Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Rowing greats spur on Shiplake College

SHIPLAKE COLLEGE have once again entered a crew in the Princess Elizabeth Cup and will go straight into Saturday’s draw

SHIPLAKE COLLEGE have once again entered a crew in the Princess Elizabeth Cup and will go straight into Saturday’s draw having been selected to avoid tonight’s (Friday) qualifying heats.

The College, who this year celebrated 50 years of rowing, held a dinner which was attended by former pupil and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Will Satch. The College also boasts a gold medal winner in their debuty head, Shane O’Brien, who triumped in the New Zealand four in 1984.

Shiplake’s first eight have already tasted the prizes and opportunities that rowing can bring.

Just weeks ago Marek Lapham stood on the Munich Junior International Regatta podium, three times within 24 hours, to receive gold medals as a GB J18 international.

Max Hearnden and Harry Vardigans spent a week training on the Loire River, based at Nantes, France, as part of their GB trial and later they were joined at a freezing Boston, Lincolnshire, by Daniel Barrett, Michael Glover and Dominic Parnell for further GB trials.

The squad have been frequent visitors to the already historic Olympic course at Dorney Lake. Barrett, Glover, Hearnden, Lapham and Vardigans all travel to Nottingham for final GB J18 trials in July. Not everything has gone to plan. A raging Thames in January created the need for some innovative training and the college coaches came up with some ingenious circuits that included tyre-throwing amongst the challenges.

Such creativity was rewarded by a silver medal for the crew and a bronze for the coxed four at the National Schools’ Regatta.

Previously an October training camp to the USA’s East Coast had provided some more orthodox training with the 18-man senior squad competing at the Head of the American and at the aptly named Frost Bite Regatta.

Now for Shiplake’s eight, coached by Hugh Mackworth-Praed, the support of their home crowd, sprinkled with returning Shiplake alumni, in their distinctive blazers, will be the ultimate thrill.

Shiplake College also has two crews entered in the Fawley Cup, both of which will be involved in today’s qualifying races.

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