The regatta season began for most of the rowing club last weekend at Chiswick Regatta. With high winds and rain showers throughout the day, the 1,000m course was challenging, unpredictable and at times more looked more like the North sea than the River Thames. Throughout the day nine Emanuel crews competed against many local clubs and schools.

J15 boys

The J15 boys entered two quads and both crews won their first round races. In very windy and uncomfortable conditions on an incoming tide, the B crew (b Xavier Mead, 2 Shahaan Bajwa, 3 Jamie Fairbairn, s Jackson Dangour, c Matthew Roe) easily beat Kew House School, and the A crew (b Edward Newton, 2 Rollo Basford, 3 Ulysse Polak, s Harper Dammann-Smith, c James Giannopoulos) beat Tiffin School and Team Keane B crew by 1.5 lengths. In the final the two Emanuel crews were joined by the Team Keane A crew. The Emanuel A crew had a good start and quickly imposed their authority on the race, running out winners over Team Keane and the Emanuel B crew, who never really settled, coming home third. Still, well done to both crews for making the final and it was icing on the cake securing the first pot of the season!

Mr Marriott (Rowing Coach)

Senior boys

Two crews from the senior boys squad raced. The double of Jeremy Smithson and Matthew Bithell racing as J18 (both Jeremy and Matthew being younger than J18) held an experienced crew from Thames RC before the latter were able to draw out half a length of clear water by the finish line. The quad of Fred Jimack, Michael O’Connor, Edward Berkley and Luke Bligh were caught in a 3-way tussle with strong crews from Tideway Scullers School and Westminster School, unfortunately losing in the final.

Mr Gourevitch (Rowing Coach)

Senior girls

The senior girls’ squad raced four boats at the regatta. The two J16 doubles of Violet Trevelyan-Clark and Isabella Barrett, and Sophie Brinson and Annabelle Tan, did extremely well to compete in rolling waves and hail. Sophie and Annabelle drew a strong crew from Tideway Scullers in the first round who took the win from Emanuel. Violet and Isabella used their technical sharpness to win the first round against Team Keane. In the second round they raced Kingston Rowing Club and held their cool in the tough conditions to take yet another win placing them in the final where they finished second behind the Tideways Sculler crew.

Miss Blaikie (Head of Rowing)

J18 girls

The J18 8+, Jay Martin, Izzy Thomas, Lucy Rosenberg, Bessie Curry, India Diment, Tiphanie Polak, Seraphina Leppard, Katy Bracegirdle and Charlotte Evans (cox) competed in the women’s eights category. Drawing a strong crew from Putney Town RC, the girls performed well to hold level off the start but unfortunately could not hold the power and experience in the women’s crew, finishing second. The final race of the day for Emanuel was the J16 coxless quad. The crew – Leah Ryger-Richardson, Natasha Smith, Imogen Leather and Lucia Hayes – competed in a three-crew final against Kingston RC and the American Schools. After a strong start and some clever foot steering from Lucia the crew pushed ahead in the final 300m and held their lead to cross the line in first place. A fantastic result to end the day.

Miss Blaikie (Head of Rowing)

J15 girls

The J15 girls 4x+ of Ros Thwaites, Margot Balsdon, Annabel Rumble, Maddie Sheehan and Phoebe Packman weren’t put off by the conditions. With the race being only their second ever outing in this combination, they were at a slight disadvantage but showed the usual Emanuel spirit, giving their all. After a solid start, they were edged out by the eventual winners of the event, coming second in their heat and missing out on a place in the final.

Miss Adams (Rowing Coach)

J14 girls

The J14 girls had two quads racing at Chiswick Regatta. They both headed out to race in wet, blustery conditions. First up was the crew of Freya Bennett (cox), Esme Packman, Katarina Jimack, Maddie Powell and Phoebe Bucknall. They lined up against their opposition from Tiffin School, just as a large squall came through. Our girls controlled their boat well in difficult conditions and got away to an excellent start, whilst the Tiffin crew struggled and were blown off course. Under Freya’s control the girls managed to race the whole length of the course with very good rhythm and power to take an easy victory over the struggling Tiffin girls.  As they proceeded down a course somewhat like the North Sea in the conditions, the umpires brought our second quad, Dorothy Pretzlik (cox), Matilda Bedi, Hennriette Rueckert, Freya Mills and Maddie Russell through the bridge with their opposition from Team Keane. In the strong gusts of wind, both boats were blown right over to the side of the river before the umpire could get them on their way and so they were asked to turn back through the bridge to line up on the start a second time. Once they started it seemed the Team Keane crew were just too strong for our girls, who rowed well but lost by three or four lengths.

Freya’s crew were therefore in the final against two crews from Team Keane. They raced with great determination, getting into the lead off the start, but were slowly overhauled by the strong Team Keane crew, finally coming second by just one length. This was the crews’ first regatta and both coped well in incredibly difficult conditions, and the crew that made it to the final only just lost out on a win in their first ever regatta. Well done girls.

Ms Elliott (Rowing Coach)