The annual Junior Inter-Regional Regatta (JIRR) took place at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont.
Hundreds of boys and girls from the 12 regions of British Rowing sculled and rowed for gold, silver and bronze medals and for their region.
The East Midlands, which included crews from Derwent Rowing Club, Becket School, Boston Rowing Club, Burton Leander, Newark Rowing Club, Trent Rowing Club, Nottingham & Union Rowing Club and Nottingham Rowing Club, wore bottle green tops.
For many of the juniors it was their first taste of six-lane racing and for some it will be the start of a lifetime in the sport.
Nottingham Rowing Club were entered in the Women’s J16 Quadruple Sculls. Bella Barlow (Nottingham Girl’s High School), Abi Clark (East Leake Academy), Jenna Draycott (Kesteven & Grantham Girl’s School) and Aimee Richards (Carlton Academy) – having completed a very successful winter with wins at Hampton, Nottingham and the Schools Head on the Thames – had high hopes and expectations, but after 500m of the 1,500m race disaster struck.
Coach Martin Kay takes up the story: “Leading by a length after 500m, a major crab in the stern set the girls back to second behind Lady Eleanor Holles.
“Holding their nerve and regrouping over the next 250m, the crew reasserted their quality by opening up clear water with a confident burn over the finish line.”
Coach Declan Gamble added: “It was the best race I have ever seen.
“The girls showed courage and professionalism to get back into first place after the stack-up.
“It made Martin and I very proud to be their coaches.”