The premier junior event of the year saw two medals a piece for Marlow junior boys and girls in blustery conditions at the national watersports centre in Nottingham.
After the Seniors' recce of Nottingham at Notts city, difficult conditions were to be expected for the three days of National Schools. A strong cross headwind made conditions at the start next to unrowable, and on the Sunday the event was reduced to a thousand metre time trial.
The regatta started well for Marlow, scooping a hard fought silver medal in the WJ15 octuple. The boat lost by only a second to King's Chester, who had previously beaten the Marlow girls on home water by a lot more at Marlow Spring. The Marlow crew were ahead until the very dying moments, but the finish line could not come quite quick enough for agonised coaches Colin Picton and Brett King. The junior girls' squad followed up their silver with a bronze for Anna Smart and Abi Armstrong in the WJ16 double. In a spread-out field they held on through the rough water to win a commanding bronze behind Norwich and Eton Excelsior and well clear of Dame Alice Harper
The Boys squad were not to be outdone on the Saturday by registering a commanding win in the J16 quads. The quad came into the regatta fresh from a heartwrenching defeat in the quad at poplar regatta, where Windsor Boys snatched the prize from them in the last few strokes. There was to be no repeat of this at Nat Schools however, where the combination of Josh Kent, Seb Devereaux, Charlie Simon and Jacob Buckle turned the tables by trailing at every mark until thy made the last 500 metres their own to win by seven seconds.
Boys Coaches Russell Peacock, Carrie Collerton and Ray Bedder followed this excellent result on the Sunday by showing exceptional consistency in the J16 squad by splitting the quad into two doubles that could only be split by two tenths of a second over the one kilometre time trial. Agonisingly this was also the split between third and fourth, with two members of the quad following their Saturday gold with Sunday bronze.
A very successful weekend for all the juniors involved, not least the medallists. Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches and helpers who made the weekend a success against difficult conditions!