SUMMER TERM 2019
MUNICH JUNIOR REGATTA After a number of gruelling trials, four Radley boys were selected to represent Great Britain at the Munich International Regatta. This is an event held over two days and contested by a number of countries' national teams and some very strong German Club crews. On the Saturday, Felix Rawlinson had an excellent race in the top GB coxless four and claimed the bronze medal in the event. Only some erratic steering prevented them from securing the silver medal. In the last race of the day, Alex Senior had a good race in the eight and won the gold medal after a good tussle with the Czech Republic eight. On the Sunday, Felix Rawlinson, Ned Rae Smith and Freddie Nielsen had an excellent race in the top eight event and won a silver medal behind the German team and ahead of Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic. The event gave the four boys some excellent race preparation at a very high level.
Munich International Regatta Freddie Nielsen, Felix Rawlinson, and Ned Rae Smith in the middle of the line up.
Munich International Regatta Alex Senior in the stroke seat of the GB coxed four.
BASHER BASHER provided RCBC's first side by side races of the season, and it was an extremely valuable experience for all crews. Our thanks go to Eton Rowing again for putting on such a well run event. In what were tricky, blustery conditions coming in as a cross tail, with the occasional downpour of rain, the Radley boys dealt with it all brilliantly, in particular our J14 crews, experiencing their first full regatta. The J14 squad performed superbly across the board ending the day as the fastest J14 A/B/C/D and E boat, which is a testament to the coaching team and the boys themselves and all their hard work. The J15 group raced well on the day with three eights competing. The stand out crew was the J15B boat who held very tight to the A boat, and raced very well in their side by side races. J15A have a lot of potential, and they placed fourth in their category, but will be looking for a good improvement as their focus narrows toward National Schools'. Our J16 squad raced in two eights, and came away from the event having learnt lots about where they needed to improve in the coming weeks. The J16B boat managed to win one of their side by side races, which they were delighted with, and the J16A boat scraped into the A/B semi finals raced over 2000m, which achieved a pre-competition goal. There were two senior crews racing, in the absence of the 1st VIII, and the 2nd VIII stole the show with an excellent win in the A Final, meaning they were the fastest crew at the event. An outstanding achievement. The senior coxed four also competed, winning two races, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, a great day for the club, with many crews winning races and working out valuable lessons in the build up to upcoming regattas.
WALLINGFORD REGATTA 1st IV With four of the 1st VIII away representing GB at the Munich International Regatta it was up to the five remaining boys to fly the flag for Radley in the J18 coxed four event. Rory Gearing, Luke Miles, Theo Metcalf, Hector Thorneycroft (filling in for Peter Denton who was ill) and cox Ted Williams made up the crew and gelled well from the start. In the heat the crew stormed to an early lead and completed the first 500m in a very fast 1:33.8 seconds and were able to ease up in the second half of the race. In the final, the crew had another good first 1000m and established a 5 second lead which they were able to extend to 7 seconds by the end of the race securing them a well-deserved overall victory.
3 2nd VIII The 2nd VIII had two 2000m races. After a very close run semi they reached the final where they finished a close second to Pangbourne's 1st VIII and ahead of Eton College's 2nd VIII and the Hampton, King's Chester and St George's 1st VIIIs - an excellent performance. A special mention to Hector Thorneycroft who in the morning raced twice in a four with the first eight group, helping them to a victory. So he raced seven times that weekend.
Wallingford Regatta A win for the IV
NOTTINGHAM CITY REGATTA 1st VIII The 1st VIII came to Nottingham knowing that they would only have one opportunity before the National Schools' Regatta to race in a 2000m multi-lane race. The crew had been making good progress in training and were eager to test their speed against Shiplake who had won the Schools' Head and finished 20 seconds ahead of the Radley crew. In the heat the crew stormed out to an early lead and made the most of the gentle tailwind conditions to reach the 1000m mark in 2:53.1 and were then in a commanding lead over 2nd placed Agecroft A. The crew crossed the finish line rating 24 strokes per minute and recorded a time of 6:02.5. In the final the crew were quietly confident of being able to win, having posted quicker times than Shiplake to every marker when comparing their heats. The crews were level for the first 250m but the Radley crew then opened up a commanding 3 second lead by the 1000m and were able to hold this for the remainder of the race, finishing in a time of 5:52.7. This was a very creditable result and showed that the crew had some exciting potential for the remainder of the season.
2nd VIII After a careful first row doing just enough to qualify they raced extremely well in the final recording a time of 6.06, just 6 seconds behind Abingdon's 1st VIII who won the event and ahead of King's Chester 1st VIII and Shiplake's 2nd VIII. A a promising set of results which leaves the crew confident but not complacent for the National Schools' Regatta - they know it will be a close run to achieve a medal.
Nottingham City Regatta Above: The 2nd VIII in action
Below: The 1st VIII in action
BEDFORD REGATTA We took a large group of J14 and J15 crews, and J16A to Bedford Regatta, and the J14 crews in particular really demonstrated their speed with a clean sweep of the octuple events on offer. Radley boats ended the day winning J14A, J14B and J14C categories. The J15A crew had a tough race in their first round, squeaking past Windsor Boys by 2 feet in a great race. In the next round, they met a tough Norwich crew losing out by a length and a third. Overall, there was some great racing by Radley crews at one of the few traditional river regattas left, setting them up well for National Schoolsâ€™ which is just around the corner.
Bedford regatta Right: J15.2 Below: J15.3 Bottom: The happy J14 squad!
THAMES DITTON Thames Ditton has become a favourite of RCBC since it offers plate events, for crews who lose their first races, guaranteeing at least 2 races for each crew. We sent 4 J14 crews, 14.1 and 14.2 in 1st boats and 14.3 and 14.4 in 2nd boats. All four crews performed brilliantly throughout the day, with 14.1 and 3 taking the wins in their respective categories. 14.1 had to overturn the unknown quantity of Whitgift, who hadn’t raced since winning the Junior Scullery in March, and had just narrowly beaten 14.2 in the semi final. This was a huge confidence boost going into National Schools’. 14.3 impressed by beating a number of 2nd crews from other schools to win the 2nd boats category. Having lost their first race, 14.4 took home their first piece of silverware of the year by winning the 2nd boats plate competition, this means that every crew has won something in the lead up to NSR!
NATIONAL SCHOOLS’ REGATTA Friday
J14s 14A went into National Schools undefeated in the regatta season and were full of confidence having beaten the majority of the major competition head to head. However, we knew that at this level crews could gain speed in a few weeks and it would be interesting to see who rose to the challenge in the time trial. Going down the course it was felt that the row could have been better and when the times came out our 6:18.68 had us 3rd, 2 seconds behind the leaders, Kings School Chester. The crew had their confidence shaken a little but had plenty of time to regroup and refocus. As they lined up for the A final, the rest of the squad joined the group of spectators at the finish (including the Warden, who had just been assured the boys had it in them to do the job). Off the start the boys took the lead over Shiplake and for most of the race were up by 2/3rds of a length but couldn’t break free. A final charge by Shiplake in the final 300m had the spectators nervous but the boys stayed calm and ended up taking the win by 1/3 length. Hopefully the first of many national medals in these boy’s rowing careers. 14B had similarly successful preparation only being bested by the A crew from Junior Sculling Head winners, Whitgift, the week before. Their time trial saw them produce a solid row chasing down and passing two crews in the second half of their race. Their time of 6:42.87 placed them 2nd three seconds behind St Paul’s (and would have earned a C final spot in the top Octo event). Based on the time trial, we were confident that St Paul’s would go hard off
the start and so it was, but the boys only allowed them a ¼ length lead at the 500m mark and by 1000m they had just edged ahead. It was after the 1k, as it was at Bedford two weeks before, that the boys made their move getting a length ahead at 1500m. Radley crossed the line two lengths up on St Paul’s to win the Dulwich cup. 14C&D both went into National Schools used to racing against and beating higher ranked crews from other schools and were keen to make their mark on the 2nd Octo competition. The boys knew their big race was the time trial and put in stunning performances with times 6:50.76 and 7:11.54 respectively. This placed them 6th and 12th and earning spots in the A and B finals. At this point already, they had both smashed all expectations. This wasn’t enough for the boys who were clearly keen for some side by side scalps as well. First up was the C crew in the B final, who scrapped with Latymer B at the back of the field in the first 500 before pulling clear to place 5th in the B final (11th overall). Next up, the C crew who lined up two lanes across from the B crew. Over the first kilometre they were fighting it out for 3rd with Abingdon B and Hampton B. At halfway they were less than half a length out of a medal position. It wasn’t to be though as Abingdon broke free, but they boys held strong to outlast the Hampton crew to finish 4th. A fantastic day out for the whole squad, with impressive performances from each of the four crews.
National Schoolsâ€™ Regatta Gold medals for J14.1 Saturday
The 1st VIII had a good build up to this regatta and were looking forward to some good racing. Knowing how the conditions can change during the course of the day at Dorney Lake and how important the lane draw can be, the crew were determined to get a good result in the time trial to ensure a favourable lane draw, should the conditions change. The time trial went well and the crew achieved the fastest time of all the crews in this event. In the semi-final we were up against Shiplake and St Paul's and again the crew raced well, securing a comfortable win in a time of 5:48.65 which was a new course record. In the final, the crew unfortunately did not race as well as they had done in the semi-final and were a bit slower to the 500m and 1000m marks. St Paul's got out to an early lead and although Radley closed the gap in the second half of the course, had to settle for the bronze medal, just over 2 seconds behind St Paul's and just over a second behind Shiplake. The crew was a bit disappointed after their strong showing earlier in the day, but hopefully would learn from the experience and it was encouraging to see how close they were to the winners.
In the run-in to NSR the second eight were a very professional and motivated group of young men. To add to this they were enjoying every session,and this is why they were finding more and more speed. But they were always aware of how important it was to have a good time trial to secure a good lane. The time trial went well but only well enough to finish third,closely behind Shiplake and Eton. However when it came to preparing for the final they were determined and focused and looked like winners. And winners they were from virtually the first stroke! It was a superb performance and they were worthy gold medalists. They also broke the record which was previously held by a Radley crew coached by Garry Wiseman. The J16 squad travelled to the regatta without any outright wins behind them this season, but confident that the hard work they had put in over the last month would see them make progress on their nearest rivals. The J16B crew produced their best race of the season in their time trial seeing them come home 6th and within touch distance of 5th, seeding them in Lane 1 for the A Final. The crew struggled with the early pace of the race in
8 the final, but doggedly stuck to their task, which saw them start to reel in Bedford School in Lane 7. However, with 300m to go the Radley crew still had 3/4 of a length to make up and stroke Ralph Adams took the rate up for their final push. This saw them rapidly gain on a tiring Bedford and with the line fast approaching steal the 6th place position from Bedford. A really determined performance after a less than perfect start.
The J16A crew knew that competition was tough in their event, and to progress to side by side racing they would need to be in the top 12 places from the time trial. In the end the crew achieved this with room to spare and produced an excellent row coming in 8th place. The crew battled hard with Shrewsbury and St Paul's in their semi-final for a top three spot, but ultimately could not overhaul them, meaning they progressed to the B Final. In their third race of the day the crew left the best until last, with a complete performance seeing them press St Edwards all the way to the line for the 7th place but coming up a few feet short meaning they ranked 8th at the regatta. This represented a significant achievement for the group having finished 14th last year, and only four weeks ago being 18 seconds behind St Edwards and closing that gap down to half a second. Sunday
Senior Squad After their slightly disappointing performance in the Championship Eights' final the day before, the boys had to pick themselves up for the Sunday races. This they did in fine style and finished the day as the most successful school overall in the three categories they contended.
Championship Pairs Felix Rawlinson and Ned Rae Smith had been performing very well in the GB Trials this season and it was decided to give them an opportunity to showcase their talent in this category against the best pairs in the country. They performed convincingly in both the time trial and their semi-final posting the fastest times overall. In the final, they stepped up their efforts even further and won the gold medal by a very convincing 9 second margin and broke the course record in the process!
Championship Coxless Fours It was decided to enter two fours in the coxed and coxless fours that would both have a chance of securing a medal. The coxless four of Rory Gearing, Peter Denton, Alex Senior and Freddie Nielsen secured a place in the final by winning their semifinal against the top four from St Paul's. The final was an extremely close-fought affair and the Radley crew snatched the bronze medal in the last three strokes of the race!
Championship Coxed Four The coxed four also performed very well in the timetrial and semi-final and secured themselves a place in the A-Final. The final was an even more closelycontested race and despite coming from behind very strongly during the course of the race, the crew of Theo Metcalf, Luke Miles, Hector Thorneycroft, Matt Gissen and Ted Williams had to settle for fourth place, just 1.2 seconds off the silver and less than a second behind the bronze. This was an even more impressive performance considering the crew had got together for the first time that morning!
J15.2s awarded their bronze medals
J15.1s awarded their bronze medals
J15.3s pushing off for their time trial, and then in action on the course
J16.1s putting in some training on the Radley Reach leading up to National Schoolsâ€™ Regatta
National Schoolsâ€™ Regatta Above: 1st VIII - Bronze Medal finish
Below: Senior IV securing the bronze medal
National Schoolsâ€™ Regatta Below: The 2nd VIII winning their final
METROPOLITAN REGATTA 1st VIII After a rather tough week of training and trials, the 1st VIII were determined to show their real potential at the Metropolitan Regatta. The crew raced very well in their semi-final and secured themselves a place in the final against a number of senior clubs and the St Paul's and Eton first eights. The crew had a solid start in the final and had their nose ahead at the 250m mark. They rowed with discipline and commitment to increase this lead at every marker to clinch the victory (and a very impressive and substantial trophy) by over 2 seconds and 6 seconds ahead of third-placed Eton. Full credit to the crew for bouncing back so quickly after their disappointing loss to St Paul's just one week before.
Metropolitan Regatta 1st VIII - Championship VIII winners
BLENHEIM PALACE REGATTA In the extremely picturesque surroundings of Blenheim Palace, two Radley J14 coxed quads were competing over the 500m race. Both quads performed very well on the day, with one crew finishing 2nd in their final and the other quad winning theirs. Well done all!
MARINERS’ CHALLENGE For the third year running RCBC hosted the Mariners’ Challenge, which saw a healthy crowd of around 50-60 people come to enjoy the day. There was a particularly strong Mariners’ VIII put together this year by President Ollie Wynne-Griffith, and in the 500m sprint against the 1st VIII they took a win by a mere two feet, which was definitely aided by Ed Bosson’s wily and assertive steering! Reliving the Boat Race days! It continues to be a very enjoyable event where Mariners and current boys get to mix and socialise whilst having some fun on the river. Our thanks to the Mariners’ committee for helping support the event by providing the food and drink again. Bring on next year’s race!
Marinerâ€™s Challenge Great turnout!
MARLOW TOWN REGATTA After National Schools’ many of the year groups had mixed their crews up to further develop boys throughout he squad, as well as focussing more on small boats work for fun and some skill development. At Marlow Town the J14 squad sent a mixture of octuples, coxed quads and doubles, which proved a very good learn experience for all the boys, particularly the boys in doubles learning to steer! The double of Henry Jones and Seb Codet managed this the best of all the Radley doubles and made their way to the final, beating Magdalen College School and Falcon RC in the final. There was also a win in the final of Open VIII’s for our 3rd VIII, in which they beat Hampton School. This was at the second attempt after Marlow RC had been disqualified in the first race for poor steering. Having won the VIII, five members of the crew teamed up in Open coxed fours to take the win against strong opposition from Great Marlow School and the RAF. In the last Radley race of the day the J14 coxed quad manage to score a win in their final against Mossbourne. An excellent day of racing at Marlow, with lots of race experience gained.
Marlow Town Regatta J16 IV Marlow Regatta J15.1
MARLOW REGATTA Two mixed J14 octos travelled to Marlow and raced well coming 2nd and 3rd in the A Final, finishing behind a very fast Shiplake crew who were silver medalists behind us at National Schools’. It was very promising that our two matched boats managed to stay ahead of the rest of the field though. The J15A boat had to wait right until the end of the day for their final, but they took the race by the scruff of the neck and led from start to finish beating a strong Kings School Wimbledon crew they had tussled with throughout the season. The 2nd VIII raced in the ‘School Junior VIII’ category, seeing them pit themselves against many school 1st VIII’s. They crew continued their excellent form they had shown through the season by making the A Final, ultimately finishing 6th overall. The 1st VIII decided to enter the ‘Championship VIII’ category, which saw some excellent crews entering, including school rivals St Pauls and Kings Wimbledon. With a strong second half to their time trial the Radley boys secured the last spot into the A Final. In the A Final the crew were the only school crew, so they were racing against many university boats and Leander Club. The boys raced exceptionally well sandwiched between Newcastle and Edinburgh University 1st VIII’s the whole way down the course. They stole a small lead off both of these crews whilst tracking Imperial College in the first 1000m. In an exciting finish, the RCBC crew held of a fast finishing Newcastle boat to take 5th overall in the 7 boat final. A really good day of racing for all boats in some lovely fair conditions.
HENLEY QUALIFIERS RCBC entered two eights aiming to qualify for the Temple Challenge Cup (University VIII’s) at Henley this year. These were our 2nd VIII, and a 3rd VIII which compromised some J16 rowers as well. In the time trial format, both crews gave a strong account of themselves, with the 2nd VIII just missing out on the qualifying slot by a matter of 2 seconds. The 3rd VIII had a good row and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which will hopefully stand them in good stead for coming seasons. To mark the end off the season both crews headed of to the local pub for a food and drink to toast a very successful year, which for some was their last year as RCBC oarsmen.
READING TOWN REGATTA With HRR fast approaching, our lower school rowers headed to Reading Town Regatta for their last fixture of the season. In the morning division, we had twenty-nine J15’s racing in small boats from singles through to coxed quads. With our three 15 eights racing in the PM. With several boys racing up a year group we had some great racing across the day, our J15 4+ getting the only win of the day for their year group. H. Plumstead, M.Geuten, C. Casey, H.Rimmer and J.Elliot. Our J14’s continued their winning streak by taking the J14 8x+ final with a slightly different line up from their National Schools crew, with L. Van de Grift stepping up from the second boat into the stroke seat. The J14’s found a different challenge in the quad events in the afternoon where twenty boys took to the water to try out racing in smaller boats. Some good racing from these boys but no quads managing to make their finals.
HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA The crew went into Henley well-prepared and had shown an improvement in their rowing in the days leading up to the event. In the first round we came up against Norwich School and the crew made a good start and were able to take the pressure down after the first two minutes to secure a comfortable victory. On the second day we came up against a selected crew from the USA, Lawrenceville. This was an even easier race for the crew which was in some ways disappointing as they knew they would need to step up the following day against Eton. In the quarter-final against Eton, the crews were level for the first 500m, but Eton managed to open up a lead of about a length at the halfway mark. Although Radley were able to close this lead to about half a length, they were unable to push through Eton. Eton then went on to beat Shiplake by a length in the semi-final and Scotch College, by over a length in the final. The Radley crew acknowledged that although they tried their hardest during the race, they did not produce their best rowing of the season. The pressures of Henley are certainly unique and the crew found it challenging to cope with being one of the strong favourites for the event this year.
GREAT BRITAIN REPRESENTATION It has been an extremely busy summer of international representation for members of Radley College Boat Club, old and current.
Home Countries Regatta The England Coxless IV on the winnerâ€™s podium
The first of the summers races came with Matthew Gissen and Rory Gearing winning the right to represent England in the Home Countries Regatta in a coxless four and eight. The boys raced brilliantly in the four winning gold, and jumped into the eight to secure a bronze. A fitting way to end their time at Radley. Soon after this Freddie Nielsen and Peter Denton raced in the Great Britain eight, and Ned Rae-Smith and Alex Senior raced in the Great Britain coxless four at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Corgeno, Italy. RCBC coach/ boatman Harry Lyons also coached the coxless four. All crews left the venue with some excellent experience and a gold and silver medal each across the two days of racing.
Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta Radley representatives in Corgeno, Italy
Junior World Championships Felix with his silver medal in Tokyo, Japan
Felix Rawlinson was the last member of this season’s 1st VIII to race for Great Britain, having won a seat in the lead coxless four boat at the Junior World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, after a string of impressive performances throughout the season. His crew built through the regatta finding speed in the heat and repecharge, winning a place in the A Final. The crew stroked by Felix raced with real determination in the final and won an outstanding silver medal. The next interest for Radley on the starting blocks was OR Charlie Elwes, who having just finished his final year at Yale University with an unbeaten season on the water, continued that trend internationally with a commanding win stroking the Great Britain coxless four at the World Under 23 Regatta in Sarasota, USA. A truly remarkable season for Charlie, who will now potentially look to set his sights on a late call to the Tokyo Olympic Team. Lastly, in a busy summer for past and current RCBC athletes, was an excellent bronze medal achieved by OR’s Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George in the Great Britain men’s eight at the Senior World Championships in Linz, Austria. This was a fantastic achievement, and it means the boat is now qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Everyone at Radley is extremely proud of all our representatives over the summer, and all of the community we will watch with interest as potentially three OR’s fight for seats at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We wish them all the very best of luck.