Wallingford Regatta Race Report

It was an early start at Eton Dorney Lake in this, the first major Regatta of the season, featuring many big London Club and School names. NCRA’s races began at 8:24am with the Junior Girls’ double scullers racing up in the open senior category in the Women’s Challenge 2x event with 14 crews entered.

Heat A was dominated by our girls and the double from Ipswich Rowing Club with Ipswich taking the win. In the final, racing was once again dominated by Ipswich and NCRA alongside the winner of Heat B, Thames Rowing Club. In the 3rd 500m Ipswich and Thames moved out ahead leaving our girls to finish in 3rd.

Women’s Challenge 2x – Mia O’Donnell and Olivia Bates

The second race of the day saw Finn Larkin sculling in the Challenge 1x with a field of 13 contenders. In the faster of the two heats he finished a respectable 4th with a time that meant he qualified for the final where he was impressively able to repeat this placing.

Challenge 1x – Finn Larkin

Our next crew racing in a senior adult category were the Junior Women’s coxless four racing in the Women’s Challenge 4- event, packed with 12 entries. This presented an imposing test for the girls in their preparation for the National Schools Regatta at the end of May. The girls finished 3rd in their heat with a time which qualified them for the final.

Drawn in lane 1, they were frustratingly in the shelter from the now significant tailwind. However, the girls rose to the occasion staying attached to the rest of the field all the way down the course and with a superb final 250m sprint were able to move up from 6th place to 4th.

Women’s Challenge 4- – Megan Thomas, Jess Austin, Chloe Wild and Esther Murray

The morning’s racing was concluded with the Junior Boys double in a straight final in the Junior 2x event. The boys fought valiantly all the way down the course to finish a respectable 4th in a tough field of 6.

Junior 2x – Noah Whawell and Theo Hayes

In the afternoon division they were up again, but this time racing in the senior Challenge 2x category, again a straight final, 7 abreast.

Determined to not be out-powered by the older senior doubles, the boys decided to take a high-risk race strategy to stay with the leading pack for as long as possible. In the final 500m they found themselves in a neck-and-neck tussle with Walton Rowing Club. With the 250m marker approaching the boys picked up the rate and manged to sprint ahead finishing a respectable 6th.

The girls 2x were also racing the afternoon division, this time in the Junior Women’s 2x event, packed with 11 other crews mainly from Thames and London clubs. The girls’ dominated their heat from start to finish but with the St George’s College double finishing in a similar time in Heat B they knew the final would be hard fought.

In what would be the girls’ 4th race of the day, racing began exactly as expected with NCRA and St George’s College moving to the front of the field. Having learnt from their racing in the morning, NCRA moved out to a length’s lead in the 3rd 500m of the race. However, all was not done, with the St George’s crew executing a monstrous sprint in the final 250m but our girls had done enough in the 3rd 500m and were able to hold on to victory by 0.7 of a second.

Winners of the Junior Women’s 2x  – Mia O’Donnell and Olivia Bates

A great day’s racing for all of our crews and good preparation for the National Schools Regatta at the end of May.

NCRA’s next race will be at Nottingham City and Nottingham Club & Masters at the National Water Sports Centre on the 11th and 12th May.