2 of Shanklin and Sandown Rowing Club’s junior oarsmen gained their first taste of competition against the best crews in the country whilst representing Wessex at the multi-lane junior Inter-Regional championships at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham last Saturday.
Ethan Walters and Riley Horrix, aged only 12 and 13 respectively, gave their opponents a year’s advantage in the J14 age category, but did not let this deter their efforts.
First afloat was Ethan in the J14 single sculls. Missing the A Final by just 10 seconds in the quickest heat, he then had a superb scull in the B final, remaining in the leading pack for the majority of the race and finished an excellent third.
Riley then teamed up with Ethan in the J14 double sculls. A solid row in their heat secured fourth place and a place in the B final. Following a superb start, the pair shot out in front, and accelerated from the main field, matching a crew from West of England & Wales stroke for stroke. With each crew clearly pushing at strategic points in the race, it soon became a battle of wills as they approached the final marker with 250m to go. In what developed into one of the closest finishes of the day, the Shanklin double mustered their final push, and crossed the line 0.53 seconds ahead to secure a quite remarkable victory at this level.
Shanklin Sandown Rowing club would like to express their sincere thanks to Newport Rowing club for their support in this venture and the loan of their boat to the young oarsmen.