Heineken Cup 2020
On 14th of March the Borlase Rowing squad were due to travel to Amsterdam for the Heineken Cup. This is a Biannual trip which involves 4 races over a weekend. All the races finish in the centre of Amsterdam in front of thousands of spectators. Borlase have competed in this event before and were looking forward to returning to the city for some great racing and enjoying the party atmosphere. Crews from all over the world were due to compete here and our squad were relishing the opportunity to put down some solid performances early on in the season.
However, while on our coach trip 5 minutes away from the airport we received a call from the event organiser informing us the regatta was cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Our bus full of disappointed rowers was forced to turn around and head back to school. While the rowers were extremely downhearted it was the correct decision to make.
Schools Head of the River and Junior Sculling Head
The cancellation of the Heineken Cup was followed by all other Regattas and Head Races being cancelled.
Our squads have been training hard through an awful winter in preparation for 2 National events in March. The Schools Head and the Junior Sculling Head on 15th and 18th of March are the pinnacle of the winter Head Racing Season and marks the end of the winter and the start of the summer racing. These 2 races were both unfortunately cancelled.
Some of our crews spent the week training in London in preparation for these events.
Days later news of National Schools Regatta, Henley Royal Regatta, the Junior Would Championships and the Coupe De La Jeunesse also all being cancelled effectively drew an end to the season.
This was devastating news to our rowers who have trained so hard over the winter and missed so many races between November to March because of the awful winter weather we have experienced this season.
Since school has shut the boat club has had a strong online training and racing presence. Many of our squad members have rowing machines at home and we assigned as many rowing machines as we could for our rowers to take home.
Our squads meet regularly online to train together, encourage each other on and compare scores.
World Erg Challenges
In March, Concept 2 launched an online challenge for clubs and schools. The World Erg Challenge was a competition to see how far a group of rowers could row in one month. The event had over 700 teams enter from all over the world. Borlase finished 24th out of 721 teams and were the second in the school event. Team Borlase and it’s 97 members covered over 8 million meters and finished in front of Eton College and the Polish National team.
This month we are competing in the Spring VIII series which consists of 6 weekly challenges and a league table. We are 3 weeks into this challenge and Borlase are currently in 1st position having won 2 of the events. We are competing against crews from Germany, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
On Sunday 6th January Borlase Rowing held their bi-annual rowathon. The rowathon is one of the clubs largest fundraisers. As well as raising money to purchase vital equipment for our athletes to train and race in we also donate money to charities. This year we chose to donate to Making Marlow Dementia Friendly (MMDA) and the Mayors Charity for Children's Mental Health.
Borlase rowing had over 120 athletes from year 9 to year 13 racing all day in 12 different teams. We also had a parents team and a coaches team. Each team had a target split to try and hold throughout the day and the team closest to this split would be crowned rowathon champions 2020!
We had live updates on our teams progress throughout the day projected on the wall. All of our teams rowed over 100km in the day with the total distance at just under 1.4 Million meters!
Our athletes were generously sponsored by friends and family and we are hoping to raise enough to purchase 2 new racing single sculls for our rowers to train and race in. The whole squad will benefit from these purchases.
Year 9+10 Squads
Our current singles which are in good condition will immediately be freed up for our year 9 and 10 squads to use for everyday training, which we have never had the luxury of before. These year 9's will be the first group we have had with regular access to single sculls. Training in a single scull teaches you so much more boat skill and technique than being in a big, comfortable, stable octuple. This will bring the standard of the junior squads on hugely. Some of these rowers have already been identified to have the potential to be selected to race at the GB trails next season. The new boats will be available for these rowers to compete at the trails when they get in to year 11 and something for all of our junior squads to aspire to race and compete in.
Next season we could have up to 12 athletes invited to race at the first set of Great Britain Trials in Boston. This year we have 6/7 rowers who may be invited to trial and have been fortunate enough to rely on the generosity of some of our ex rowers to lend singles for us to use. The purchase of these new racing singles will be vital if we are to offer our current squads the equipment needed to fulfil their aspirations.
We were fortunate enough to have a visit from the Mayor of Marlow, Richard Scott.
Here are the total distances rowed by our teams during the day. Our parents team came out as winners and were crowned champions, well done to them and well done to everyone who contributed to the fundraising efforts.
On 7th of December Borlase Rowing took a record breaking 80 athletes to the British Indoor Rowing Championships. The event was held in the Olympic Park Velodrome in London. Thousands of spectators filled the stands to watch the athletes race. For our year 9 squad it was their first competitive race for Borlase.
Our squads raced throughout the day and in between races were able to look around the venue and try and get a few signed pictures of various rowing stars attending the event, including 2 time Olympic Champions Eric Murray.
Our squads raced well and full results can be found on the British Rowing Website. The highlight came at the end of the day when our J18 squad took a hard earned silver medal in the relay.
Well done to Ben, Ben, Ethan and Toby. Picking up their silver medals.
This weekend 5 of our athletes were invited to participate in the first set of Great Britain long distance trials in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Hundreds of athletes all over the country enter the event after completing an ergo test (2,000m) with only the top 150 boys and 125 girls from these ergo test results selected to compete in the trial.
Borlase Boat Club had 5 rowers competing. Ben J, Ben F, Ethan, Ana and Giulia.
Are rowers all raced well in the challenging conditions and are looking forward to coming back in February for the second round.
Results are as follows:
Ben J - 38th
Ben F - 65th
Ethan - 110th
Ana - 110th
Giulia - 114th
The Head of the Charles Regatta is one of the biggest regattas in the world. This years event saw nearly 12,000 athletes from 26 countries all over the world competing on the 4.8km course. The course runs from the Boston University Boathouse and finishes just past Belmont Hill School Boat Club. The race passes through 5 big bends und under 6 bridges. This year, the amazing weather encouraged over 350,000 spectators to line the banks and cheer on the crews racing.
This year Borlase Boat Club had 3 boats competing in the Head of the Charles. It's the first time the school has competed in this event.
Dani Taverner, Ellie Harkin, Charlotte Falconer, Emily Farmer and Bridget Smith competed in the women's youth quads event.
Norbert Bolier, Joe Haslehurst, Oliver Lane, Dan Crick and Maya Jackson competed in the men's youth fours event.
Ben Jackson, Ben Furley, Ed O'Neill, Sam Nicklin and Charlotte Farmer competed in the men's youth quads event.
The squads flew out on Wednesday afternoon. The airport and our plane was full of other schools and rowing clubs who were also flying out to compete at the Head of the Charles. We arrived at Boston Logan airport at 7pm local time and used the Boston T (Subway) to travel the short Journey to the centre of Boston where our hotel was located. Our tired and jet lagged 15 rowers and 2 coaches were all eager to go to bed after the long journey.
Crew Pizza in our Hotel overlooking the busy Boston Town Centre
Feeling refreshed after a solid sleep in our cosy accommodation we all enjoyed a wholesome breakfast and were pleased to be joined by many other rowers who were staying in our hotel. Unfortunately on our first day in Boston we were greeted with 50mph wind meaning no crews were allowed to train. Fortunately we had booked in a trip to Providence to visit Brown University and their Boathouse. We were greeted by ex Borlase and Brown University student Rufus Biggs who showed us around the university campus and set us up for a training session at the Brown University Boathouse.
Brown University Boathouse
Ergo session in the Brown University Gym
Team photo outside the famous Brown University Campus Gates with ex Borlase rower Rufus Biggs (Far Right)
Friday brought much calmer weather and beautiful clear skies. We were able to get out on the course and practise racing through the challenging bends and bridges. We were lucky to be able to boat from Harvard University Boathouse which is approximately half way up the course. The rowers rigged up the boats while the coxes attended the coxes meeting where coxes are talked through the course and how best to steer it. We were fortunate enough to sit next to Olympic Champion Cox Phelan Hill who was also attending the meeting to brush up on his racing line.
Our Rowers outside the Famous Harvard University Boathouse.
That evening we met up with our supporting parents for an Italian dinner in downtown Boston. The restaurant put on a fantastic 3 course meal for our 15 rowers , 2 coaches and 15 or so visiting parents who travelled out to support our crews. It was a brilliant evening enjoyed by all.
Our rowers enjoying an evening out
Saturday was the first day of racing on the course. After breakfast we took the T down to the course and watched Neil Jackson (Parent) successfully navigate the twists and bridges racing in the single scull event. The crews then trained with the Harvard Crews in their gym on the ergos and we had a tour of their iconic boathouse.
The Harvard Rowing Tank, Gym and Boathouse.
That evening we booked in to watch the Boston Terriers Ice Hockey team take on Michigan University at the Agganis Arena. It was a brilliant game with Michigan taking a 4-3 win. The atmosphere was amazing. We even got a shoutout from on the display screen wishing our crews good luck.
The Boston Terriers (in red) took on Michigan.
The next morning was race day! We were all up early to get breakfast in and warm ups done before getting out on the water. First up were our girls quad coxed by Bridget Smith. The crew had an excellent row and steered a great line overtaking several crews. This crew finished 35th out of 43 crews.
The girls quad
Next up were our boys four coxed by the youngest competitor in the event, Maya Jackson. Maya steered a terrific line and managed to weave past a few boats on the course. This crew finished 56th out of 85 crews, beating our local rivals Radley.
Our boys coxed four, coxed by the youngest competitor at the event, Maya Jackson.
Finally our boys quad coxed by Charlotte Farmer took to the course. After a successful start to the season the crew were confident in their speed. They got off to a good start but unfortunately collided with a crew under a bridge costing them precious time. The crew finished the race well and placed 14th out out of 48 crews.
The boys quad passing Cambridge Boathouse.
The exhausted crews spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun and watching the international crews racing down the course. We returned to our hotel in the evening and enjoyed a final team dinner celebrating the birthday of Charlotte Falconer.
The following day we enjoyed a morning in Boston looking around the city. Some of the rowers visited the Harvard Football Stadium where it is tradition on the Monday after the Head of the Charles to complete a stadium run (Running up and down every set of steps in the stadium). We enjoyed some lunch in the town centre and a trip up one of the city skyscrapers for a stunning view of the city before our flight home.
Thank you to all the parents who travelled to support the rowers competing and to all the people who helped us out while we were out there. It was an awesome experience and hopefully we will return again soon!
This Saturday Borlase Rowing Squads made the short trip down the A4 to race at Reading Head. This event is a great opportunity to try out potential race crews and test our senior rowers in single sculls before taking on the whole country at the GB trials in November.
Full results can be found on the Reading Rowing Club Website www.rowstats.com/results.php?id=19121
Borlase achieved 4 event wins!
Congratulations to the following:
IM 4x (Jackson, Furley, Nicklin,O'Neill)
J15 4x+ (Downes, Dhariwal, Greene, Stephens, Andrea (Cox)
J17 2x Lennard, Francis
J18 1x Jackson.
There were many other great performances throughout the day too including:
2nd in J16 4+, J18 4+
3rd in J154x+, WJ18 4x, WJ15 4x+, J18 1x
Thank you to all the parents that came along to support in the pouring rain!
J15 4x+ - This squad picking up their 2nd event win this season after Wallingford 2 weeks ago.
J18 Boys 4x - Won the Intermediate open event beating crews from Reading University. They also pick up their 2nd event win of the season.
J17 2x - this new combination saw off crews from Kingston, RGS and Henley among others to pick up their first win together.
On Saturday 28th September Team Borlase took to the water at Wallingford Long Distance Sculls for their first Head Race of the Season. A full list of results can be found on the Wallingford Long Distance Sculls Website - wallingford-sculls.org.uk/results/ .The stand out performances of the day came from our J18 Quad of Ben Furley, Ben Jackson, Ed O'Neill and Sam Nicklin who took victory in their event, a promising start to the season as this quad prepares to race at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston USA later this month. Our J15 Boys 4x+ of Willem Bateson, Hector Downes,Ed Ridley, Billy Dhariwal and cox Will Shipton Jones also took victory in their event beating crews from Magdalen College, Wallingford and RGS High Wycombe. Our girls J15 4x+of Maya Jackson, Sofia Heard-Norrish, Eliza Seymour, Emily Tremelling and cox Eden Hunt finished 5th behind strong crews from Henley, Maidenhead, Abingdon and Headington.
Congratulations to our Girls Squad who won team of the year this year at the annual sports awards. Thanks to the PE department for putting on such an enjoyable evening and congratulations to all the other sports clubs at school on their fantastic achievements over the last 12 months.
Our Senior Girls at the 2019 Sports awards.
Our first major regatta of the year is the Junior Sculling Regatta, held at Dorney Lake. Most of the main opposition who will be contending for the National Schools title race here and it’s a good marker to test your speed. All of our crews raced well and showed they were in the mix for A Final positions. Stand out performances were from our J18 Boys quad finishing with a Bronze Medal and our J16 Boys quad finishing with a silver medal. We also had strong B final finishes from our J18 Girls 4x and our J16 Girls 2x. Our Junior rowers also finished in respectable positions. The Girls J15 2x finishing 2nd in their B Final and the Boys J15 4x+ winning their B final. We now have a few smaller regattas to fine tune our crews before National Schools, the main event of the season.
Our J16 Boys finishing in a silver medal position.
Our J18 Boys finishing in a Bronze Medal Position.
Easter Training Camp - Laias Spain.
The Borlase Rowing Senior Squads Traveled to Spain over the Easter Holidays for a 9 day Training and Revision Camp. The squads trained 3 times a day around structured revision sessions lead by Ms Shearer. During the course of the 9 days our crews covered over 300km and 36 hours of supervised revision in our hotel study room. The camp helps our squads to pick up speed for the start of the regatta season as well as getting to bond with their crew mates. During the 9 days we also managed to fit in a bit of cross training with a mountain hike and a round of crazy golf. Royal Shrewsbury School were also using the same training centre as us while we were there, we arranged fixtures with them with similar speed boat classes for us to race. Thanks to all the coaches and parents who helped to support this trip.
Some of our rowers took the afternoon to organise a mountain hike. You can just about see the training centre next to the river in the background.
Our J16 Boys 4x Training
Our J18 Girls 4+