National Schools’ Regatta 2015- Championship Girls Singles Preview

A relatively small field, with only nineteen scullers racing. It’s a strong field though, with several junior internationals and Henley winners competing. Onto the preview…

Alice Bowyer [Gloucester Hartpury]

The first of two Gloucester Hartpury scullers whom I believe will make the final, Alice has had a breathtaking season. Following up on victory in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup at Henley Regatta last year, Alice has recorded a series of impressive results at the GB Trials; she finished first in November and second in February in a field of highly talented scullers. She wasn’t selected for the Munich International Regatta but she’ll be a strong contender for the win on Saturday afternoon. She’s won at local and national level in the single this year and that has to make her a pre-race front-runner.

Rosalind Wilson [Marlow Rowing Club]

A young lady who has been on the scene for some time now, Rosalind is a stalwart of the Marlow WJ4x who took the win at the Schools’ Head in March. She was selected to race in the Women’s Junior Quad in Munich and came away with a well-deserved silver medal. She’s an extremely talented sculler and possesses technical skill and raw power- her experience at such a high level of racing will also give her the advantage this weekend. She finished fourth in this event last year but none of the scullers who beat her are racing on Saturday. I think she’ll be a strong contender for a medal.

Kyra Edwards [Nottingham Rowing Club]

Yet another product of that superb junior production line that Nottingham have, Kyra is a real force in junior women’s rowing. She’s translated her immense power into boat-moving ability with aplomb this season, consistently challenging at the top end of the trial results. She was also in the JW4x at Munich, a crew which also took the win in WELI4x at Wallingford Regatta two weeks ago. With Anna Thornton opting not to race, home support will be with Kyra; she’s got a good record at this regatta, with a win in WJ171x to her name. I fancy her to medal.

Flo Pickles [Gloucester Hartpury]

A junior international medallist and Henley winner, Flo will be looking to move forward to U23 representation if she continues in the sport next year. She was a driving force behind Gloucester Hartpury’s successful Henley campaign last year and she’ll likely play a similar role this time around. It’s also worth noting that she holds the British U18 Lightweight female record on the ergo, with a PB of 7:15:9. She’s a fantastically talented sculler and I know she’ll be a front-runner. It’s hard to judge how she matches up internally- she hasn’t done much racing in the single. I think she’ll be a contender for a medal though.

Robyn Armstrong [Bedford Girls School]

Robyn has had a troublesome career in rowing. Having had a blistering J15 season, where she swept all before her in a J16 double with Lottie Bruce, she sustained an injury which put her out of action for a year. She’s recovered from that and has raced well in a single, finishing tenth at the February GB Trials and racking up wins at local events. I’m not sure whether she’ll be able to keep up with the top athletes in this event- she’s got a fantastic ergo score but lacks the experience that makes the others such consummate racers. Nonetheless, I think she stands an excellent chance of making the final.

Zoe Taylor [Reading Rowing Club]

Zoe raced at the Coupe De La Jeunesse last summer, finishing third on both days in the Women’s Pair. She’s part of the GB Start program, designed to identify athletes who have the potential to excel in the sport of rowing. Her results so far consolidate her status as an elite athlete- national selection and a series of strong results in the scull all present a strong case. It’ll be interesting to see how she affects larger boats but that’s for another day- I think she’ll make the final.

Notable mentions go to Maddie Dobson, who is a strong sculler in her own right, Grace MacDonald, who forms a strong partnership with Georgie Grant and Camilla Plumb, who finished second at Wallingford Regatta in WJ181x.

Finalists- Wilson, Pickles, Bowyer, Taylor, Edwards and Armstrong.

Winner- Bowyer

I am the editor of a rapidly growing blog based around the junior rowing circuit within the UK. From launch in June 2013, the website has experienced vast growth in both its reader count and view count while the article range has expanded. I currently work with a team of 10 people, all of whom voluntarily write articles for the blog. In our first year, I looked to expand from the standard previews and reviews that had gained initial success to building relationships with clubs and conducting interviews. This move proved successful and we are currently exploring new routes to further improve our platform. The blog has led to involvement with Regatta Radio, Rowing & Regatta, Row 360 and British Rowing.