The Head season came to an end with the two national races; Schools’ Head of the River and the Junior Scullery.

Our rowers have been plagued by bad weather and cancelled races so far this term, resulting in very little racing for some crews. Unfortunately the Schools’ Head of the River did not escape the clutches of this weather front. With high winds forecast the race organisers decided to cancel all racing for coxless quads and coxed fours, as well as for the Junior 15 girls – a decision which impacted Emanuel greatly, as from the seven crews due to race, only two of the categories remained.

Schools’ Head of the River

The race this year was a much smaller event with nearly 200 crews not being allowed to race due to the high wind conditions. The senior girls raced in both the J18 1st eight category and the J16 eights event. The race from Chiswick to Putney is a tough challenge on any day, but this year the crews had to battle 40+ mph winds too.

The 1st eight of Jay Martin, Lauren McAuliffe, Lucy Rosenberg, Bessie Curry, India Diment, Katy Bracegirdle, Izzy Thomas, Tiphanie Polak and Georgie Trew (cox) had a fantastic row, over taking many crews along the way to finish sixth out of 19 crews. The J16 crew of Lucia Hayes, Emily Bell, Esme Frank, Tabby Heeler, Imogen Leather, Violet Trevelyan-Clark, Annabelle Tan, Eve Harper and Charlotte Evans (cox) started the race well, handling the tough conditions in the first half of the race. A clash with another crew near Hammersmith Bridge meant they lost significant time and unfortunately were unable to regain their race rhythm for the final 2km of the race. The girls did a tremendous job of being able to finish the race but sadly did not get a time to reflect their ability on this occasion.

Miss Blaikie (Director of Rowing)

The Junior Sculling Head, Dorney Lake

Senior girls

After missing out on racing at the School’s Head of the River the senior girls quads thankfully had the opportunity to race at the Sculling Head in two quads. The Junior 18 quad of Kathleen Beams, Orla Weighill, Sophie Bucknall and Maddie Jeynes sculled well but we were out-powered by some of our known rivals; we finished a respectable 17th out of 36 crews. This crew will be training hard over the Easter break to pick up some speed and power ahead of the regatta season. The Junior 16 second boat this season was a coxless quad; the crew of Sophie Brinson, Millie Squires, Izzy Barrett and Leah Ryder-Richardson only had one practice session before the race due to school musical commitments, however, they battled well in tough conditions and demonstrated true Emanuel spirit in a strong field.

Miss Blaikie (Director of Rowing)

J17 boys

The first race for the newly combined J17 quad of Leo Zagorac, Gabriel Obholzer, Guy Kitchen and Ollie Olby started well into challenging cross head wind. The first leg was strong with the Emanuel crew handling the conditions better than most and the boys placed third after the first leg. Conditions in leg two were much more favourable and this produced quicker time all round. However, Emanuel couldn’t hold the medal placing after a tough first leg and managed a very respectable fourth out of 17, missing out on the bronze medal position by only three seconds – a strong performance with a lot more to come.

Mr Calvin (Head Coach: Boys’ Rowing)

J16 boys

The J16 quad – Ben Clarke, Henry Stretch, James Campbell and Ben Tamlyn – faced a very strong field of 37 boats. With such a light crew, conditions were not favourable with an increasing cross head wind. However, the crew pushed themselves and came away with the finish position of 26th out of 37. We can expect a lot more to come from this young crew.

Mr Calvin (Head Coach: Boys’ Rowing)

J15 girls

The J15 girls eight were disappointed not be able to race at the School’s Head of the River. However, the second quad of Margot Balsdon, Rose Knapman, Maddie Sheehan, Teddy Kinsler and Lucy Evans (c) were able to race at the National Sculling head a few days later. The girls raced well amongst a very strong field, finishing 56th overall. They showed true Emanuel spirit and pushed themselves the whole way in challenging headwind conditions. This is especially commendable given that most of them were also in the school musical and therefore hadn’t had an opportunity to prepare as some of the other schools had. The girls look forward to more racing opportunities in the summer term.

Miss Adams

J15 boys

The J15 boys entered two coxed quads and both crews acquitted themselves well, finishing very much in the middle of the pack of 70 crews. The crew – coxed by James Giannopoulos, b Harper Damman-Smith, 2 Rollo Basford, 3 Ulysse Polak, and s Shahaan Bajwa came 38th and the crew coxed by Matthew Roe: b Jackson Dangour, 2 Edward Newton, 3 Jamie Fairbairn, s Xavier Mead came 44th. Matthew’s crew was the faster of the two crews on the first leg but James’s crew had the advantage of being pushed all the way down the course in the second leg by a crew from Nottingham & Union BC and so more than clawed back what they had lost in time earlier. Both crews can look at the results as a solid platform from which to move forward in the summer term regatta season.

Mr Marriott (Rowing Coach)

J14 boys

Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the J14 boys’ first race of the term happened to be the nationals! We had two octuples of Ben R, Ben L, Jack GM, Pavle K, Jacob E, Ben F, Gus W, Dan M and Sam H, William M, Jamie S, William R, Callum G, Richard B, Ollie AS, Woody H, Zeeshan I. To make matters even more difficult, we had an illness on the day, which required a last minute swap affecting both crews. However, both crews performed admirably; they acquitted themselves very well throughout the day and did an excellent job of representing Emanuel School. Neither crew let the pressure of the big event get to them and both had very good rows. Unfortunately, the lack of race experience showed itself in the results. However, it provided an excellent platform to build from and the boys can expect some very good results in the local regattas next term.

Mr Roberts

Year 9 girls

The year 9 girls were not phased by starting their racing career at such a big event and both crews raced well. The quad rowed together well but lacked the strength to be competitive in their category. The octo had a great race, putting the hard work they had done in training to good use. They attacked from start to finish to produce an excellent result just in the top third in their category including finishing faster than a number of crews with much more experience.

Crews: Quad (c) Molly Geater Milton. Maddie Russell. Charlotte Thevenot, Hilla Sewell, Dorothy Pretzlik. Octuple (c) Freya Bennett. Esme Packman, Katerina Jimack, Emily Howcroft, Henrietta Rueckert, Maddie Powell, Matilda Bedi, Sofia Stravri, Phoebe Bucknall.

Ms Elliott (Rowing Coach)