KING’S Ely students were victorious in two days of fiercely-contested rowing competition in Belgium.

A group of 23 rowers from King’s Ely travelled to Tilburg University Rowing Club in Holland during their Easter break, where they spent six days both training and sightseeing. The students then headed to Ghent in Belgium to compete in the 40th Ghent International Spring Regatta and 27th International Belgium Junior Championships.

Crews took part in two days of intensive racing against clubs and schools from across the UK and Europe. Some of King’s Ely’s most successful races were from the junior rowers, for whom the competitions were their first multi-lane race experience.

There was a brilliant race from Jake Clifton in his heat of the under 14 single scull, and Georgia Chapman showed maturity beyond her years to be placed third in her heat in the under 16 single scull (a division which saw her competing against King’s Ely’s Year 11 athletes as a Year 9 student). Despite being the youngest in her event, she managed to finish in the top half of competitors on the Sunday and improved her time from the Saturday by over 10 seconds.

King’s Ely’s under 16 double crew of Holly Lancaster and Rebecca Garrett had a storming row to win their heat and placed third overall, whilst Edmund Dickens and Tom Oldham produced a stellar race to finish fourth in the open men’s lightweight double scull race on the Sunday.

There were also wins for the junior men’s coxed four, under 18 coxless women’s pair and a Gold for Emily Moore coxing in the men’s open coxed eight in a King’s Ely and Nerus Amsterdam Composite crew. The race of the weekend however came from King’s Ely’s under 18 women’s coxless four crew. The crew of Emma Tarshish, Emily Moore, Emma Fowler and Holly Lancaster came from a length and a half down after the first 500m to row through the leading crew to win the International Belgium Junior Championships.

Head of Rowing at King’s Ely, Mark Beer, commented: “It was great for our student athletes to get away from all the distractions for a week and be able to focus just on rowing and exam preparations. The coaching team were really pleased to see the progress in their performances during the training camp and students once again showed great courage and determination to compete in multiple races over the two days in Ghent. Some of the performances in the finals were exceptional and to see the girls straight four row through their opposition and win was a real pleasure for the coaching team and the King’s Ely supporters who had travelled to the event.”

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