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2nd June 2010 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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ROWING - A WEEKEND OF TRIUMPHS FOR ROSS CLUB

Last weekend marked yet another landmark for the Junior Academy, who had its strongest representation to date at their National Schools regatta. At the same time the rest of the squad were competing very successfully at Monmouth Regatta.

On Friday, the Academy had three competing crews. Charlie Green in J15 1x, Abi Beddard and Effie Hiram in Wj15 double sculls and Amy Surman and Ellie Grindle in J14 2x. Charlie Green rowed a personal best in qualifying but even this did not mean he made it through to the semi final races. Abi And Effie rowed wonderfully well in their time trial and did proceed through to the last 18. In their semi they again rowed a personal best time finishing 5th, although not proceeding through to the final.

Amy Surman and Ellie Grindle qualified 2nd in their time trial and were strong favourites in their semi to proceed to the final. Amy and Ellie rowed nearly the perfect race reaching the 50 meter mark in record time and making the final comfortably. The final was a tense time. Conditions on the course had worsened with a cross wind now starting to effect the racers. Ellie and Amy did not start well, being only 3rd at the 500m point and 4th with 250 meters to go. It was then the brave Ross crew made their move, travelling through the field at impressive speed to overtake two crews and earn a silver medal by 3 one hundredths of a second ( 6 inches). Relief and celebrations then ensued. This is a major medal and is the 5th such achievement this season for the Junior Academy Squad.

On Saturday, Kelly Morris and Rosie Lindley were competing in the WJ16 double sculls, and in their semi final were up against all the medallists from the Inter-regional regatta 4 weeks ago. The girls got away from the start very well and at 750 meters were leading the pack. Between 800 - 1000m the conditions in their lane were poor and they slipped back, losing a length to the opponents from Christchurch and Oundle. With 350m to go the girls were still placed 3rd and needed to gain a place if they were to proceed to the final.

With a huge surge, the girls set off for their final push when disaster struck. Rosie's stroke-side blade broke in two and with that their race was over. The girls had to put this disappointment to one side and focus on their next event on Sunday, the challenging coxless pair. They had a straight semi final in which they successfully coped with the very windy conditions to earn a place in the final. The competition at this level is incredibly high and the girls having had an excellent paddle with a poor lane draw finished 6th.

High Performance coach Ian Howell commented, 'We are incredibly proud of all the squad who have been training for this event over many months. Having 5 entries, with two finalists and one medal is a good result, especially in light of the size and magnitude of the competition.'

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Monmouth Regatta, 29th May 2010.

There are people who feel that twelve and thirteen is too young an age to be rowing competitively. On Saturday, Ross Juniors showed with their enthusiasm, organization, technique and confident successful blade work that they have a right to compete. Facing opposition from Swansea, Bewdley, Exeter, Gloucester, Magdalen College, Llandaff, Staines, Monmouth Comp, Evesham, Bristol and Monmouth Rowing Club, the juniors emerged victorious in eleven events at Monmouth Sprint Regatta. Thirty four juniors were taking part in 17 events at the Monmouth Sprint; racing over 750m.

It started out a drizzly day. The majority of the club however, were successfully coming through their first round heats. It is particularly important at Monmouth to row down the river parallel to the far bank, so as not to add vital extra meters to the course. For a few, steering, not speed, was their downfall.

The first pot of the day came at 3 o'clock in the WJ13.4X+. Neck and neck with Staines with 250m to go, Catrin Morris, Molly Phillips, Emma Richardson, Jess Crossman, coxed by Olivia Baynham-Williams confidently applied pressure and crossed the line with clear water. Wins then came thick and fast.

Birthday girl, Megan Jephcote with partner Jess Boon added to their success at Shrewsbury and won the WJ12.2X. Molly Phillips and Olivia Baynham-Williams came through two previous rounds to then beat Staines in the final of the WJ13.2X. With both WJ16.1X Ross girls having success in their heats, Lucy Jones and Elle Blackwood faced each other in the final, with Elle taking the pot.

Lucy then went on to steer her crew of Paul Brodholt, Dave Sykes Jeremy Picton-Turbervill and Peter Kellsay to the winning line in the Masters D event. This crew also won again on Sunday against strong opposition from Gloucester. The WJ15.1X was a heavily subscribed event and Rosie Brandram-Jones, Kerry Meek and new girl Charlotte Leach all won races in early rounds. Rosie finally emerged as the event winner.

The J13.1X final drew one of the biggest smiles of the day, as much for the commentary, as for the emphatic win by Johan Lai over his opponent from Staines. With Ross way out in front the commentator remarked, 'Oh the enthusiasm of youth, you are winning easily so you take up your rating!' That's Johan!

Catrin Morris beat her opposition from Gloucester in similar fashion in the WJ13.1X. Nick Burden's experience won the day in the J12.1X. However Tom Scott should be proud of his brave performance in his first singles event. Pippa England confidently took the WJ12.1X prize coming through heats against Swansea and Ross.

It was an all Ross final in the WJ12.4X+ event. The boats were evenly matched and all the girls felt that they were in with a chance of a pot. Most of the way down the river they were side by side, both coxes steering well and encouraging their crew. With about 150m to go ' Haigh ' pulled ahead to cross the line by a length; victory going to Pippa England, Scarlett Brodholt, Imogen Gray, Skye Jenkins and cox Jess Crossman.

With a lack of entries in their own event, the J13 boys were moved up to compete in the J14.4X+. Up against Monmouth Comp. in the final they gave a fabulous display of timing to win decisively. Well done to Johan Lai, Rhodri Morris, George Probert, Dale Kernot and cox Olivia Baynham-Williams. It was a busy day with four of our juniors coxing senior boats as well as rowing themselves.

With children and their parents helping each other, the thirteen victories at Monmouth were truly a team effort.


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