Junior racing in March

CCRC Juniors - Racing in March

Charlotte's report 

As the City juniors don't like the easy option, March provided the opportunity to continue the trend of February and race lots and lots in as many different places, boats and combinations as possible.

The month started with Champs Junior Sculling Head, rowing on home water in a race as different to the Winter League as possible by being a) "really not very long" at 1,450m and b) sunny.



With 21 juniors racing in 13 crews, and too many good performances to mention individually, the juniors secured a number of good times, strong second places and six race wins, making City (joint with Peterborough) the most successful club of the day. Congratulations to the following crews for fantastic wins:

J15 4x+ - Karim (cox), Jack, Mycroft, Sam, Jack WJ17 2x - Izzi and Izzie WJ15 2x - Izzie and Emma WJ14 2x - Jemima and Katie WJ17 1x - Izzi WJ14 1x - Katie

Special mention goes to Izzi and Izzie for winning an additional prize for "best (most elegant) double of the day", despite being a scratch crew, and Katie for a very gutsy performance in the single to record a very strong time and win. Thanks, too, to video supremo, John, for turning the day's racing into a suitably exciting short film: http://vimeo.com/38691629

Nine days later, 13 juniors managed to convince their schools to let them have the day off to go to the National Junior Sculling Head (the junior equivalent of HoRR) at Dorney Lake in Eton, the rowing venue for the Olympics. Rowed over 3.6km (two legs of the lake), the race was a considerable step-up in terms of scale, level of competition, length of the course and size of the waves. Where some schools turned up with marquees, banners and eight ergs to warm up, we turned up without a cox box (sorry, Karim) and with half a metal no parking sign from a detour with the trailer to Eton College. Once racing started, though, the juniors made sure that the only place they were outdone was the river bank, with strong performances against the top clubs and schools in the country:

WJ14 4x+ - Karim (cox), Bex, Jemima, Katie, Ava - 16th out of 42 crews WJ15 4x+ - Karim (cox), Izzie, Izzi (super-sub), Emma, Anna - 13th out of 36 crews J15 4x+ - Karim (cox), Jack S, Sam, Mycroft, Jack G - 22nd out of 37 crews All crews had very gutsy rows to record strong times, with the boys finishing around the middle of the category and the girls finishing just outside the top third. For the J14 crew, who started rowing in June (and with Ava still just J13!), the result was particularly impressive. Special mention goes to Karim, who coxed all three crews brilliantly in challenging conditions, without a cox box and without complaint!

Sunday 25th March then saw three of the more foolish juniors set off very early in the morning to race at the British indoor Rowing Championships in Nottingham. Having completed the registration cards (and deciding after discussion that 'insanity' was a a prerequisite for the race and as such didn't need listing under medical conditions), Charlotte sensibly suggested calming pre-race nerves by watching the J12 boys race. This strategy might not have been the most sensible and, having waited in the holding pen, Jemima and Katie duly set off in the WJ14 category at splits roughly 15-20 seconds per 500m under their PB pace. As the adrenalin started to be overtaken by pain, both dug deep and held on through the closing stages to secure huge PBs, with Katie going 60m further than her previous PB to reach 951m in 4 minutes and Jemima breaking the 1km mark to finish in 6th with a very impressive 1011m, only 19m off the bronze medal.

Having watched Jemima and Katie set the standards with great performances, Izzi stepped up to the mark in the WJ18 lightweight category. Setting off hard through the first 500m, holding a solid rhythm through the middle 1000m and through sheer determination keeping her head through the last 500m, Izzi finished in a strong 8 minutes 20 seconds to pick up a PB and a very well deserved bronze medal. After receiving a medallist t-shirt and certificate, Izzi made her way to the medal ceremony (and, perhaps just as impressive as her race given her comedy-accident prone record, managed to walk on to the rostrum on camera without falling over) to add a very shiny BIRC medal to her collection from earlier in the month.

After some fantastic race results across the board this month, the juniors are back down to serious training - and by the end of the month will know how to turn around standing up in a single into an oncoming flock of swans, row with one blade squared and the other feathered, and learn exactly when in the tracks on Jack's playlist you are allowed to start a 250m erg piece.

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