News Godolphin Rowers Find Their Stroke at the National Schools’ Regatta 09.06.2023

The Godolphin crews were out in force for one of the most important fixtures on the rowing calendar, the National Schools’ Regatta 2023. On Friday 26 May, there was a very early departure from Hammersmith for our 53 J14 and J15 rowers and their coaches, ready for their first race at 9.00am at Eton Dorney. Competition was fierce with the top rowing schools in the country fielding a number of crews. The J14 quad was the first crew to race but despite having their finest row of the season, unfortunately didn’t progress to the finals. Both the J14 first and second octos had strong rows in the time trial, with the first crew qualifying for the C-final and the second crew for the B-final. In both races the J14s showed their competitive spirit, and both finished 3rd in their race, against strong opposition. The commentators of the race remarked on the quality of our J14’s starts, and their rowing skill in tricky blustery conditions.

The J15 four had a storming row in the time trial, and made the A-final for their event, where they finished fifth. The J15 quad had a good race, but didn’t progress to a final. The J15 first eight made the C-final, which they went out in style, winning by a clear margin. The J15 second eight made the B-final, where they had a smashing row to finish third. There were many fine performances on Friday, and the side-by-side racing enthralled all who watched.

Saturday saw two crews racing: the J16 4+, and the Senior 4+. Both crews rose to the challenge and the J16 4+ qualified from their time trial to the A final. Meanwhile the Senior 4+ posted a second place finish in the time trial, with clear time between them and third place. They then put in a confident performance in the semi-final executing their race plan to lead from start to finish with clear water on the competition. First of the respective A finals was the J16 4+ who stormed to a bronze medal, to begin the boat club medal haul. Next, the Senior 4+ rowed the A final with opposition including the winners of the other semi final. Both these boats were neck and neck at the half way mark with the opposition eeking in front. Both boats had cleared the rest of the field, with the Godolphin Senior 4+ securing a silver medal to complete two medals from two boats on the Saturday.

On Sunday the boat club had two Champ girls pairs and a Champ girls double racing. After a valiant row in the time trail the Champ girls double secured a place in the the D final. The two pairs raced hard, with the A boat coming in third place in their time trial and both boats progressed to the semi finals. The A boat secured a second place finish in the semi final to progress to the A final, with the B boat securing a spot in the B final. The B boat fought hard in their final, and showed great promise for future racing. The A boat approached the A final  focussed on their game plan which put them in the first four boats at the offset and as one of the three boats starting to stretch away as the race progressed. After a valiant race, the A boat completed the Godolphin medal haul to bring home a Bronze medal in their event.

This regatta showcased the true mantra that medals are won in winter! The girls all completed their winter training through the cold months, learned lessons in their practice sessions, and were able to approach each race with a clear game plan and with confidence. This was evidenced by the grit and determination of all the crews who were keenly supported by the team as a whole, their dedicated coaches, committed parents, and Godolphin cheerleaders  on the live stream, and in person at the lake on both days.

It was a fantastic spectacle of rowing over the whole weekend and the results speak loud and clear: of 69 girls entered, 59 made finals, and twelve returned with medals. GO DOLPHINS!!!!