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Kelly and Rosie with their medals.

Two crews from the Ross Junior Academy joined together with crews from other local clubs to make up the West Midlands squad.

Ellie Grindle and Amy Surman competed in women's junior 14 double sculls at their first national level regatta. They joined Kelly Morris and Rosie Lindley who have been competing at this level for the past three years and were racing this time in women's junior 15 double sculls. This event takes place at the National Water Sport Centre at Holme Pierre Point Nottingham over 1500 meter course and always provides a terrific curtain raiser to the high performance junior rowing season.

The Ross crews have been preparing through strict training regime through the winter season and were looking to peak at this key event . Rowing is a sport where you try and manage all that is in your control. However weather conditions, and lane draws can have a marked effect on performance, especially at the events at Holme Pierre point. Learning to deal with these conditions and the competitive pressure is all part of learning about rowing at this level.

The conditions on Saturday were challenging - a 14 knot NE wind, which was blowing directly down the course. This meant that the crews had to cope with a a very rough and wavy course.

The first round is a time trail in two heats, where the fastest six crews proceed to the finals and the slowest go through to what is called the Petite final.

Kelly and Rosie, after battling the conditions qualified fourth fastest and the pressure was certainly building as their final approached. Amy and Ellie ran out 8th fastest out 11 regions competing and proceed through to the Petite final.

Qualifying rounds complete the 6 finalist compete for championship medals. It is these races where the true racers emerge. Kelly and Rosie having years of race experience at this level approached the race with a calm and steely determination. From the start they were out in front with only one other crew alongside from Christchurch. Kelly and Rosie pushed on delivering every last element of their training plan, determined to deliver the perfect race.

Over the mile long course the lead changed hands many times. Coming into the last 200 meters, there was nothing between the crews with the lead changing hands with each stroke. As they crossed the line it was unclear who had got the gold.

The photo was produced and time seemingly stopped. Then the announcement…. 'Christchurch Gold Ross Silver'. The girls had just missed gold by 0.19 of a second ( 6 inches) such are the fine margins at this level.

Silver is still an incredible achievement for the Ross Duo. Amy and Ellie returned to the lake for their petite final. Having mastered the conditions they gained further valuable race experience on a lake where they in future will surely deliver up to their undoubted potential.

Junior Captain John Lewis said, 'These Ross crews represented the West Midlands with great credit. We are very proud of both crews and their achievements. The club is very proud of the commitment they displayed and thanks must go to Robin Fletcher, their High performance coach. Both crews will be targeting the National Schools regatta in May.'

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Ross competitors with Junior captain, John Lewis.

Kelly and Rosie with their medals.
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