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Wallingford entered seven boats in this year’s National Schools’ Regatta and finished the event with six boats making it through to the semi-finals and one of those six not only winning gold but also breaking a course record.

The National Schools’ Regatta is the UK's top event for junior rowers and scullers. Held over three days at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham, the event covers age groups from J14 to J18 and for all classes of boat. Wallingford’s most successful entry of the day was the girls’ J16 quad with Alice Walker, Leanne Reeves, Freya Dale and Hannah Whelan. Despite the weather, the girls produced the fastest time of their 16 boat timed processional eliminator before not only winning their semi-finals, but breaking the course record which had stood since 1999. Conditions worsened for the final but the girls won by two lengths. They were rewarded with the Fawley Cup, a handsome replica of the trophy for the 1919 Peace Regatta marking the end of First World War.

There was success for other Wallingford crews too. Racing on the Friday in the J15 doubles category, Dan Wilkinson and Tom Brock had a great time trial, making it through to the semi-finals before finishing behind the eventual bronze medal winners by just 0.81 seconds. The boys raced again on Sunday in a higher age category, and again raced well reaching the semi-finals. Other Wallingford crews who successfully made it through to their semi-finals were the girls J14 coxed quad (Lucy Walker, Ellie Thompson, Alex Baxter, Charlotte Brock coxed by Edward Mills), girls J16 double (Beth Coombes and Catherine Jenkins) and Catherine Jenkins in the girls J16 single category.

Winning crew
W.J16.4x- Alice Walker, Leanne Reeves, Freya Dale, Hannah Whelan

 

Wallingford’s veteran squad once again proved to be a competitive force, taking home four golds, three silvers and one third place at this year’s British Rowing Masters’ Championships. The event took place at the National Watersports Centre and, as expected, provided challenging conditions with a strong tail wind pervading throughout the day.

Gold medals came from Wallingford’s Ted Garlick and Ken Houston in the masters G/H2X who led from out of the blocks to win. Sean Morris and Colin Cusack had a strong win in the G/H2- category before inching away from the competition in the afternoon and winning the masters F2- convincingly as well. The women’s B8+ followed on from a win at the Veterans’ Head of the River to take gold in what shaped up to be an exciting race. Whilst Wallingford led throughout, the crew was never more than a quarter of a length up on the competition from Nottingham and held off a strong push from them in the last 300m to cross the line first, just 0.8s ahead.   

The men’s E4+ had a comfortable row to win their heat. In the final, the race was led all the way by Lea who went on to win gold but Wallingford put in a blistering last 250m to win silver by the narrowest of margins. The Mixed D/E 8+ also had another tight race which again saw Wallingford fight through a strong field, inching ahead of Nottingham in the final few strokes to take silver by just over a second. Whilst the W.Mas.C2- also came second in their final, they put in one of the strongest performances of the day, chasing down Wallbrook (who had started with an 18 second head start on handicapping), to narrowly lose out on gold by just 0.3 of a second.

Wallingford's F8+ rowed another close race, finishing in third place and a mere 3/100 of a second behind second place.

Winning crews
W.Mas.B8+ Sharon O’Loughlin, Julia Wilks, Emily Booker, Becky Waller, Anna Storrs, Sally Axon, Lizzie Ingram, Caroline Benham, Lamorna Newcombe (cox)
Mas.G/H2X Ted Garlick, Ken Houston
Mas.G/H2- Sean Morris, Colin Cusack
Mas.F2- Sean Morris, Colin Cusack

 

This year’s SiS Wallingford Regatta was a great success, with the club finishing the day with two wins of its own. Building work for the Olympics was obviously under-way but with cool but almost perfect conditions, Wallingford Regatta saw a full day’s racing with heats and finals taking place until well into the evening. 

Wallingford’s J16 women 4x- raced through the heats to win their category. They were presented with their prizes by the Mayor of Wallingford, Colin Dolton. Wallingford’s Caroline Greves, competed in the W.IM1.1x category and had a very successful heat, winning the heat before taking first place in her final.

Other Wallingford crews also had a successful day, with the club finishing second in W.ELI pairs and Anna Reid and Christina Heemskerk finishing third and fourth respectively in the women’s elite singles. Wallingford’s W.IM2.8+ and J16.4x- also had a good day’s racing; rowing well in their heats to make the finals, before finishing fourth. ;

This year saw Wallingford Regatta join in partnership with SiS, who also sponsors the GB rowing team. Nutritional advice was given out on the day with all competitors receiving a goody bag of SiS products.

 

Winning crews
W.IM1.1x Caroline Greves
W.J16A.4x-Alice Walker, Hannah Whelan, Freya Dale and Leanne Reeves

 

Wallingford Rowing Club was out in force again at this year’s Abingdon Head of the River. Junior members right through to senior and veteran competed over the weekend, winning categories from novice to intermediate 1. All members of the club, from junior to veteran, novice to senior, took to the waters to bring home a great number of victories. Wallingford had seven wins on the day including Alice Walker (pictured) who jointly won the W.J16.1x and the trophy for the fastest female junior sculler of the day. Wallingford's veterans also had a successful day, winning the masters D and G.2x as well winning the masters G.8+.

Although the veterans didn't have any competition in the masters F.8+ category, they had a great race and finished with the fifth fastest time overall for the whole event. Wallingford's senior women won the WIM2.8+ and novice Katharine Tuite won the W.Nov.1x. The last win for the club came from a mixed composite with Wallingford's senior men and woman teaming up with Lorna Carter from Swansea University Rowing Club to win the Mx.IM1.4+. Overall it was a very successful day and great to have members of all ages and abilities from the rowing club out together, competing and enjoying their successes.

Winning crews
Mas.G.8+ Ted Garlick, Andy Knight, Vince Kerrigan, Pieter van Vrede, Ken Houston, Jeremy Warrell, Roger Turnbull, Chris Gamester, Mark Wood (cox)
WIM2.8+ Caroline Benham, Lizzie Ingram, Sally Axon, Anna Storrs, Becky Waller, Emily Booker, Julia Wilks, Sharon O'Loughlin, Lamorna Newcombe (cox)
Mx.IM1.4+ Edward Hares, Robert Hares, Lorna Carter (SURC), Katharine Tuite, Tom Ajose (cox)
Mas.G.2x Ted Garlick, Ken Houston
Mas.D.2x Pieter van Vrede, Andy Knight
W.Nov.1x Katharine Tuite
W.J16.1x Alice Walker

 

The Oarsport National Junior Sculling Head is a major event raced at Dorney Lake, the site of the 2012 Olympics for rowing. The event attracted nearly 400 crews from all over Britain, including crews from Scotland and Wales. The races consist of the older J16, J17 and J18 crews racing three 1800 metre lengths of the lake whilst younger crews race two 1800 metres legs.

Wallingford Rowing club entered four quads in total, including girl’s J16 and boy’s J16 coxless boats and girl’s J14 and boy’s J14 coxed boats. The club were rewarded with a win by the girls J16 crew who won their nineteen boat event by an enormous 20 seconds. This confirms that they have the potential to extend their tremendous form last year as J15's when they won twenty eight events in a quad, doubles and singles.

Other Wallingford crews performed well including the boys J16 crew who came 8th of 20 entries and the J14 coxed boys crew who were 12th of an enormous field of forty four boats.

Winning crew
W.J16.4x- Alice Walker, Hannah Whelan, Freya Dale and Leanne Reeves

 

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