We recently had the Ghent Spring Regatta, but now we’re talking about the big boy event at Ghent, the May Regatta. This is one of the biggest international regattas on the calendar, with the likes of Brookes’, Leander and Molesey making regular appearances.
Unfortunately, Brookes nor Leander will be attending Ghent this year, with Leander opting to travel to Duisburg. Brookes racing at Ghent would have been a good taster for what’s to come, with BUCS finished, graduates can now return to the Brookes’ crews and bring them back up to pace, not that they need it.
Molesey have apparently entered.Other domestic clubs include Lea RC who have entered a women's pair and a men's four with names such as Callum Prosser, who did an excellent job at the GB Trials making the A Final of the LM1x. Clubs like Bedford RC, Earith, London and Imperial have only send the occasional small boat, however some clubs have gone to town on the entries. Kingston RC have entered an eight and some fours, likely for some competitive seat racing looking at the names. Nottingham RC have entered women's crews galore and a men's 4 to mix it up. Thames have also exclusively sent their women's squad, with no-one from their exciting junior programme. Kieran Clark has been kept busy entering his Tideway Scullers women into 35 different races! The Scullers Women are going global this year, with one of their fours already winning silver in China and with races planned in Hong Kong and Boston. However the Scullers women will be in rough waters alongside Molesey's women's squad, who have proved themselves to be a crew to be reckoned with. Wins at Brugge Head this year and HWR last year top a long list of achievements, more recently taking a bronze and silver in the eight and four respectively at Brit Champs. With 2 eights entered at Ghent, a deadly mix of squad depth and talent means that Molesey will likely top the women's domestic crews sent over by some margin.
Westminster School will once again race at Ghent, after having competed at the Spring Regatta. Their Fawley Quad and PE Boat will be racing, along with some J14s racing in singles and doubles. A few of which would have already garnered some International experience, with a couple racing at Munich International Regatta. Sacrificing the opportunity to race against Radley and other rival schools at Nottingham City Regatta, Westminster are easily the fastest UK juniors at Ghent and will have the eyes of the international rowing community on them. Other schoolboy crews racing include King's School Canterbury, Norwich, Radnor House, St George's College and Twickenham RC.
Norwich were billed as favourites to win 1st Eights at SHORR, and ended up coming 4th. Disappointing, but this can really catapult them into the regatta season. With many GB-France vests in their crews, and some decent trials performances they have the talent to be quick. Entering every single boat class from eights to singles, they're definitely going to get their money's worth out of the trip, if they don't work themselves to death in the process. Radnor House, a rarely seen name, have sent 4 J14s, a J16 pair and a J18 single. The single Emil Ghattas is racing a composite pair with St George's Felix Stewart, and we can expect the trialists pair to do reasonably well. Twickenham RC has a rapidly-growing junior programme and has sent a variety of fours and small boats with J16s and J18s.
The reputable Nereus Club from the Netherlands will also be showing up, this crew could see some crews testing their mettle against strong opposition. This regatta could be the early sightings of some very quick potential Henley crews. They have entered two eights, which will no doubt be a strong contender for the Blue-Ribbon event.
At overseas events like these, a little support goes a long way, so make sure you keep up-to-date via Twitter, Instagram or the live results on the website, and send some support for your athletes representing your club, river or country abroad!