King’s Rowing: A busy August on the water

August is usually a quieter time for King’s School Rowing Club but this year has seen a flurry of activity and numerous successes on the water.

Earlier this month, both 1st VIIIs (Girls and Boys) made the journey down to Oxfordshire to race in the Henley Royal Regatta. They made history when both crews qualified for the internationally renowned event for the first time, making King’s one of only four schools to qualify a boys and a girls VIII in 2021.

Wednesday, 11 August was a proud and historic day as both crews took to the Thames to race. Both crews raced well and, despite not progressing in the Regatta, it was a fantastically memorable experience. Of the 18 athletes who travelled to Henley, 15 will return to the club this season and they are excited to build on this experience.

Many of our rowers have also been competing for their local clubs over the summer. Lucy Thomson (U6FOX) and George Munday (L6BRD) raced their singles at the British Rowing Junior Championships in July, with both athletes making the B final in their respective nationally-ranked events.

Fin Thomson (5FOX), Ben Threadgold (5LES), Fraser Brown (5WAL), Georgina Brown (4WAL), Matthew Walker (5FOX), Fergus McKeown (5FOX), Will Saul (5DUT) and Luke Knight (5GLA) have all represented Grosvenor Rowing Club in a number of regattas this summer. Matthew Walker took a regatta victory at Warrington Regatta, and Fraser Brown and Ben Threadgold won in the double scull at Stourport Regatta. At the recent Ross Regatta, George Munday won the double sculls event for Royal Chester R.C. with his teammate from Queens Park.

August has been particularly busy for Mrs Edwards who runs King’s Summer School for pupils going into Thirds. The programme was massively oversubscribed this year but we were delighted to welcome 87 pupils who tried their hand at rowing for the very first time.

As well as giving younger pupils their first taste of the sport, Summer School has also been a great opportunity for our current athletes to volunteer and develop their coaching skills.  Volunteers included Lily Wood (U6DUT) and Issy Donnachie (U6DUT), this year’s Captain and Vice-Captain, as well as Mica Hird (U6GLA), Lucy Thomson and Isabel Sykes (L6GLA) from this year’s Girls 1st VIII. From the Boys 1st VIII, Giorgio Poletti (U6DUT), Archie Barker (U6FOX) and Luke Dillon (L6DUT) volunteered to assist with the programme.

Volunteers from the younger year groups also assisted, including Mahir Ahsan (L6DUT), Andreu Palet (5DUT), Will Saul, Erin Edwards (5FOX), Matthew Walker, Hannah Egan (5BRD), Maya Swift (5BRD) and Annabel Swift (5BRD).

Mrs Edwards was grateful for the support of the volunteers and she praised their commitment to the club.

She told us: “It has been wonderful to see so many young athletes giving up their time to help new starters to the sport. Volunteering and supporting the club and its members is one of our key club values and the helpers have been a wonderful support this week.”

We are now looking forward to the new term and the new season. Our first race will be the Chester Long Distance Sculls, raced over 5000 metres of the River Dee and is planned for Sunday 26 September.