Eton Dorney Lake
27-29 May 2016
Leander’s junior athletes scored a notable success at the National Schools Regatta last weekend when their J18 quad scull took the championship bronze medal.
Tom Placidi, Ben Holt, Tom Mortimer and Cameron Forsyth won their semifinal, two seconds ahead of Marlow, to draw the lane between Windsor Boys and Claires Court for the final.
Windsor Boys were first to the 500m point, but Claires Court overhauled the leaders into the second quarter, with Leander third, and the positions remained unchanged to the line.
Meanwhile the Leander B crew, including Piotr Golawski, Hadley Butcher, David Few and Tom Ballinger, won gold in the event for second boats.
The results were another milestone in Leander’s talent identification programme, in which promising young athletes are recruited largely from local, non-rowing, state schools. Academic and sporting endeavours are then strengthened thanks to links with Henley College.
Among the schools taking part in the scheme are Waingels College, The Forest School, and also Maiden Erlegh, from which Tom Mortimer was recruited to the Leander programme in 2012.
Within two years he had won a silver medal in J16 double sculls at the National Schools Regatta and two months later he won another silver medal in J16 quads at the British Championships.
The youngest Leander crew, racing as Star and Arrow, was the J16 quadruple scull of Miles Devereux (Chalfonts Community College), Oliver Pizura (Reading Boys School), Benjamin Smeeton and Isaac Minns (both Forest School). After a strong time trial the crew moved through to contest the B final, finishing in 9th place overall.