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British Rowing Indoor Championships

Despite the name of the event, this was a virtual competition where rowers from across Europe did enter. In the sixth form boys’ event on Saturday, there were 84 entries, with rowers from 14 different countries: from Russia to Ireland. In the sprints, James Robson and Joel Hammond both came in the top 20 in this very international field.

On Sunday, the main racing for GMSBC began at 12:00 with the Year 8s. The boys all performed well and finished fairly close together with Can Gucumengil coming in 8th, Will Allen 9th and Conor Quaan 10th. Well done  to these rowers for finishing among the top ten in Europe.

The Year 8 girls faced an all GBR field: Lauren Kennedy came 3rd in Bronze medal position. Just missing out, coming in 4th , was Georgia Mackay. Well done to them for finishing so close to the top.

Year 9s had a frustrating time with technology letting them down. Despite that, Poppy Spense pulled off an impressive 1008m in 4  minutes to come in 8th. In the 500m sprints, Poppy came 10th and Abigail Forgenie came 13th, . A truly impressive set of results. In the Boys’ sprint Archie Johnston was our top scorer, with Lucas Wolgers Gray coming 1 second behind him: well done.

The Year 10 boys mainly enrolled in the 500m sprint., Will Clayton came 11th in the international field, a result to be proud of.  However, it was the girls who had the home crowd screaming. In the 5 minute race there were a number of international unknowns, thus after one minute Emily Downing was uncharacteristically in 6th position with Christina Baxter in 5th.  But, as the race progressed, Emily’s consistent pacing saw her working through the rowers ahead of her and with 1 minute to go she hit the front from where she continued to pull away from the rest to secure yet another Gold medal. Christina came an impressive 6th, with a girl from Ukraine and another from Denmark just ahead of her. In the 500m sprints the GMS girls put in another storming performance: Emily took Gold, Olivia Fyfe Bronze and Peyton Nugent coming in 5th . Altogether a comprehensively impressive set of results, congratulations to them.

In the Year 11 events, the star performer was from Tom Wiles coming in 7th place in the sprints. However, all the rowers produced significant personal bests in their races, which was hugely exciting and something to build upon.

The last events of the afternoon were the relays. Our Year 9 girls’ crew, namely Poppy Spence, Abigail Forgenie, Charlotte Greening and Imogen Holder came second amongst their peers, making it a great race: congratulations to them.

The final girls’ race saw our Year 10 crew up against our 6th form girls, alongside other GB competitors and half a dozen international crews. It was always going to be a close race between our two crews; the experienced 6th formers took an early lead, but the raw power of the taller Year 10s saw the gap narrowing and, on the line, the two crews dead heated in 6th place. They are to be congratulated.

The Boys’ Relay team saw the Year 10s and Year 9s coming in fastest in their respective age groups, which was encouraging. The sixth form boys team of Joel Hammond, Leo Simpson, James Robson and Henry Gavin, had a close race in the last of the boys’ races, they were in 2nd place until half way, when they took the lead and moved ahead. What we had not realised at the time was that a crew in the previous race had raced even faster, meaning out GMS team had to accept the Silver medal. Never-the-less this is a superb result.

All the races of the day have made GMS proud of our rowers: their ability, their resilience and their excellence. Congratulations to all in GMSBC.

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