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Two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze

Two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze

A hugely successful weekend at Blenheim for the rowing teams.

The beginning was not auspicious though, as at 0745 on Saturday morning as a small band of Year 8 boys dutifully unloaded their boats in front of the imposing Blenheim Palace, a strong gusty wind reduced the multi-lane, side by side regatta to a series of time trials, and also brought a cool drizzle to dampen spirits even further.

This regatta, set in the magnificent grounds of Blenheim, has been growing in popularity, with crews from many of the private schools becoming involved in recent years. Crews as far afield as Nottingham and Evesham were there. With the size of the entry, as big as it has now become, several events were split into two or even three waves to manage the numbers on the lake at any one time.

The first Double race were Joe Cogan and Jack Clark, followed closely by Will Clayton and Sal Dunn. The frustration of time trials is that you do not know the result until sometime afterwards, when the organisers announce medallists in reverse order. Joe and Jack had a good row and were very pleased with their 5th place, 4 seconds off bronze. Will and Sal, were over the moon when it was announced they had been awarded Silver in 1:55s but a bit abashed to hear Gold had gone to a time of 1:43. However, it was quickly established that this record breaking time was an error from the timers and Will and Sal were promoted to Gold.

The Girls’ Quad came next, when conditions had deteriorated further. In very blustery conditions they did not have a good row, with several missed strokes and partially lost oars, sadly, they came off the lake in low spirits. However, despite the wind becoming stronger, the sun started to shine through and they were determined to put in a better showing in their Doubles.

Hence, with the sun out and the wind howling across the lake, the girls went out for their Double event.

All the teams had good rows and came off the lake in far better spirits. The long wait for results was rewarded: Olivia Fyfe and Milly Hopkins were delighted as their Bronze medal position was announced in the first wave. Tia Briggs and Ocean Dove were ecstatic at their Silver medal. Christina Baxter and Emily Downing looked more than a little apprehensive, with Bronze and Silver already announced for their event, their expressions coming to terms with the seemingly inevitable; suddenly, with great shouts, probably more from the parents of GMS this double had won Gold.

Two Golds, a Silver and a Bronze had definitely turned the gloomy start to the day into one of celebration.

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