Henley Royal Regatta is the highlight of the rowing calendar, attracting crews from around the world to race head to head on the Thames, and YCRC were there to race in the yellow, purple, and gold for the Fawley Challenge Cup for Junior Quadruple Sculls last weekend.
The quad of Luca Machado, Aiden Wilson, Alfie Hancock and Josh Barwick raced to qualify for the knock-out stages of the event the preceding week, claiming one of only 9 qualifying spots from a field of 49, an even more impressive achievement given the ever rising level of junior sculling at HRR.
In the first round they were drawn against Hampton School, a school with a strong rowing pedigree. The YCRC quad edged out a lead of half a length over Hampton in the first part of the race, and held their nerve and form brilliantly to maintain this lead all the way to the line and through to the next round.
The second round saw the YCRC quad line up alongside the 2017 winners (and 2016 finalists), the Windsor Boy’s School. Despite gutsy sculling from the YCRC boys all the way to the finish, the WBS showed their determination to hold on to their title by taking the race and progressing to the 2018 final, where they won the event in a record-breaking performance.
Since the first YCRC Junior quads entered the Fawley Challenge Cup in 2008, nine crews have qualified to race in the event in eleven years, including two crews in 2008. Over the years YCRC juniors have progressed past the first round at HRR three times, and when added to the consistent performance of the YCRC girls at Henley Women’s Regatta, shows what can be achieved by committed junior athletes at a provincial club.
May congratulations to the quad for their commitment, maturity, and excellent performance at the world-famous regatta, to Phil Jones and the rest of the junior coaching team at YCRC, and to all those who support junior rowing at YCRC – it’s been a fantastic season, and our juniors on both sides have done the club proud. See you next year!