Rachel Egan |

How to best the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head

Rachel Egan from JRN outlines her experience competing at one of the country’s most unique junior head races, and speaks to current juniors and coaches about their top tips for making the most of its unusual format.

The Oarsport Junior Sculling Head (OJSH) for quads and octs holds a particular place in my heart as the first national event I ever competed in. I’ll never forget the butterflies I felt that day approaching Dorney Lake. At J14, this journey seemed to go on forever, and it gave me plenty of time for my pre-race fears to set in. I completely lost any sense of appetite I was able to muster at 7am!

Looking back five years later, the lake definitely seems to be much smaller than the first time I saw it. Nevertheless, despite all the nerves that accompanied my OJSH debut, I reflect on my experiences there with pride, and I’m convinced that OJSH is a fantastic platform to compete against the best of the best in junior sculling.

Preparing for the unique format

The format of course is unconventional, comprising two relatively short runs of 1,800m on a 2,000m rowing lake with an un-timed turn in the middle, and other crews doing the same in 3 adjacent lanes. That said, I believe this format enables younger athletes to compete over a longer distance without being thrown in at the deep end too much, compared to a single 5km race, for example.


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