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One Gold, One Silver, One Bronze &10 Students in the Top Dozen Nationally for their Events – Great Rowing Day

On Saturday 8th December, twelve students went to the Lee Valley Velodrome, to compete in the British Rowing Indoor Championships.  This was our second year of attending and the buzz was palpable. The students who had raced before were looking forward to their chance at ‘National Glory’ once more.

Joel Hammond, Year 11 competitor, was first up, having seen the athletes walk out onto the arena floor on the big TV screens, Joel looked to be a good six inches shorter than some others, but from the starting bell he was quickly in the top three for his heat. An impressive performance throughout against significantly taller and heavier opposition. He was 4th in his heat and 8th overall.

Next up was James Robson, defending a Silver medal from last year as a Year 9. He was in the last wave of three to compete; his starting pace was a blistering 1,489m in 5 minutes. He was on track and in top slot for the first 3 minutes, however, the lad in second place had paced himself well and managed to pull level with James, meaning James rowed an enormous 1,514m, to become the British Silver medalist for his year group: he had smashed his personal best.

The last of our morning racers was PJ. You might think that given  he was just using his back and arms, a shorter time might of been appropriate, but PJ competed over the same time as James Robson. To give an insight into the stamina required for this physical test, try doing 30 sit ups a minute for 5 minutes, (which does not take into account the hard pull back required). A massive 1,039 m won PJ a well deserved Gold medal.

After a long interval,the Year 7s and 8s raced. In practice Josh Barnes and Rafael Quinn had shown good potential with very little between them.  Abbigail Forgenie and Poppy Spense were also producing good results.  All four raced for 2 minutes and scored extremely well. They were all in the top 12 for their event, but special mention goes to Josh Barnes, rowing 501m, and took Bronze medal.

Last, but far from least, came the Year 8 squad with Oscar Black for the boys and four girls: Olivia Fyfe, Milly Hopkins, Chritina Baxter, and Emily Downing. In the boys race, Oscar Black began very fast and in pole position, but lack of time on the erg meant by half way (1:30 min ) the field had started to catch him up; he just needs more time with the squad to medal in years to come. The Year 8 girls performed in the last event. In training, Emily Downing had been just ahead of the others and started on erg 1 at the top of the list. As the race got under way, she did not move from that top slot for the first 20 strokes, but dropped just one place to 2nd. Just below her was Christina Baxter. For most of the three minutes duration both girls were right in the mix for Bronze. In the end, Emily came 4th: 6m off Bronze, with Christina in 5th position, just behind. Olivia Fyfe also finished in the top dozen. This is definitely a year group to watch in the regattas over the next few years.

One Gold. One Silver. One Bronze. 10 students in the top dozen nationally for their events.  A good day for them and GMSBC

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