Burton regatta proved to be a good warm up for Burton Leander’s junior contingent, who, on Saturday, made their way to Nottingham’s National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont to test their prowess against the top juniors from all over the country at the British Junior Championships. Burton Leander were represented in single sculls by Mary Wright in Women’s Junior 14, Olivia Lee in Women’s Junior 15, Ellen Tweed in Women’s Junior 16 and Dan Roe in Open Junior. In her first national level competition, Mary Wright dominated her event from early on. Facing a formidable entry field of twenty five other competitors, the scullers are selected for the next rounds using time trial elimination. Mary made an impressive debut, finishing the time trial in overall second place, easily earning her a space in the semi-final. The second 2000m race didn’t faze the Burton sculler, coming first in the semi-final. Mary really put Burton Leander on the map by taking second place and the silver medal in her event.
Single sculler Ellen Tweed joined forces with Natasha Dukes in the women’s Junior 16 double sculls to race again over the 2000m course. Facing a high level of opposition against Eton Excelsior Rowing Club, London’s Tideway scullers school and further afield rivals from Loch Lomond ARC amongst others, the junior girls worked hard in their heat to earn a place in the final. Despite not coming away with a medal, the girls gained valuable race experience at this high level and will undoubtedly come back stronger next year.
The weather gradually deteriorated over the weekend with bouts of thunderstorms frequently leaving racing postponed and water conditions particularly challenging for the younger competitors.
Burton Leander’s Men’s Junior 16 quad were a high medal hope after having set a strong precedent for success throughout the season so far. Matt Haywood, James Manton, Joe Rymond and Jordi Simons have been training together as a regular crew for a number of seasons now, bringing a great deal of experience and team cohesion to the boat. The Leander men didn’t disappoint, taking overall third place to win the bronze medal. This was a fantastic result in this high status event which contained entrants from notoriously competitive clubs such as Windsor Boys School, London’s Lea RC and Cambridge’s Rob Roy rowing club.