Thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work from parents, staff, students, and other volunteers, and particularly Ann Colborne, our event secretary, Phil Tinsley our Boathouse Manager, and Rob Burnage and his team of umpires, this prestigious annual event ran without a hitch.
Despite the Fours Head taking place on the same day in London, both the number of entries and the overall standard was up on last year, with over three hundred and fifty crews taking part. Although the sun didn’t shine, conditions were good with little stream and a following wind resulting in some exciting racing. Only one crew capsized, and that was on route to the start.
Following some excellent results at both Wallingford and Reading, there was another strong showing by our Pangbourne crews with five class wins. In the morning division the girls took the honours with first place in both J18 and J16 quads, our boys’ quad being pipped by Eton by just over a second. Our boys’ J18 double took an unexpected victory in a large field and our boys’ J16 double finished in the top half despite only two outings together. In the afternoon division it was the boys’ turn to excel: Nicolo Forcellini taking the overall single sculls title with Ben Maxwell producing the performance of the day to be placed second overall behind Nicolo in winning his J16 category ahead of all the J17 and other J18 scullers. Georgia Misson took bronze in WJ18 singles but, frustratingly, Georgia Francis, having overtaken three of her opponents and on course for a fast time, had to stop with just five hundred metres to go, her rigger almost falling off, and Emily Howard caught the foliage whilst also having her best scull to date. Our other senior boy scullers put in solid performances and our winning girls’ U16 quad raced in singles for the first time.
As a Boat Club we retained the Victor Ludorum trophy for having the fastest aggregate time in four different sculling categories. However, whilst we were obviously pleased that our own students did well, it was great to see so many young scullers taking part and to put our lovely reach of the Thames to good use in the winter rowing calendar.