On behalf of Mark Pollard, Wycliffe Watermen:
This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of newsletters about what is going on at the Wycliffe boathouse.
The Wycliffe Watermen exist to support the Wycliffe College Boat Club. Their main role is organising the two heads that are run from the boathouse; the Small Boats Head in December, which is largely the same as it has been for the last 40+ years, a race from Parkend Bridge to the boathouse. The ‘Big Head’ is a relatively new event for fours and eights and is held early in February, racing from Shepherds Patch to Frampton. These heads take a lot of organising and any help would be much appreciated. Funds raised by these events have been used towards buying two new boats and refurbishing others for the boat club.
The boathouse is looking good after a coat of paint.
The following report on the College crews was written by Laura Ralph, the Assistant Director of Rowing.
The Rowing club has seen another successful year this year.
Wycliffe College Boat Club has had a busy year of competing all over the country at local and national events which gave us plenty of exciting races. After lasts years’ generous donation from the Wycliffe Watermen and Wycliffe College, the club took to the water in two brand new boats. Despite an awful winter with many races being cancelled, the Wycliffe Small Boats Head was a great success especially for Wycliffe; winning 7 Gold medals, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze. Our thanks as always goes to Phil Clements for organising a great race.
A few weeks later, the boat club headed south to Avon County where Jacques T gained his first win in a single scull, which turned out to be the start of a great season for him. Later in the season, he paired up with Charlie J to race in Junior 16 Double Scull events where they won a Gold medal at the Ball Cup. Inspired by the success of the senior boys the Junior 15 Boys Quad had a fantastic race; winning themselves a bronze medal. Not to be out done by the boys, Charlotte B won two medals; a bronze in the Women’s Junior 17 Single Scull and a silver with Fenella P in the Women’s Junior 18 Double Scull event.
The photo below shows all the winners at the Ball Cup.
Following on from this success, the rowing club made their way to Worcester for the Spring Regatta. With multiple races throughout the day, both the Junior Club and Wycliffe College Boat Club gained plenty of wins, along with final and semi-final finishes.
Before we knew it, the biggest junior event of the year had arrived; National Schools Regatta, an event that spans three days with thousands of competitors and even more spectators. The event began with the Boys Junior 15 Quad of Henry G, Rhys R, Hamish A and Oliver W, coxed by Hywel F-W, taking to the water for their time trial. The boys had a great race beating 12 other crews and gaining valuable National race experience.
Next up, was Charlotte B and Saffron W who were racing up a year in the Women’s Championship Double Sculls event. As they were a year early for this race they were expecting to use it as race experience, however after a fantastic time trial they managed to qualify for the semi-finals. With the weather worsening the semi-final was going to prove to be harder than the time trial but the girls gave it their all and gained themselves a place in the ‘B Final’. The girls ended the day in 12th place, which was an amazing result for them and their coaches.
It was the Junior 16 Boys Quad turn to race on the final day of the regatta and having only trained together twice before the boys were nervous for what the race would bring. After putting those nerves to one side the boys raced hard and finish in 16th place, beating 10 other crews and missing out on qualifying for the semi-finals by just 3 seconds. This was just the start for these boys and the next few years should prove to be a very exciting time for them.
The boat club have got a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks. For the first time in the club’s history we have got both girls and boys quads entered into Henley Royal Regatta Qualifiers along with a girl’s double racing at Women’s Henley. With the continued support from both Wycliffe College and the Wycliffe Watermen we hope to build on the successes of the last two years and bring home more National titles.
In addition to the College boat club, Wycliffe Junior Rowing Club also train at the boathouse. This is a high performing club of local Juniors some of whom go on to become Wycliffe pupils and rowers. They have achieved some excellent results this year.
At the National Junior sculling head their WJ15 quad won their event, ahead of 65 other crews, while the boys J16 quad were fourth in a field of 37 crews.
At the National Schools Regatta, the Junior club entered a WJ15 coxed quad (Eva F, Neve P, Maya R, Megan E and cox Jenna M). The girls finished second of the 68 crews in the time trial to qualify for the AB semi-finals. The semis saw them take second place, holding off 3rd place Henley. In the ‘A’ final they raced hard to beat their semi-final winners (Maidenhead) and finished just a length behind Trentham to take the Silver Medal.
Junior Club J16 double scull (Max v d L and Danny M) started strongly at the National Schools, recording the fastest time in the time trial. They led throughout the semi-final to secure a place in the ‘A’ final. The final saw them chasing an Exeter crew up the course, with a few seconds lead over 3rd place Lea. These positions were unchanged at the finish, leaving the Wycliffe Junior crew with Silver medals.
Competing at Reading Amateur Regatta, a composite Wycliffe College/Wycliffe Junior crew won the WJ18 quads event, with Saffron W doubling up in the quad and WJ18 single, which she also won.
And finally, crews from both clubs competed at the prestigious Women’s Henley Regatta. From the college, Saffron W and Charlotte B finished 8th out of the 28 crews in time trials to qualify with 15 other crews for the side by side racing. They made it through to the quarter finals (last 8) of the WJ18 doubles event.
The Junior Club J15 girls raced up an age group in the J16 quads, taking 7th place in their time trial and also made it to the quarter finals.