made. The 8 started at position 148, we pulled away from 149 but the HSBC crew number 150 had a rocket row and had clearly gained on our position. The 8 finished 3rd out of a total of 7 Masters crews. All things considered it was a good race with plenty to improve upon. Bring on Avon County in February.

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