This weekend Holme Peirrepoint, Nottingham hosted the National Schools Regatta over three days, 22nd to 24th May, with races for crews from J14 to J18 in boats of all classes over 2000m, with crews from clubs and schools across England, Scotland and Wales. This is one big event! To be in a position to race at this Nat Schools is an achievement in itself, as it attracts all the very top crews. Deben RC had two athletes competing, Katy Wilkinson-Feller in Championships Girls Single Sculls (J18) and Tristan Hilger in Junior under 16 Single Sculls. This was the second time Katy has been to Nat Schools and first for Tristan, and the biggest event he has attended.
Unlike the regattas we usually attend, at Nat Schools you have to compete in a time trial over 1750m, just to qualify to race. For both Katy and Tristan’s categories you had to finish in the top 12 to qualify. On Saturday, Katy was up against 19 other athletes and on Sunday, Tristan had 40. Both athletes put in exceptional rows with Katy qualifying and Tristan just missing out, finishing 14th, which considering the size of his competition is a huge achievement and very well deserved. Tristan will have gained valuable experience which
will help his development as an athlete and hope he will take the opportunity to race at Nat Schools next year.
With Katy qualifying, she was through to the semi-finals, of which there are two groups of six, with only the top three from each group going through to the finals. This race was hugely demanding and Katy put in an exceptional performance but unfortunately came home in fourth so didn’t go through to the final, but finished seventh overall, which was very well deserved and has established her as one of the top ten junior scullers in the country.
Both Tristan and Katy put in exceptional performances this weekend and it’s been a pleasure to get them to this stage in their rowing careers.