Three local girls were part of the Newark Rowing Club J14 coxed quad that finished as runners-up in the National Schools Regatta at Eton Dorney on Friday.
Grantham’s Hattie Swindles (cox), Jess Austin, of Colsterworth, and Milly Barker, of South Rauceby, teamed up with Sleaford’s Jasmin Brankin and Newark’s Darcy McKean to finish second to Henley in the final of the prestigious competition at the 2012 Olympics rowing lake.
The format for the event was all boats took part in a time trial with the top 12 going into the-semi finals.
The Newark club girls rowed to second place in the time trial, finishing just six seconds behind the winners, Henley. This meant that Newark went into the opposite semi-final to Henley.
However, there were still some very good crews in their race – last year’s winners Marlow, Ross, Liverpool Victoria, Stratford upon Avon and Ardingley. It was a straight knockout in the semi with the top three progressing to the final and the bottom three going home. However, times were still important as these determined the lane draw for the final and with a head/crosswind it was important to get a good time.
Newark comfortably won the semi -inal by about a boat and a half’s length.
The final consisted of seven boats as there had been a dead heat for third in a semi. The crews were Newark, Wallingford, Bristol City, Tideway, Ross, Ardingley and Henley. Henley had again gained the best draw with Newark second.
The final was well competed by all crews. Henley took the win by about four seconds from Newark, with Ardingley third.
The Newark quad’s achievement is all the more remarkable as they have only rowed together for two-and-a-half months, whereas Henley will have been together for at least two years and row at school.
It was an incredible achievement and the crew now truly believe that in the near future they will beat Henley.
The Newark Rowing Club girls expressed their gratitude to to their coaches Steve Collins and Nigel McKean who generously volunteer their free time to help the crew.