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Junior Sculling Head

There are good days and bad days on the water, then there are great days. Last Friday saw the last major race of the winter season, the Junior Sculling Head at Dorney. This is a national time trial race over two lengths of Dorney Lake: 3600m. Racing takes all day as the first division is for J18 Quads and then each successive division is for different categories.

Our two top Boys’ Quads, who had just missed the Gold Medal on Wednesday by 0.6 seconds in the Eight, raced as an A and B Quad in the first division. The top crew won the event by 13 seconds ahead of their nearest rival and the B crew won their event by a similar margin. This is the first time GMSBC has won Gold at this level and an amazing result for the boys.

The great results do not end there, as our senior girls’ crews followed shortly after with the top crew coming Fourth in their event and the B crew coming Second in theirs.

For all four crews to be so competitive is hugely exciting for this regatta season.

Given a number of our Year 11 rowers were involved in our top crews, we did not have any boats in this category but the Year 10 Girls’ Coxed Quad. WJ15 Quads are a particularly competitive event because there are fewer options for them to compete at the Schools’ Head and other categories. Our crew faced a very large field. Regular readers will know that they won Silver here last year, behind Henley Rowing Club and just missed out on a medal at National Schools last summer, so they were very determined to secure their place in this rowing 2024 session.

The girls won Gold, nearly 12 seconds ahead of local rivals Marlow Rowing Club, and some 20 seconds ahead of Henley who came fourth. A first-rate performance and very exciting for the season ahead.

The Year 9 Girls’ Octo was next up and had a superb row coming 11th in a large field, almost a minute ahead of local rivals Sir William Borlase.

In the last race of the day, a crew, that has had plenty of success, the Year 9 Boys’ Octos, faced the big stage with many major independent schools coming into the arena for the first time. The boys raced aggressively and overtook a couple of crews on the first leg. Despite their lack of water time, they looked well-drilled and kept their form. Achieving Fourth in their first truly National Event was a great achievement and the highest any GMS Year 9 crew has come in this event.

A great day. I have spent the last few days at GB trials in Nottingham and know many coaches who offered their congratulations.

Thank you, Mr Murison for this report, GMS is very proud of all the rowers and their coaches, who make the success real.

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