This year saw the largest-ever Cantabs entry for the British Junior Championships, with 13 crews entered across 3 days of racing, from J13s and J14s on the Friday to J18s at the weekend. Cantabs had the most entries of any Cambridge-based club.
All crews performed well against their expectations, with 4 making it to the A-final and others making the semis in a competitive field of what were record entries for the event. There was also a bronze medal for the J18 boys’ 8+, an impressive achievement after finishing as the highest-ever Cantabs M2 in Town Bumps just 2 days before.
After finishing 2nd in their time trial, the J18 boys’ 8+ went on to do their last race of the weekend in a strong headwind, which was definitely sub-optimal for the lightest crew in the event. After getting an early position in the leading pack for the first 500m set them up well for 3rd place with a solid advantage over 4th, finishing behind a Walton/TSS combination and Aberdeen Combined Schools. Coach Andy Johnson said:
This was a great outcome for an outstanding group of young athletes led by their captain Philip Sosnin, a very determined individual. You have to realise that for 6 of this crew, this was the 4th time that day they had raced over the 2k course in strong headwinds, having reached semi-finals and finals in a 2- and 4x the same day. Hopefully it has given them an unforgettable experience to take into, some cases, the final year of Sixth Form, and for half the crew onward into university and adult life.
The J18 girls’ 4x made their A-final and had a really good race, missing out on 4th by 0.5s in a field that included both the English and Scottish entries for the JW4x at Home International. Coach Oli Frazer said:
I couldn’t have asked for them to put in a better performance. They did everything I asked of them, and I was chuffed with their gutsy row.
The J18 boys’ 2- went in hoping to take bronze, but fell just short in 4th. They raced hard after a long week also racing Town Bumps, and are an exciting prospect for the future, both being in the Lower Sixth, having another year of junior racing ahead of them.
The J18 girls’ 2- just missed out on the A-final in what was a very strong year for girls’ pairs, but showed real grit and determination to row back through the field to take a well-deserved 3rd in the B-final after a spectacular sprint finish.
The J18 girls’ 8+ qualified for their A-final, and put in a solid performance to take 5th.
The Cantabs J16 crews also gained valuable experience in what, for most of them, was their first 2k regatta. They showed promise, and will hope to come back stronger next year.
William Woodward showed that he is one to look out for in the future, just missing out on making the semis of the J16 1x by 0.1s. He went on to comfortably win the C-final and come 13th out of 41 crews. Coach Oli Frazer said:
It was the best put together race I’ve seen, with William judging his first ever race over that distance to perfection.
You can find full results for the event here.
J18 girls’ 4x: Lorna McBride, Katie Oliver, Zara Parr, Freya Sutcliffe
J18 boys’ 2-: Joshua Pearson, Samuel Askew
J18 girls’ 2-: Amy Hill, Lucy Jennion
J18 girls’ 8+: Freya Sutcliffe, Lorna McBride, Katie Oliver, Jessie Hassett, Zara Parr, Olivia Boyle, Catherine Morley, Mia Beauchamp, Charlotte Parr (cox)
J18 boys’ 8+: Robert Steyn, Philip Sosnin, Jeremy Austin, Jed Beynon, Alex Hunjan, Joshua Pearson, Samuel Askew, Robert Almqvist, Anthony Austin (cox)
J18 girls’ 4x: Scarlet Barton Gilheaby, Roisin Scanlon, Rosie Oliver, Olivia Durran
J16 boys’ 4x: Felix Werdmuller, William Woodward, Luke Davies, Charlie Davies