Northern JIRR Trials Review

As the sun rose over the River Wansbeck, trailers from all over the Northern region piled through the gates of Cambois RC, turning the grass into mud baths as they went. The very cold, yet very predictable, temperatures of Blyth certainly came to fruition, but the junior rowers were pleasantly surprised by a mild tail wind. The course is relatively exposed, particularly on the one and only bend of the 1500m stretch. Nevertheless, all competitors really committed themselves to posting the best result they could, shown by the shear determination on so many athletes’ faces. There is no confirmation of crews yet, but here is the run down of Saturday’s time trial:

There were 12 clubs entered across 22 different events, but it was Chester Le Street RC who claimed the most victories – taking home a total of 11 wins. The second biggest tally of wins came from Tyne RC, who managed 4 in total. Most coaches will have been pleased with the results that their athletes posted, this is shown by the wide variety of clubs who will be travelling to Nottingham for JIRR. Fastest boat of the day was undoubtedly the CLS J164x- , with the fastest women’s boat being the TYNE/DARC WJ16 8+. There were some strong performances from the smaller clubs also, with Hexham RC having one win from only 3 entries and St Leonard’s School winning 1 event after only 5 entries.

Notable wins included that of Adam Morris in the J16 1x (DARC). Having rowed for less than 2 years, and this being his first time qualifying for JIRR, Adam is clearly a rower to watch. He narrowly beat Michael Bessent- the J15 500m ergo world record holder from TURC. The top 3 singles were all within 0.5 seconds, suggesting a very tight regatta season ahead for these boys.

As predicted, another superb performance came from Caitlin Warren in the WJ151x (CLS). Caitlin proved on Saturday that her British- Record breaking scores on the ergo could be easily transferred to the water with a time of 6:43s. This excellent sculling resulted in Caitlin beating her only opposition by 2 minutes 14 seconds but there is no doubt that she will have closer competition to contend with in Nottingham.

Finally, the DUS/TTA J154x+ look to be a strong medal hope for Team Northern. On Saturday they were 31 seconds faster than their next opposition, with no other northern crew having the ability to catch them, to date. Having delivered a medal-winning performance on the national stage before, I have no doubt in their ability to do the same again.

Written by Emily Reilly-O’Donnell