Rachel Egan |

Juniors have chance to shine

As Schools’ Head and the Junior Sculling Head approach, Rachel Egan from Junior Rowing News compares both competitions and relives her own experiences racing

With Head season nearing a close, the Schools’ Head of the River Race (SHORR) and the Junior Sculling Head (JSH) stand as the finales to the relentless winter calendar we’ve had this year.

However, the two events (within two days of each other) have experienced recent changes that polarise them completely as races, despite having similar prestige. In 2019 organisers decided to eliminate almost all sculling events from SHORR, leaving only J18 categories, while JSR continues to cater exclusively to those who prefer a blade in each hand. Together, this has given both sides of the sport a time to shine. Yet, to a certain extent, it also deepens the divide between clubs and schools.

I vividly remember my first time competing at JSH. It was my first time at Dorney, and the nerves and anticipation were through the roof – more than at any local regatta. As we drove past the enormous lake, my J14 self was terrified. What was comforting was knowing that there were many more in my position: from a small, rural club and new to racing.

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