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May 31, 2022

Five medals at National Schools’ Regatta

As the first half of the Summer Term ended, 108 pupils headed to the Olympic Rowing venue, Dorney Lake, to represent St Paul’s at the National Schools’ Regatta. This was the largest number of crews the school has ever fielded.

On the Friday, when only J14 crews take part in sculling races, SPS took home a bronze medal in the A category and gold in the B category, where the J14 C crew also finished 7th, only narrowly missing out on the A final.

The next day, a further eight SPS crews were in action.  After some strategic deliberations about the wind direction, the finals started strongly with the J15C crew qualifying for the B final of the J15 second boat category; the J15Bs went on to take silver in that bracket, having pushed Eton all the way to the line. The J15A crew made good on its early season promise and dominated its event, taking gold by over 11 seconds – an extreme margin of victory. The J16A crew raced well in their final, but was squeezed out of the medals by a fast-starting Eton boat. The J16Bs valiantly rowed through much of the field, following a shaky start, to take bronze.

In the senior categories, the 3rd VIII suffered the same fate as the J16As, being squeezed into 4th by Eton. The 2nd VIII showed savvy in saving their major efforts for the later races and finished a credible 5th. The 1st VIII looked like a class act all day, but faced too much to do from a disfavoured lane in their final, coming in 6th, but well within striking distance of the top crews, leaving plenty of anticipation for Henley Royal Regatta in July.

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