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Daily medals for Calpe Rowing Club at the British Rowing Junior Championships

This past weekend Gibraltar rowers were in action at the British Junior Rowing Championships. Both Calpe Rowing Club and Mediterranean Rowing Club send rowers too compete with some success. Among the gold medals were Thomas Zammitt in the Under 18 category and Siena Lee and Sophie Lines in the womens Under 15 double scull category.
Following their success we were able to get some feedback from Jonathan Zammitt on Calpe Rowing’s performances.

By Jonathan Zammit, Cape Rowing Club

From the 13th to the 14th of July Calpe Rowing Club competed at the 2023 British Rowing Junior championships held at Strathclyde Country park, Motherwell. This was a change in venue from the last two years at the national water sports centre at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham and presented a challenge due to its more exposed topography, with wind pressure increasing in strength over the weekend and variable weather alternating from sunshine to rain.
Calpe were in for a very busy weekend entering thirteen races and working towards building on their previous years return of two bronze medals. There was a mix of experience and new faces and the club coaches were keen to see how their rowers would perform along the shorter 1000m course for U14 and U15s and 2000m for U16 and U18s.
On Friday morning Owen Rogers and Jake Navarro had an early start in the U18 male coxless pair, rowing strongly to claim second position in their heat taking them straight to the A final later that afternoon. Unfortunately the conditions turned for their final and they failed to find their rhythm in the increasingly strong headwind and rain and ultimately finished 6th overall.
Next, Luke Zammit was in the under fourteen male single scull race which due to technical problems with timing had to be rerun twice and decided by randomly drawn heats. A frustratingly difficult start that Luke handled well, showing the promise that he can bring to the same event next year in the same age category.
Next out in the increasingly strong headwind were the female U15 single scullers Siena Lee, Sophie Lines and Mika Zammit coming 1st 4th and 17th respectively in their time trial out of a large group of 62 competitors. Mika made the best of the difficult weather conditions and completed the C final in 7th place for 19th overall. Siena and Sophie secured second and third position in their A/B semi final for a place in the A final. The U15 A final saw Siena and Sophie pushing hard against imposingly strong competition into the wind to cross the line in third and fifth in a very tight race, Siena in bronze position bringing in Calpes first medal of the weekend, much to the delight of family and friends. Siena narrowly missed out on third place last year in the U14 category making this success at U15 all the sweeter.
Finally the U14 female coxed quad of Sofia Charrington, Jocelyn Knight, Kate Piñer and Sylvia Ody coxed by Luna Lee were in action, placing sixth in their time trial leading them to an A/B semi final where a strong push inspired by some epic calls from the cox saw a surge from fourth to third place to clinch Calpe’s fourth A final of the day. With a quick turnaround the girls gave it their all in the A final finishing 6th overall.
On Saturday Katie Zammitt was first out competing in the U14 female single sculls, coming in fifth out of forty competitors and securing a spot in the A/B semi finals.
With conditions worsening umpires went to free starts as they struggled to line boats up in the cross head wind. Katie gave her all coming fourth and just missing out on the A final. In her B final Katie came in second place for eighth overall.
The U15 female double scull was to follow with Siena and Sophie keen to build on the previous days success. They were first in their time trial out of sixty three competitors showing promising form. Despite some struggles with the free start and blustery conditions they were imperious again coming first in their AB semi final with a strong finishing burst. With confidence building they looked strong and composed as they came resoundingly first in the A final for a clean sweep and gold medal position. Calpe family and team mates crowded around the presentation ceremony to celebrate Calpes second medals of the weekend.
Thomas Zammitt and Jake Navarro were Calpe’s last competitors for Saturday, placing 6th in their time trial, leading to an A/B final where an agonisingly close fourth position led to a B final which was won by Calpe for seventh overall.
On Sunday winds changed direction and picked up considerably and organisers opted to change the race format, removing semi finals,to go from time trial straight to finals and moving the start of the 1000m course to a more sheltered area.
The Calpe U14 double sculls were first out for their time trial with Sofia Charrington and Sylvia Ody claiming 4th and Jocelyn Knight and Kate Piñer 16th position. This took Sofia and Sylvia straight into the A final where they came within metres of another medal for Calpe but lost their rhythm on hitting the buoys demarcating lanes through the last 100m dropping to fourth place. Jocelyn and Kate contesting the C final shortly after finished third.
Calpe’s U15 female quad scull of Mika Zammit, Sophie Lines. Siena Lee and Katie Zammitt coxed by Luna Lee were seventh in their time trial just missing out on an A final. They finished their B final in fourth position.
Calpe’s last competitor of the weekend was Thomas Zammitt, taking to the water for the U18 male single scull event, looking to test himself out for his first attempt in an age category that he will be eligible for again next year. The time trial results came in with Thomas in first place out of forty eight entries and straight into the A final. Gibraltar had never had a single sculler win in this age category and the pressure and expectation was high. Tom started his A final at the back of the field with his opponents striving to gain an early advantage. At the thousand metre mark he slowly wore down his opponents and by the last 250m he broke clear of the pack with an increase in rate and power that brought him over the line in gold medal position.
Calpe’s second gold medal and third medal of the weekend in hand, teammates and family together celebrated a strong weekend for Calpe and Gibraltarian rowing.
The final tally for Calpe Rowing Club was- ten top ten finishes with seven A finals competed in and medals in three categories, two gold and one bronze. On reflection the coaches were extremely pleased with results and identified areas for improvement moving forwards and look forwards to seeing this group build and strengthen in Calpe’s ongoing programme.

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