The NRC girls representing England at the Home International Regatta 2012

After their performances at the British Championships, 6 of the group were invited to race as part of the England team for the Home International Regatta. The 50th Home International Regatta was held over 1500m in Cardiff bay this year.The group were competing in 6 of the 10 events available at the regatta (Wlwt2x, W1x, W2-, W4-, W8+, W4x), with wins coming in the light double for Nikki, and in the 8+ for Alex, Catherine, Laura and Lindsay who were joined by the Molsey 4+.

When the girls weren't winning, they were coming in second, with the pair losing out by just a bowball, the four coming back from a poor start to take second, the quad with Nikki in being beaten by a strong heavyweight Irish crew and Fiona also coming in just out of the elusive first place in her single. However, the strong showing by the Nottingham girls as well as the rest of the senior women in the England team gave them an unassailable lead coming in to the lunch break, ensuring that they retained the overall team trophy for another year.

The majority of the group now take a couple of weeks break, probably spent on the sofa watching the Olympics!
                                                The triumphant pair of Laura and Lindsay

We had a mixed weekend of racing at the 40th british Rowing Championships held at Holme Pierrepont. Fortunately the event went ahead despite fears at the beginning of the week that the lake would be too flooded.

We had two lightweight scullers, two heavyweight scullers, two under 23 scullers, a pair and a coxed 4 entered. Saturday saw Nikki win her heat to progress straight through to the final. The same heat was contested by Yasmin, who progressed through to the repecharge where she unfortunately just missed out on a place in the final. Pippa also won her heat to progress through to the final, whilst Fiona had to make do with a place in the repecharge, which would be contested on Sunday. Ellie and Philly were making the transition back into the single after spending the season in a double (an event not offered at the British Championships), with Ellie progressing through to the repecharge. The coxed four had a tough heat, containing all three of the eventual medal winners, causing them to also fight for a place in the final through a repecharge, although having posted a much faster time that those in the other heat they were confident they would make it through.

Sunday was finals day for the senior events. Unfortunately, despite racing and qualifying for the final, Fiona had to withdraw through illness. After the repeharges we had the pair, 4+, Pippa and Nikki all contesting for medals. Nikki was first to race her final, having a tight race with Fran Rawlins from MAA, and eventually finished in second behind Lizzie Polgreen from Isle of Ely. Pippa stormed her final to win, as did the pair of Lindsay and Laura. The 4+ was a new venture for Catherine, Alex Johnson, Laura, Lindsay and cox Amy Henfrey and although improving as the regatta continued, could not quite find the turn of speed they needed to the line, and came in 4th.

This leaves the squad with 3 British Champions and a silver medallist in a regatta with significantly reduced racing opportunities for the senior events, with the bigger boats being contested at the Diamond Jubilee Regatta held at Dorney Lake in October. This makes up 50% of the medal winning boats from NRC.

The quad taking some time out to pose in front of Gloriana

The intrepid troops travelled down to Henley again for the qualifying races for Henley Royal Regatta. With only internation eights, quads and singles available for the women in this regatta, competition is always tight, yet we arrived with high expectations of qualifying. Pippa was racing in her single, and battled her way down the 2112m course against a very strong stream and an even stronger headwind to successfully qualify. The women's quad of Lindsay, Fiona, Catherine and Nikki were one of the last crews to race, and rowing into what felt like the sunset, they followed suit and qualified for the regatta.

The squad travelled down on the following Wednesday in order to train on the course, with racing starting on the Friday. The quad came up against a strong Australian U23 team, who knocked them out and went on to win, whilst also doubling up and making the semi-finals of the Remenham Cup as well. They then went on to win gold at the U23 Championships. Pippa was drawn against the Irish Olympic sculler Sanita Purspure and again unfortunately was beaten. However this is the first time that the squad has qualified two women's boats into the open events at the regatta which shows the strength in depth we have in the group at the moment.

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