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LRC Race Report: Ponteland Junior Head 2017

By Lakeland Rowing Club, Mar 29 2017 06:00PM

Connor Faulder at Ponteland - Photograph by Al Johnston
Connor Faulder at Ponteland - Photograph by Al Johnston

A group of young scullers from Lakeland Rowing Club celebrated a trio of firsts at the Ponteland Junior Head competition on Saturday.

The three crews who travelled to the under-18s’ event on the river Tyne were the first from the Derwentwater-based club to compete in their age and boat categories – and all performed impressively in the face of stiff competition from across the north of England.

Despite the early start, the Keswick and Cockermouth school students arrived at the event with heads high and smiles on their faces. With the help of parents and their coach, David Thomas, they tackled the challenging task of rigging their boats, and were commended by a Tyne ARC official for their speed and efficiency.

Pippa Atkinson, a member of Lakeland’s first-ever women’s under-16 coxless quad, said: “Setting up the boats was very organised and helped us mentally prepare, as everything was ready on time.”

As racing time approached, nerves were high but everyone, including the club’s first under-18 single sculler, Connor Faulder, managed to keep their cool. Connor completed the gruelling 2.4km course in just 11 minutes and 20 seconds. He said: “There was a lot of really strong competition and 2400m seemed much longer in a single!”

However, Daniela Jones, who took on the tricky job of bow-steering the coxless quad had a different take. She said: “The 2400m was much easier than I expected, and the extra training after school paid off.”

She and Pippa, Jenny Wilkinson and Lauren Strong displayed excellent teamwork and determination to record a time of 11 minutes and 46 seconds.

Izzy Greenwood, who was racing with Kim Sunley in the club’s first competitive junior women’s double scull, described the race as “a great experience”. She added: “The atmosphere was very good and everyone seemed to enjoy the thrill.”

Izzy and Kim overcame technical problems with admirable calm to cover the course in 15 minutes and 6 seconds.

Kim Sunley & Izzy Greenwood at Ponteland - Photograph by Al Johnston
Kim Sunley & Izzy Greenwood at Ponteland - Photograph by Al Johnston

Although none of the crews won their categories, it was a day to be proud of and one that will go down in history for the club’s junior division.

Race report by Lauren Strong.

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