SGS College Students Take to the Water

At the end of June, Avon County Rowing Club had the pleasure of hosting four young athletes from SGS College Foundation Department for their inaugural outing on the water. This exciting day was the culmination of weeks of preparation and training, showcasing the transformative power of rowing.

These students had diligently practiced their basic sculling technique on two ergometers loaned by our club. They’d also gotten a taste of synchronizing their strokes, although only in pairs. But nothing quite compares to the real thing, and their enthusiasm was obvious as they approached the water’s edge.

For one student in particular, this day marked a significant milestone. After eight weeks of careful, steady work to accommodate an underlying health condition, he was finally ready to put oar to water. It’s not an exaggeration to say that rowing has been a game-changer for him, boosting both his confidence and fitness. His cardiologist has been notably impressed with his progress – a testament to the holistic benefits of our sport.

Blessed with sunshine, the day couldn’t have been more perfect for their first rowing experience. Under the guidance of Penny and Jon, the students expanded their rowing knowledge in our stable explore boats. Even their tutors (quite an unruly bunch, some might say!) got in on the action, with Alex and Debra taking them out for a spin.

All crews impressed us with their quick adaptability, particularly in mastering the tricky maneuver of turning the boats. The session on the water was a resounding success followed by a delightful lunch on the balcony (with special thanks to Kim for the delicious cakes!).

Perhaps the most heartening outcome of the day was seeing our visitors fall in love with the club. The growth in confidence we’ve witnessed, especially in our student with health considerations, has been incredibly moving. We believe this is just the beginning of something truly special and can see that rowing has once again proven its power to change lives, build confidence, and foster community.

We hope this experience has sparked the love of rowing and look forward to welcoming these promising young athletes back to our club again. Here’s to many more days like this one!

Avon County Juniors Shine in Composite Crew at Henley Women’s Regatta

On Saturday, 22nd June, two of Avon County Rowing Club’s talented junior rowers joined forces with peers from Millfield School and Minerva Rowing Club to compete as a composite quad at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta.

In the highly competitive J16 4x- event with 32 entries, our composite crew excelled! Liv, Tatiana, Charlotte and Zara powered through their time trial with determination, clocking an impressive 5 minutes and 24 seconds. This secured them 11th place overall, missing the final 8 by just 4 seconds – a remarkable achievement highlighting the potential of these young athletes. While narrowly missing the finals was bittersweet, the experience gained and bonds formed were invaluable, setting the stage for future achievements.

Liv from Avon County Rowing Club said ‘Racing at the Henley Women’s Regatta 2024 was an incredible experience – it was amazing to see and race on the famous course, and the atmosphere was brilliant! Being a part of a composite crew was a great opportunity and I really enjoyed learning from the athletes and coaches from other clubs

The event confirms the benefits of composite crews for clubs and rowers:

  1. Expanded Opportunities: Allowing clubs and individual rowers to participate in prestigious events.
  2. Skill Development: Exposing rowers to different techniques and perspectives.
  3. Building Connections: Fostering friendships across the rowing community.
  4. Increased Competitiveness: Combining talent to achieve higher performance levels.
  5. Motivation and Inspiration: Competing at high-profile events drives young rowers to excel.

Composite crews embody the spirit of cooperation and excellence in rowing. We look forward to more opportunities to join forces with other clubs and showcase the best of what our rowers can achieve.

Congratulations to our fantastic junior rowers and their teammates. Your hard work and team spirit have made us all immensely proud and we can’t wait to see you race again at British Rowing Junior Championships!

Battling the Elements and Competition at British Masters Championships

On the weekend of 15th and 16th June, Avon County Rowing Club took on the British Masters Championships in Nottingham amidst a backdrop of wildly varying weather conditions. With a record entry after several cancelled races recently, the event did not disappoint in terms of competitiveness and drama!
Saturday saw blue skies quickly give way to thunderstorms that forced racing to stop not once, but twice. Lightning even struck the water, putting the scoreboard out of commission for the remainder of the weekend. Rowers had to be prepared for everything from sunny spells and torrential downpours.
Sunday brought calmer conditions from a weather perspective, but the racing was as intense as ever. Over the two days, we witnessed countless gritty performances and hard-fought battles across all boat classes.
Avon County showed its mettle, powering to gold medals in the Mixed Masters D 4x- and Women’s 50+ 4x- events. We also claimed bronze in the Women’s Masters E 4x- with our Mixed Masters E 8+ crew narrowly missing the podium in 4th place, just 0.7 seconds away from
While the racing was fabulous, the true highlight was the amazing camaraderie and sportsmanship on display from clubs across the country. Win or lose, smiles were aplenty as we recounted adventures, swapped stories, and refueled with delicious homemade bread pudding and tiffin afterward!
It was an incredibly rewarding weekend for everyone who made the trip to Nottingham. The British Masters Championships always test the
limits with challenging conditions and elite competition. But that’s what makes the victories that much sweeter!
A huge congratulations to all our medal winners and participants. We can’t wait to take on the British Masters again next year with this same spirit of determination, camaraderie and friendship!