The clubhouse looked very empty this weekend as nearly every squad was off racing at various events.
Our juniors kicked off the busy weekend at Pangbourne Junior Sculls, with over 20 entries across the two divisions and picked up four wins. Nathan May picked up his first win of the year in the J14.1x and did so in style (over a minute and a half ahead of the scullers from Westminster School!). Not to be out done in the W.JSchB 1x., Izzy Richards, in a time that would of won the A strand, also picked up her first win of the year. Continuing the winning theme, it was a first time race for Amelia Potter and Camille Blunt who only started rowing three months ago and came a respectable 14th in W.J15.2x.
There was lots of action in the W.J15.1x. with 7 crews entered for Reading. Holly Cookson continued her domination in the single scull as she went away with the overall win. The event also illustrated the strength in depth of the club’s W.J15’s as there was a 1, 2, 3 for Cookson, Izzy Cotten and Georgie Pollard, with the remaining crews finishing well inside the top 10 from a field of 21. There was further success for the strong W.J15’s as the crew of Pollard, Issy Lazenby, Becky Stone, Sophie Underwood and Olly Threlfall came second in W.J15.4x+. In the afternoon, Cookson made it two for two as she went home with the W.J16.1x title.
The masters kicked off the weekend’s tideway action with 4 crews entered to take on the championship course. The first win on the tideway came from the crew of Dave Stevens, Wael El-Dali, Paul Symons and Aidan Zaldua (Cox) who beat the crew from Hillingdon to take the Novice 4+ title. Des Norton, Roger Vaughan, Stephen O'Regan and John Robb took top honours being the fastest Reading RC crew of the day in the G4- beating the C4- of Jeremy Hopkins, Christian Wagner, David Wiles and Matt Sloan who finished third in their category.
On Sunday it was the turn of the senior men and women and with 6 crews entered, it was our biggest entry for a number of years. Following a string of strong performances at Reading SBH and Kingston SBH, the rivalry between the Reading RC women’s quads was to be a hotly contested event. In this instance it was Reading B who came out on top, the crew of Tash Stagg, Kate Trend, Becca O’Connor and Caren Tanger finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place in a time of 22:25.0 with Reading A; Rachel York, Marina Miles, Hannah Street and Ellie Biggs coming 15th.
With the women concentrating on sculling, the men were back focusing on sweep at this year’s event. Due to many last minute substitutions, Reading B were changed to ‘Time Only’, however their time would have placed them 24th in their category, a good starting place for many of the new faces in the men’s squad this year. The more experienced crew of James Batchelor, Will Shrieve, Martin Brozman and Sean Simpson had a solid race and came home 7th / 28 in 4- Band 2. The coxed four really showed how the men’s squad has pushed on this year with a mixture of new, old and returning faces. The crew of Luke 'Sean' Moneley, James Little, Nick Christopher, Charlotte Williams (along with super sub Marcus!) finished 8th/25.