Oundle pupil is runner-up at Henley
04 July 2012
At the Henley Women's Regatta on Sunday 17 June, Oundle School pupil Kristina Cowley (17) took part in the final of the women’s J18 single sculls section. The race was held on the same stretch of the Thames as Henley Royal, but the course is 1500m, instead of Henley’s 2112m, and ends at the Remenham Club.
Battling extreme conditions of a gusty 45mph head wind and very strong competition, Kristina managed to race her way comfortably into the finals of the women’s J18 single sculls. The final was one of the closest and most exciting races of the day. After an excellent start, Kristina led by ¾ of a length. But her opposition, who represented Great Britain at the recent Munich International Junior Regatta, managed to overtake her in the last 500m and Kristina finished as runner up in the final at this prestigious event.
Kristina’s lead up to this race has been long and arduous. She has overcome an injury plagued winter, and has worked hard since February to make up for her disrupted winter training. She has shown in her land training that she is a force to be reckoned with (she is currently 2nd fastest over 2000m on the rowing machine in the country), and she has also won several regattas throughout the year. She raced and won the Wallingford Regatta in her single scull. This race took place at Dorney Lake, venue for the 2012 Olympic Rowing Regatta.
It is no surprise that Oundle School recognised her achievements by awarding her the John Jackson trophy for sporting excellence. She also has been selected to attend the Great Britain Junior rowing final trials where she is hoping to gain a seat to represent GB at the Junior World Championships in Poland or the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Spain.
Kristina is only at the beginning of her promising rowing career and will no doubt return to this Regatta again in the future.
Head of Rowing George Maitre commented, “Kristina is back on racing form and this was a really encouraging performance from her. She showed maturity, mental toughness and good speed at an event which is renowned tough one on one duelling; this will give her an enormous boost before going into the final stages of GB junior selection.”
Kristina commented, “Henley was a really tough couple of days with strong winds and difficult water conditions but ultimately as an experience it was a really positive one and I learned a lot about racing and myself over the weekend. It was at once a truly tense but exciting moment as I waited on the start line for the final. It was one of the hardest races I have had to do but one I really fought for.
Rowing is always a challenge but I am dedicated to it. A real part of the challenge is fitting everything into the school day! I've been lucky to have huge support from friends and family and my key coaches Dr Bier and Mr Morgan. A particular challenge has been adapting to rowing as an individual rather than as part of a crew. I hope that I am leading by example and encouraging others and above all, I am really proud to be representing the School.”
The Henley Women’s Regatta is one of the most prestigious, international regattas held in the country and is the goal of many female oarswomen. The regatta runs over three days, and took place from 15 – 17 June.