Rowing For England 2015

Friday 9th October 2015

Since November 2014, U6 student, Sheyi Blackett, has participated in the GB Junior Trailing selection process. Below, Sheyi shares her experiences of gaining entry into Final Trials and competing in The Home International Regatta, which took place this July in Strathclyde, Scotland:

“I have been in the GB Junior trailing selection process since November 2014 and across the season there have been a number of different trials assessing progress. Unfortunately the season did not progress for me as planned and after thinking it was all over I was given another chance. The “Race off” was for an entry into the Final Trials process which gave you an opportunity to potentially race everyone for a “seat” in an international boat. For three works I focused purely on my single, trying to gain speed to ensure that I won my place in the Race off. Hard work had paid off and I had won the race off by ten seconds, gaining the top spot out of 11 others by a clear margin.

The following four days were dedicated to seat racing which means just race as hard as you can for as many races as you have. It was exhausting. My lack of experience showed as I missed out on the international boats, however I was awarded a well-deserved spot in the Home International coxed four, which was made up of three other girls who also trailed.

The Home International Regatta is an annual event taking place in Strathclyde, Scotland and involves races from all boat classes between Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. It was a first for me and also some of the best racing I had achieved. Although it was only one race per boat class the level of competition was extremely high, however the friendly atmosphere still remained.

Our coxed four was to combine with the other four to form an eight and represent the junior girls in the biggest race. Overall we were victorious in both events, winning by tremendous amounts. The eight was my favourite race as everyone was so friendly and of course it is the fastest boat! Overall England won the Junior Girls category having won every race except one.

It was a victorious weekend full of laughter and friendly competition!”