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Great Results for GM Rowers

On Saturday 9th October, five crews went to Reading Small Boats Head. This was GMS’s first race of the season and the first where spectators were allowed since regulations eased. It is traditionally a popular event, with some 400 crews racing over 3 Divisions. Many top clubs, schools and universities were there, and the competition was of an extremely high standard.

The event began somewhat disastrously for the Year 11 Girls’ Pair, of Emily Downing and Christina Baxter, who were mown down by an incompetent cabin cruiser on the way to the start. The girls had to abandon ship to avoid serious injury from collision with the cruiser. Shocking as this was, what was probably worse was that they missed out on beating their rivals from Henley, which based on the times, they certainly would have.

The other four crews had fantastic races with three outright wins and a second place.

The top Boys’ Pair, Henry Gavin and Hugo Lorretto, raced in the Senior Men’s Open Division, with the main competition being the winners of Kingston Head a few weeks ago. Henry and Gavin had a fantastic time passing a number of crews, with Henry picking a good line between two Doubles over the last 500m. They won by an enormous 36 seconds over their nearest rivals; they also beat numerous crews from Eton, St Pauls and other top independent schools.

The Year 12 Double of Tom Wiles and Noah Grottrup also enjoyed a great race, overtaking archrivals from Henley to win their event in fine style.

The Year 11 Boys’ Quad were held up early in the race, because they caught up with the crew ahead just before a very narrow stretch of the course and were not allowed to overtake for several hundred metres. This meant paddling light for a while, which was frustrating. However, despite this, once past the obstructing crew they pulled away from the field, beating second placed Henley by 5 seconds. Despite their hold up, the boys posted the 12th fastest time of the day beating, amongst others, a J18 Coxless Four from Eton.

Last in was our Year 11 Girls’ Quad who looked very together and in fine form as they crossed the line closing hard on the girls in front. They came second to Henley having performed very well indeed. Amongst the Quads they beat was the RGS Year 11 Boys’ Quad, which is so impressive.

An extremely encouraging start to, what we hope will be, a far more normal season this year.

Congratulations GMS rowers.

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