This weekend saw two of our juniors head up to Boston for the GB squad February Assessments. Abbie Bird and Sean O'Mahony had a tough two days of competition racing against the best in the country.


In order to be selected for these trials, both juniors had to meet the 5k erg criteria.

Abbie took to the water first to race in her 1x against the other JW16 candidates. Having already competed in Boston at the Early ID trials in November, Abbie was at ease when boating and put in a very strong performance all the way down the course. Despite assurances that the river would maintain "dammed" throughout the event, rumour has it that the EA opened up the sluice gates mid division affecting the stream for some. Suffice to say that the results weren't quite as expected for the girls division, with GB selectors choosing to re-trial the JW18 1x event on the Sunday. Abbie placed 29th in the provisional results and has shown over a 10 second improvement on her November time, a brilliant achievement.

The boys division commenced early afternoon, and unfortunately was graced with a little more wind than we would have liked (it made for very cold spectating!). Sean took to the course and put in a very energetic performance, particularly for his first time at Boston. The day ended with just enough time to get the doubles rigged ready for Sunday, eagerly awaiting the boys results to find that Sean had placed in 14th, a fantastic result!

Sunday morning was colder and brighter, with a prediction for heavy cross winds to pick up throughout the day. Thankfully, the wind held off the best it could and allowed for fairly consistent conditions. Both Maidenhead Juniors had sought doubles partners from other local clubs in the run up to trials. Abbie paired with Darcy Jennings from Emanuel School and Sean with Matthew Day from Broxbourne. The coaches spent several weekends ensuring that both crews had the opportunity to train together, particularly as many local clubs had the added benefit of being able to race with their club partners. Both crews took to the water looking very proficient, and it was hard to tell that either crew had only been together for a matter of weeks. Sean and Matthew came down the course first, and looked happy with their performance. Abbie and Darcy finished out of sync having overtaken the crew ahead, a good sign of a very strong performance!

Cold and tired, the boats were de-rigged, loaded onto the CCS truck (thanks Josty!) and we bundled into cars and set the sat nav for the nearest fast food joint (turns out so did all the other clubs)! It didn't take long for the results to roll in, and there were big smiles all round upon seeing that both doubles had secured 4th place positions.

Claires Court School had 3 athletes in attendance with some very promising results. The JM18 2x of Jono Cameron and Toby Jones placed 8th on Saturday, with Ollie Costley in the JM16 1x entry placing 4th. Sunday saw a mix up of the 2x as requested by the GB selectors, Jono paired with Leon Langmead from Northwitch to place 6th and Toby met with Marlow sculler and ex-Maidenhead Junior Ben Gray to place 13th.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend for Junoirs from the Maidenhead stretch. A huge thanks go to all the support over the weekend, all the tweets, likes, comments, shouts and cheers!

Fingers crossed – we're hoping for a few invites to the J16 crew sculling camp, and maybe a few invites back to Spring Assessments! :-)