Lauren rows for England and brings home two Gold medals

This summer Lauren McAuliffe made history by becoming the first female Emanuel School Rowing Club rower to represent her country at a Junior International Regatta.

After nine months of ergo tests, water trials, race offs and seat racing, Lauren’s hard work and commitment paid off when she was selected at the final trials in July to represent England and compete at the Home International Regatta.

Lauren, being a Junior 16 at the time, was selected to race in the Junior 18 event having beaten many older girls during the selection process. Her first race of the competition was in the coxed four. Sitting in the stroke seat, it was up to Lauren to set the pace and read the race. After a nail-biting 1750m which saw England and Scotland racing stroke for stroke separated only by a canvas with Scotland ahead, Lauren and her crew threw everything at the final 250m. As the buzzer went, it was England who crossed the line first by just one foot to claim the gold medal.

An hour later the girls were back out on the water in the Junior 18 eight with excitement and confidence knowing what they were capable of achieving. This time the race and outcome was sealed early on after a storming start by the England crew. They went on to win easily over the crews from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, securing Lauren’s second gold medal of the regatta.

A huge congratulations goes to Lauren for this accomplishment and for the outstanding GCSE results she achieved at the same time.

Miss Blaikie (Director of Rowing)

Lauren and her double golds

Lauren’s experience in her own words: “Over the last year, I have been in the J18 GB trails system which started in November 2018 and managed to make it to final trials in mid-July this year.

It was a really tough four days of seat racing and trying out loads of combinations with the rest of the sweep girls. At the end of the trail, I was over the moon to find out I had been selected to stroke the J18 coxed four and also row in the J18 8+ at HIR to represent England. The training started a few days later at Latymer School with Latymer coach Tom Cannon and four other girls from Putney High school, Latymer Upper, Walton Rowing Club and Henley RC.

On the 25th July, the junior and senior England squads travelled up to Glasgow by coach just in time for an evening training session on the water. This was the first time we had been in the 8+ with four other girls from Notts County Rowing Association. We all stayed in the halls of Strathclyde University nearby, so it was easy to travel for our last two training sessions on the Saturday.

On the 27th July the racing began. Although we were lucky enough to have the sun for the previous two days, we unfortunately got to experience some rainy Scottish weather. However, this didn’t dampen our spirits and we managed to get gold in both races. It was a nail-biting finish in the 4+ where we finished half a second ahead of the Scottish, but then an easy win in the 8+ where we made our mark in the first 500m. Overall, the England junior girls took home the cup after winning the most races and gaining the highest amount of points, with the Scottish winning the other three categories. The whole experience was unbelievable, and I enjoyed every minute of the training (maybe not the early starts quite so much!) and definitely the racing with a great crew. I made some incredible friends and am looking positively towards next season with GB trials starting up once again in a couple of months.”

Lauren in the winning 8+