The last two premier junior events of the Head Season allowed QEHS Rowers to demonstrate success across all age groups and in both sculling and sweep oar disciplines.
The northern region junior trials provided an opportunity for all clubs to put forward rowers J14 to J16 hoping to gain selection to the northern team. This team will compete against the eleven other regional teams at an April event held at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. The trials were held at Cambois Rowing Club over a 1500m course with a selection policy of first past the post gains selection.
The last time the national event was able to go ahead was 2018 with 2019 cancelled because of weather and 2020 and 2021 cancelled because of Covid restrictions. This means that there is little experience across the team of national competition.
QEHS Rowing gained selection of twenty eight rowers, which is one third of the regional team. The most junior rowers selected were the boys and girls J14 doubles of Emily L, Ania S, Jacob and Finn C who started at QEHS Rowing in September 2021. In the J15 age group the selected rowers were the boys and girls Coxed Fours of Edward D, Jacob W, Tom H, Tom D, Harrison P (cox) and Evie G, Jess G, Elizabeth VH, Zoe RH, Esme R(cox).
The J16 crews did manage to get some national racing experience last year in the National Junior Championships, which were allowed to take place when Covid restrictions were lifted. The selected QEHS J16 rowers were the Girls Four of Lucy S, Meg C, Josie F, Ruby R; the Girls Coxless Quad of Halle S, Annie R, Charlotte G, Katrine C and the Girls Double of Ruby C, Ava S. The J16 boys Coxless Quad of Henry W, Lucas G, Lewis D, Sam C.
Last weekend gave a final opportunity for QEHS Rowing to demonstrate strength in depth when they took eighty four rowers to Ponteland Junior Head to race over 2400m on the Tyne at Newburn. Cancellation of York Head brought St Peter’s School from York north to gain valuable racing experience and provide local clubs with new and stiff competition.
In uncustomary smooth waters of the Tyne at Newburn and in glorious sunshine QEHS Rowing gained twelve event wins and won the overall Victor Ludorum for the top club. The VL trophy, a cut glass bowl, was presented to the four QEHS Rowing captains Esme R, Zara H, Christian R, Ben R in front a large crowd and was a welcome return to formal presentations at a rowing event for several years.
GB trialist Robbie C continued his winning ways as he took the J18 single scull event followed by his crew mate Christian R who won the J17 single scull event. The J16 boys who won the regional event continued by winning the Ponteland event then Sam and Henry jumped into a Double Scull to also win in this race category. The regional selected J16 girls Quad named above also won the same event at Ponteland and then Charlotte and Katrine won the Double Sculls event, whist Halle and Annie won the Sweep Pairs event. As the selected WJ16 Four had no competition at Ponteland they did the Four event for Time Only to get valuable practice for the national event. They then jumped into a Quadruple Scull to show versatility and coxed by Holly A they won this event. The WJ15 Double Scull event was won by Rachel H and Freya C.
The two selected boys and girls J14 doubles named above justified their regional selection by also winning at Ponteland. The size of QEHS Rowing provides opportunities in many different events and as expected the entry of a boys and girls J14 Octuple Scull (8 rowers in one boat) provided no competition. However, the QEHS coaches keen to provide different racing opportunities, created two mixed J14 crews. It provided a spectacle for onlookers as these very young rowers negotiated the 20metre boats into the water and raced over the 2.4Km course. The winning crew of Ella B, Martha C, Amy J, Lucy W, Adam R, Hugh B, Liam D, James M coxed by club captain Esme R collected their first ever rowing medal.