Record Year Hopes for the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta

Junior Inter Regional Championships – could this be a record year?  Jim Waller reports…

This year’s Junior Inter Regional Regatta takes place on Sunday at Holme Pierrepont.   It is a competition between the 12  British rowing regions  who each put forward a team covering most boat types for categories J14,J15 and J16. With only 9 clubs and no eligible rowing schools the East Midlands is one of the smallest regions so it is no surprise that in the past we have found it hard to compete with the likes of Thames Upper and The North west.  This year for the first time ever we have managed to put together a full team. With such a small pool of rowers to draw on most of the eligible rowers in the region have been included and quite a few are having to double up events.  This year Nottingham are making a significant contribution to this team with 35 out of the 84 places filled by Nottingham Members

To put this into some context in the early years of the event the most Nottingham  managed to contribute to the regional team was maybe one or two scullers.  After 2003 the number of Nottingham rowers in the team gradually grew  but with limited success.  In 2005 only 4 of the East Midlands crews managed to make the finals and only the J14 boys 2x managed to win a medal (silver).  Over the next couple of years the number of finalists and medals grew slowly but because we couldn’t fill all of the events we were loosing too many points to the bigger regions. In 2006 EM were 8th overall, 2007 we were 9th, 2008 after getting together our strongest team to date the event was cancelled due to bad weather. Last year 2009 we came back with a vengeance   finishing 2nd in the girls competition and 5th in the boys we managed 4th overall.

Over the years this event has encouraged the development of junior rowing in the region. The necessity to make up composite crews has spawned many collaborations and friendships between the clubs. On a personal note I am very please that so many of the young people that I have taught to row in my time as Community Sports Coach have developed on to be such competitive athletes (39 out of the total of 84).

This year’s team should be the strongest yet with many of the selected crews and scullers having real medal prospects.  So weather permitting I hope we might be in for something really special on Sunday.

View the draw and timetable

For full detail about the event visit the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta website