Nottingham rowing club sent a quad to the 16th Trefeu Internacional Cuitat de Barcelona held in Barcelona port on Sunday 20th November. The crew of Yasmin, Ellie, Philly and Nikki, accompanied by Dez and Lauren, travelled out to Barcelona on the Thursday before to allow time to train in the boat and gel as a crew. The event was sponsored by the Reial Club Maritim de Barcelona.

After training each day the crew made the most of being in Barcelona and visited some of the sites, including Gaudi’s imposing Sagrada Familia and the Parc Montjuic which provides stunning views of the port and contains some of the Olympic venues used in the 1992 Olympics.

6 crews were competing in the event, which was run in the format of a 650m sprint regatta, with the winner of each heat going directly through to the final, with the rest having another chance to reach the final through the repecharge. Despite some challenging conditions on the water, the crew qualified directly through to the final, winning their heat by 1 ½ lengths. The final was run 90 minutes later. The quad had a strong start, gaining a couple of lengths lead, which combined with a controlled middle part of the race allowed them to maintain this lead to cross the line half a length ahead of their closest opposition.

                               The girls with their winners trophy and book of the club's history

The crew felt that this was a great opportunity to race in an exciting and unusual location and it helped break up the long winter months before the summer season begins. The sunshine also helped! We would like to thank the race committee; particularly Iris and Sonia, and the Reial Club Maritim de Barcelona for organising this event and making us feel so welcome, we hope to return next year.
Last weekend 3 quads raced the 4 ¼ miles from Mortlake to Putney in the Fuller’s Fours Head of the River Race. This is a national race with 500 crews, and the last race this year where the national team are released back to their clubs to race in their club colours. The majority of the national team were racing, making for a high standard.

Stu, Ed and Rich took a break from racing each other and teamed up with Anthony Jackson from the senior mens squad to race in IM1 4x. Despite being a mainly lightweight crew and having a few problems overtaking a crew at the start, they had a good race, gaining their best ever result of 26th overall, and 6th in their category.

Having won the event last year, the quad of Pippa, Laura, Fiona and Nikki raced as Elite 4x and went off as first women’s crew, chased down by Leander A containing multiple World Champions and Olympic medallists. After an eventful row, having to navigate through a large number of crews who started ahead of them, some who were more obliging to move than others, the crew finished third in their category, 6th women’s crew and 133rd overall. They managed to maintain their position as the first women’s crew home that did not contain any current squad athletes.

The second crew  of Amy, Philly, Ellie and Kate came 8th in IM1 4x and 228th overall. They had a good row, overtaking Milton Keynes, who started ahead of them, by Chiswick Eyot. This was also Philly and Ellie’s first time at the 4s head and they did well to stay focussed over a very busy course. After limited outings due to other commitments, the crew managed to find a stronger rhythm and pace than they expected – brilliant result!

Next up is a solid training block to set us up for some good results at the next set of trials on December 17th.
The weekend of 22nd and 23rd October was the first GB assessment for the year. This comprises a 2km erg test and then a 5km water trial the next day. A variety of different injuries and illness saw a very small group go to the first trials. Pippa battled through her recent illness to get a PB on the erg, showing there is plenty more to come when she is fully fit. Yaz  got a PB and placed 5th out of all the lightweight women, whilst still being an Under 23. Stu also got a PB by 2 seconds on his 2km which ranked him 6th u23 for lightweight men, Ed and Rich put in solid performances to progress to the water trial the following day.
Battling against a strong headwind down the final stretch on the water, Pippa came 6th out of the women, and second ranked Under 23, proving she is well on track to make the Under 23 Worlds this year. In the second division for lightweight men and women, Yasmin continued her successful weekend, coming 11th lightweight woman home, and 4th Under 23, again placing her in a strong position for her GB aspirations. Ed withdrew from the water trial through illness, leaving just Stu and Rich to fight it out on the water. They came home in close succession in 20th and 22nd, with Stu leading the way by just 1 second, as 10th U23. Pippa’s result also counted towards BUCS, where she won gold. While Rich won bronze in lightweight doubles in the third division.
Those who missed this trial will have the opportunity to race at the December assessment as long as they can gain the erg cut-off specified by GB rowing.
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