Nat Schools success despite storms

This year’s Nat Schools Regatta saw the full three-day racing programme completed in Nottingham, despite the threat of stormy weather over the Bank Holiday weekend. In 2013, Friday’s racing had to be abandoned owing to the adverse water conditions.

The girls’ championship eights was won in style by the favourites from Headington School, but it was a different story in the boys’ event. 

St Paul’s School, winners of the Schools’ Head in March, were narrowly beaten into fourth place by 2013 winners Abingdon in the first semi-final with three to qualify, St Edward’s and Eton taking the first two places. The second semi was just as tight and on this occasion it was Shrewsbury who lost out by half a second to Radley. Hampton and King’s Wimbledon were first and second respectively.

As the light faded at close to 8 o’clock in the evening the final got underway. Abingdon blasted off the start and took a half length’s lead which they maintained throughout the race. Eton took silver and Hampton repeated last year’s result with a bronze medal. One must feel for St Edward’s, who were fancied before the event, as they were forced to make a substitute owing to injury minutes before their time trial.

Abingdon coach David Currie said afterwards: “We were only fifth at the Schools’ Head but have been steadily improving and gaining confidence since. This was a great performance – it all came right on the day.”

Henley RC performed particularly well taking seven golds and three silvers over the three days. This included the girls’ J16 quad sculls trophy where the 2013 British Junior Championship winning crew at J15 level dominated their race back at Holme Pierrepont this year.

Nottingham locals Kyra Edwards and Anna Thornton continued to dominate the girls’ single sculls events taking the J17 and championship categories respectively. In 2013 Kyra won at J16 level and then both went on to successfully represent Great Britain at the GB v France Match.

As usual many Scottish crews travelled south and fared particularly well at J15/16 level taking five golds as well as several silver and bronzes. This included Aberdeen Schools RA who dominated the J16 coxed fours event with Glasgow Academy RC taking the girls’ equivalent.

“It was always going to be a challenge with a record 1,346 entries but despite being a touch damp over the weekend water conditions remained good and provided excellent racing,” said Chairman George Hammond. “Our success depends on the support and co-operation of clubs, schools and coaches and we are grateful to them in making the regatta what it is today,” he added.

Full results can be found at www.nationalschoolsregatta.co.uk.

Maggie Phillips

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