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The start of every new academic year produces many challenges for the rowers of Queen Elizabeth High School. The first is the 50km (31mile) Boston Rowing Marathon starting in Lincoln and finishing in Boston. QEHSRC entered 42 rowers in 15 crews, many deciding to tackle the course in the small boat categories of single and double sculls.

This year the natural elements added additional difficulties to the event. A week of dredging the river Witham improved the weed infestation so that the event could go ahead but weed was still present across the whole river for many stretches grabbing at the boat hulls and entangling the rudders to make steering impossible as crews attempted to row through the syrup. To add a further impediment crews had to battle against a strong headwind making it near impossible to keep the consistent rhythm necessary in any long distance event.

Despite these additional challenges QEHS crews managed an outstanding 6 event wins and all crews finished the course, which gives a huge sense of personal achievement. Tom A and Tom S demonstrated their competence in the sport by adding to their 2018 British Championship silver medal in pairs sweep rowing by changing to a double sculling boat and winning ‘The Schools Cup’ for the fastest junior crew across all boat classes and age categories in a time of 4 hrs 24min.

QEHS hold 7 Boston Marathon records and the J17 crew of Tom M, Tom L, Abe and Ollie hoped to add to that list. They are one of QEs most consistent crews and have trained hard but had to settle for an event win as the natural elements put paid to any record attempt. 

Ben W was able to demonstrate that in a sport dominated by heavyweight rowers there is still the opportunity for a technically proficient lightweight to get success. Ben loves to confront the personal daemons provided in single sculling where the mental challenge is as great as the physical. Despite being moved up an age category he took the medal for the J18 single scull in 4hrs 52min.

Having completed the marathon previously in crew boats the J16 boys all decided on this occasion to meet the Boston challenge in single sculls. Dan J showed he is making huge progress in his single sculling ability as he won the J16 single event in 5hrs 2min.

Competing at Boston for the first time is something in a rowers career that they will always remember. The pain, the never ending course, the portage at Bardney Lock and the commentator clearly announcing the finish. QEHS had 20 J15 rowers prepared to experience the emotions of this noted rowing event for the first time. For some the emotion of the event was further enhanced as the girls crew of Nicole, Katie, Harriet, Grace and cox Phoebe won the WJ15 coxed quad event in and the boys crew of Lewis, Oscar, Ryan, Aaron and cox Ciaran won the J15 coxed quad category.

Taking 42 rowers to compete in a 50km race over 200 miles away could not be achieved without the tremendous support of accompanying parents. The organisers of QEHS Rowing Pauline and Geoff would like to record their huge thanks for the support of all those who accompanied and assisted and without whose help attendance at this event would not be possible.