Following their performance through the season, Kirstie and Catherine were selected for England to race at the Home International regatta, this year held in Cork, Ireland. This is an annual match between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Despite some difficulties in the logistics of the event, which resulted in the double having to find a last minute boat replacement, the girls managed to overcome the obstacles and raced well, coming home second behind Scotland. This was Kirstie's first international vest, and sets both athletes up for next season.

We had a large entry of crews into  HWR this year, many of who were looking to gain experience in their singles, racing in an environment which is more intense than the normal multi-lane racing.

The weekend started off early Friday morning with time trials in almost all events - a testament to the increased popularity and growth of the regatta. All crews made it through the time trials successfully and prepared to compete in the main regatta.

The Senior quad of Anna Thornton, Catherine Lineker, Kyra Edwards and Beth Lloyd racing for the Chairman's Trophy were first to compete, beating Star Club with an Easily verdict. They then went on to beat a UWE/UTRC composite on the Saturday before being beaten by a very strong Molsey/Putney Town/Strathclyde composite in the semi-finals.

We had 2 single scullers racing in the senior singles for the Bernard Churcher Trophy. Laura Champion and Abigail MacCartney both raced well, but were both sadly beaten by Pepper from Star and Arrow in successive rounds. Pepper went on to lose narrowly in the final. Rosie Taylor was racing in the Senior Lightweight singles, an event won by Yasmin last year. Rosie is new to the squad this year and had an excellent row, but was ultimately beaten on Saturday by Lewis from Greenbank Falmouth. For all 3 scullers this has given them a chance to see where they stand individually against the rest of the domestic competition, and will fuel their winter training for next season.

Yasmin made the step up to elite lightweight singles this year, racing in an event which contained athletes who were subsequently named in the GB U23 and senior teams. Despite a solid row, Yasmin was beaten by Humphries of TSS on the Saturday.

There were two senior doubles entered, racing for the Rosie Mayglothling trophy. Vicky Jones and Caitlin had found they were an excellent combination through the season, winning at Nottingham City Regatta and forming well as a double. The other double of Kirstie and Nikki were second at Notts City and hoping the extra few weeks training up to HWR would help them improve on this position. Vicky and Caitlin, despite carrying an injury onboard, raced well to hold TSS level through the enclosures, but the Scullers crew dug deep and unfortunately edged the double to the line.
Nikki and Kirstie had a solid couple of rows on the Saturday, giving them the opportunity to practice their race plan and learn to handle the environment at the start. On Sunday they had a good race against Reading RC, and then faced Glasgow Uni in the final. Times through the regatta had suggested this was going to be a close final. The girls went out hard and got themselves ahead by the barrier, where they held their distance through to the finish, to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Thanks must go to the organising committee for another well run regatta, and also to the programme designer who found the best crew from last year to put on the front cover!


Once again Met Regatta was blessed with sunshine and flat water. We had a large squad of athletes racing. Abbie, Laura, Rosie and Yasmin were all racing in singles, with Kirstie/Nikki and Caitlin/Vicky racing in doubles, and lastly Anna, Catherine, Kyra and Beth racing in a quad. The scullers all raced well within their categories, improving as the day progressed and they got closer to the finals. Winners on the first day were the senior double of Kirstie and Nikki, and the senior quad. Laura wheeler also won in a composite 4-.

Sunday saw an opportunity for Caitlin and Vicky to improve on their performances the day before, which they did, and narrowly missed out on a place in the final of IM2 doubles, a big step up from the novice double they raced as at Notts City. Both Abbie and Laura both continued to improve on the previous days performances in their singles, bridging the gap up to the lead athletes. For consideration for the Commonwealth Regatta team, many athletes were asked to race in Elite and Elite Lightweight Singles. Kirstie and Catherine both raced in the openweight singles, with Yasmin and Rosie racing in the lightweight. Understandably competition was fast, and unfortunately despite some very good racing, none of the girls made it to the final.

Overall it was a very successful weekend, with two wins and everyone stepping on and improving their performances at the higher level of competition. This gives us a good indication of where we are and what we need to work on ahead of Henley Women’s Regatta on 20-22nd June.

Nottingham City Regatta

O! For a NRCHPS of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of Nottm city
A Hpp for a stage, Thames to Tyne did fall
And NRCHPS to behold the name on the boatman’s victory board.
Can Boyland and Jones ease to victory hold
The vasty fields of Novice scullers?
Within this carbon fibre oar O the very easy heat
That did affright the air at Nottingham
Consideration, like a carrot out of noses and unpaid memberships
And whipped the offending Exeter and Newark out of gold
Turn Boyland a monarch of all novice scullers,
MacCartney and Taylor, that when they row the third intermediates
The air, the water, is still
O noble choppers! That could entertain
With half entries a thorny heat and full forces the full pride of Grand Britannia
And let another half stand rowing by,
All out of work, MacCartney proceeded forward action.
For so work the elite sculling-bees,
Creatures that by a rule in oarsman teach
The act of double sculls of order over watt bike office smelly banter;
They have a match a half past eleven,
Where some, become victors, on home soil
Leading way Maxfield Spencer O to the kilometre
Others, like soldiers, armed in their filippi
Make boot upon the course, Lloyd Lineker
Which pillage they with merry march bring gold home
To the Desmond Atkins of our fearless-leader O to Caversham!
Let us swear,
Our Champion and MacCartney don’ed intermediate two sculls
That those who you call’ed friends, hold hard the breath and bend up every stroke
Whose blood is felt from all of war
Have in these parts from morn till even fought hard, bravo!
Once more unto the lake, dear friends, once more; race again
Or close the final with our Nottingham pride!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a winner
As modest melt Maxfield claims Intermediate uno singles
Marks and Spencer gracious row truly
Whose limbs were made in England show us here
Even at the turning o’ the tide
All one does is win win win, has rowing on thy mind.
Onwards and forward to journey south, Metropolitan regatta awaits

Catherine and Beth Elite double - GOLD
Kirstie - IM1 1x - GOLD
Caitlin and Vicky - Novice double - GOLD
Caitlin - Novice single - GOLD
Kirstie and Nikki Elite doubles - 2nd
Yasmin - Elite 1x - 2nd
Abi - IM3 1x - 4th 
Vicky Jones - Novice 1x - 4th 
Abi - IM2 1x - 5th
Champs - IM2 1x - 6th
Rosie - IM3 1x - 4th in heat wait 5 months and two come along at once! Firstly a summary since January:

January: The squad raced in singles at Boston Head, with triallists racing in elite over the full 5km course in preparation for trials in early February, whilst the others raced in IM2 and IM3 over the shorter 3km course. Everyone performed well, with the squad coming away with an elite win (Nikki), IM2 win (Laura C) and an IM3 win (Abby). We also jumped in the eight for the first time this season, racing an established Cambridge squad over rate capped pieces. This was a good starting point for us, getting used to the difference in style and technique between the squad. We then had a 5km erg to complete – always a highlight for January. Again, everyone performed well, with all squad members getting a PB. This means each member of the squad has a 2k and 5k PB this year.

February: February was a quite month for us. Trials was cancelled early due to adverse weather warnings which allowed the squad to focus on the eight for Women’s Head of the River Race. We had a variety of illness and injury, along with other logistical problems which meant that the build up to Trent Head and Eights Head were not ideal.

March: March started with an excellent win at Trent Head, giving us a platform to build on leading up to the Eights’ Head a fortnight later. The event was well attended and organised, allowing us to see where we ranked amongst other more established crews. This was our only run out at full speed for an extended distance, and gave us a good idea of how the crew reacted in a race situation. After a pre-paddle on the Tideway to get used to the bouncy water, the Eight of Anna Thornton, Katie Bartlett, Kyra Edwards, Kirstie Maxfield, Laura Champion, Catherine Lineker, Nikki Spencer, Sarah Bonar and coxed by Hannah York set off up to the start with high hopes of a fast race. The crew had a good tussle with Exeter University who went on to win the IM2 pennant. The girls had a good race, but couldn’t quite find the speed they had in training in the choppier conditions, and finished 16th winning the provincial pennant. The top 6 places were dominated by overseas and Olympic composites, with the headship going to the squad composite.

April: At the beginning of April we went hunting for some sunshine on training camp in Aiguebelette. The lake and surroundings were absolutely beautiful, with mirror flat water most of the time. We spent 10 days getting faster on the water and slower up the stairs as we got more tired, and coming back to a windy Holme Pierrepont has been a bit of a shock! Yasmin, Laura W and Nikki then headed to trials, where the forecast for strong winds meant racing was condensed into one day. Nikki came 12th in senior lwt, Yaz came 8th U23 lwt and Laura W came 13th. 

May: The students in the group raced at BUCS, the largest rowing event in Europe, racing previous Olympians and athletes at the top of their game. Everyone raced well, with Kirstie winning silver in intermediate singles. 
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