Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) 2018

National Water Sports Centre, Saturday 21 April

941 Rowers from 119 clubs - representing 12 regions - donned their colours for the annual Junior Inter-Regional Regatta at the National Water Sports Centre (NWSC), Nottingham.

The Championship is contested between the British Rowing Regions, with the Thames split into three (Thames Upriver, Thames London and Thames South East) to make 12 regional teams in total.

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 the A final = 12 points through to 6th place in the B final =1 point. Once the day’s racing is complete the final points tally is calculated and the winning region declared.

Selection for Wessex Region representation was on the basis of qualifying races held at Coalporters Rowing club back in January. Five crews and participation in a composite girls’ J16 eight made up Christchurch RC’s contribution to the Wessex cause:

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

Charlie Brad, Milly Campbell, Hannah Eddicott, Alice Facer, Lydia Hardy

& Verity Leat (coxswain) - girls’ junior 16 eight (CRC representatives within composite crew)

Unusually for an April day in the East Midlands, calm waters and warm temperatures made for excellent conditions. And the vocal supporters lining the NWSC towpath were treated to 96 races running almost continuously from 9 o’clock in the morning to just shy of 6 o’clock in the evening.

With many of the country’s best J14-J 16 crews competing the standard was exceptional and it was a great opportunity for our crews to experience racing at the highest level. Sol Hewitt finished a creditable 5th in the A final of the tough J16 single sculls category. With only around 3 seconds separating 3rd and 5th it was a close fought contest. William Tate just missed out on A final qualification in J15 single sculls but made short work of the B final, winning by about 5 lengths in a time that would have placed him 5th in the A final. Molly Morris and Annabelle Donaldson both put in good performances to each finish 2nd in their respective B finals (GJ15 and GJ14 single sculls) picking up valuable points for the region. The boys’ J16 double of Ollie Leat and Ned Clarke found themselves in amongst some very quick crews but sculled well in their heat and B final. The Girls’ J16 composite 8 also gave a good account of themselves and held their own against some very experienced crews.

Luke Dillon, Chairman of the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta said:

“Huge congratulations to everyone who has been part of today. There has been some nail-bitingly close racing and it has been fantastic to see the quality of crews selected by all the regions.

“Everyone who races at the JIRR has competed and won in order to be selected, just rowing at the event is an achievement. Thank you to all the parents, coaches and team managers who have helped to support the teams and to the officials who have run the event.”

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