The senior girls, J15 girls and J15 boys competed at Bedford Regatta on Saturday 11th May. This is a great regatta where crews race one-on-one over the 1,200m course. As we will be facing many of those schools and clubs who are entering the National Schools’ Regatta this weekend, we knew it would be a good standard of racing.

The senior girls squad boated two crews at Bedford Regatta: the J18 coxed four and the J18 coxless quad. Unfortunately the J18 eight found they had no competition due to a lack of entries so did not get the chance to race on this occasion. With three of the girls doubling up in the four and quad they were prepared for a busy day of racing swapping between boats, and that it proved to be!

The coxless quad of Kathleen Beams, Sophie Bucknall, Lauren McAuliffe and Maddie Jeynes won their first race comfortably against Bedford Modern School B to progress to the semi-finals where they raced King’s School Ely. King’s Ely took a slight lead in the first half of the race, but the Emanuel girls fought back to overtake and win by ¾ length. After a short break and a race in the coxed four, the quad were back in action for the final. In what was possibly the closest race of the day the girls raced against the Bedford Modern A crew. The race was close all the way with the crews fighting to the line, however it was the Bedford crew who took the win by two seconds over Emanuel. If there had been another 10m of course it could have been a different outcome!

Girls J18 quad winning their semi-final: Kathleen Beams, Sophie Bucknall, Lauren McAuliffe and Maddie Jeynes

The girls coxed four of Orla Weighill, Lauren McAuliffe, Kathleen Beams, Maddie Jeynes and Georgie Trew (cox) competed in their first race against Bedford Girls School. With three of the girls fresh out of their second race in the quad they were tired but fired up and ready to go. The crew took an early lead after a strong start and held it comfortably to the finish, winning by 2 ¾ lengths. After racing the final of the quad and feeling the disappointment of a close final, Orla and Georgie were on hand to pick the crew back up and provide them with water and jaffa cakes in the 20 minutes before the four’s final.

The final of the four was a fantastic race with the Emanuel crew looking strong throughout. They again took the lead early in the race and this time opened it up to win by four lengths over Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. Over the duration of the day the six senior girls who raced showed the best example of team work, supporting each other both on and off the water, whether they were in the winning boat or not.  Now, we prepare for National Schools’ Regatta this weekend where the girls four will be looking to replicate their success against strong opposition.

Miss Blaikie (Director of Rowing)

Girls J18 coxed four: Georgie Trew (cox), Orla Weighill, Lauren McAuliffe, Kathleen Beams and Maddie Jeynes

The J15 boys entered two quads at the Bedford Regatta. In a large and high-class field of 16 crews Emanuel were perhaps a shade unlucky to meet the two finalists so early on. The B crew b Alec Glen, 2 Harper Dammann-Smith, 3 Jamie Fairbairn, s Shahaan Bajwa and c James Giannopoulos were well beaten by the Windsor Boys’ School A crew. The A crew  b Xavier Mead, 2 Ulysse Polak,, 3 Rollo Basford, s Jackson Dangour and c Matthew Roe beat the Windsor Boys’ School B crew by two lengths but were forced to row a substitute, and rejig the crew, in the next round when one of the crew went sick. They met the eventual winners, Grange School, Hartford and suffered a similar fate as the B crew. Considering the standard of the two quads which beat the Emanuel crews it cannot count as more than a mildly disappointing result – more of a reality check! It would be surprising if the Windsor Boys and Grange crews were not battling it out for medals in the Nationals this weekend.

The J15 boys

The J15 girls enjoyed a sunny Saturday at Bedford Regatta. First to race was the 8+ of Phoebe Trevelyan-Clark, Indigo Beauchamp, Dalia Ismaili, Rose Knapman, Gabrielle Erskine, Katy Pilling, Maya Varley and Hetty Bieber coxed by Lucy Evans. They faced up against Putney High School’s A crew, who they had beaten the previous weekend at Wallingford Regatta. Match racing presents a different challenge and unfortunately a push from Putney High School edged them out, with PHS progressing to the next round. Although disappointing for the girls, this left them ready to make it 2-1 at National Schools.

The 4+ had their first race as a crew after only three outings in a coxed four. The crew of Margot Balsdon, Annabel Rumble, Maddie Sheehan and Phoebe Packman, coxed by Rosalind Thwaites, rowed well and fought all the way to the line. Unfortunately, local rivals Putney High School again got the better of us and went through to the next round. With a few more outings under their belts, the girls will push on and make the most of multi-lane racing at National Schools at Dorney Lake.

Both crews look forward to the culmination of all their training by racing at National Schools this weekend.

The J15 girls