MAABC Women’s Senior squad shows quality and depth

The Mortlake Anglian and Alpha Boat Club senior girls have finished a successful summer season with six medals at the Home International Regatta. This event has now become a permanent fixture in the MAA calendar (we have even moved the Annual dinner to accommodate it) as consistently producing wins at National Championships gains coveted places on the Home Countries’ teams.

The spoils from this season include 10 medals at Henley Women regatta, 8 golds, 4 silver, 4 bronze medals at the National Championships regatta and 6 gold medals at Home International regatta.

At the Home International Regatta, Anna Townsend and Ruth Sander repeated their National Championship victory in Lwt 2x over Scotland and Wales then combined forces with Lwt National Quad sculls champions, Helen Ralston and Sarah Scrase-Field to win the Women’s Quadruple Sculls medals (note, not lightweight!).

This year showed ‘only’ MAA representation for England and Wales. This was the 4th year in a row the winning HIR quad had MAA girls in it. This year the 5th sculler across the line was also an MAA girl (Beks Edgar), steering the Welsh quad. This didn’t quite compare with 2006 when every one of the four quad sculls lining up for the final included an MAA sculler.

Other MAA athletes came second, in the under 23 coxless four, lightweight pair, women’s eight and welsh quad, in what are always hotly contested races. Particular mention should go to the lightweight pairing of Sarah Scrase-Field and Sarah Cornick – Sarah Cornick has spent a dominant season in this boat with another Sarah (Mee) winning at Metropolitan, Henley Women’s and Nationals, but Sarah Mee was unable to make this final regatta – the revised pairing of Sarah’s was not quite a match for the Scottish pair from Strathclyde Park who’d got the silver at Nationals last week, but showing that their pace wasn’t too far off the original MAA pair.

These wins and second placings helped England to get ahead of Scotland at the last moment to defend the Ladies championship. There was a great team atmosphere with every point being hotly contested to contribute to the team, even if the crew wasn’t going to win the medal.

This high quality group is coached jointly by George Jones and Ian Roots (ARA Senior Coach of the Year 2008) . It is a happy, friendly group where members are treated as individuals, able to show that they can turn their hands to sculling or sweep and produce medals at the highest level year after year. 2009 has just reinforced this group’s dominance in women’s rowing.

Anyone interested in joining this successful programme should contact Ian Roots ian@maabc.com to discuss their own ambition for the coming season.

Report from Sarah Blackburn, Vice Captain, Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC