A contingent of J17 – J18 rowers made the journey south and to London, on Sunday 16th October, to compete in the infamous Pairs Head of The River Race and in doing so became the first ever NSRC Junior crews to compete in a Tideway event. This years race was run on the incoming flood tide meaning crews rowed the normal course in reverse , from Harrods Wall to the finish just beyond Chiswick Bridge, replicating the route of the Boat Race.
Despite the reasonable tidal conditions the south westerly breeze presented a strong head wind around the long Chiswick bend making for choppy conditions. Rowed over a distance of 5.4km the event saw a mixture 422 doubles and pairs simultaneously boated on the River Thames with only 416 those managing to complete the course.
In the J18 2x event Nathan Treacy and Freddie Hayward completed the course to finish 259th in a time of 16:59.9 minutes amongst 17 other crews, contesting their age category, including the Marlow, Westminster School and Eton rowing clubs.
In the WJ18 event Abi Ridden and Roz Armstrong finished 391st in a time of 18:34.3 minutes having boated amongst another 26 crews in their category.
After the race and on dry land at Putney Town Rowing Club, who kindly acted as host club on the day, both crews reflected on just how exhilarating the race had been, saying ” the head wind around the big bend was brutal ” and ” that was the toughest row we’ve ever had to do, we loved it”.
Whilst on this occasion there were no winners pennants both crews can for now at least lay claim to having set new, as previously uncontested, club records for the Pairs Head and hopefully the start of a tradition of other crews competing to better their times. Our Juniors return to the Tideway on 12th November when a WJ17 4x- will compete in the Fullers Fours Head of The River Race over the full 6.8km Championship course.