A CREW from RGS High Wycombe had to contend with not just the best rowers in the country but also a flock of swans as they won national gold in Nottingham last weekend.
Their J16 quad of James Beagles, Sam Williams, Alasdair Butler and Nick Davison had stretched a length clear in their final when disaster struck with 500m remaining as a flock of swans landed directly in front of them.
The RGS boat came to a virtual stop as one of the rowers dropped his blade, but his three team-mates recovered the pace to secure a three-second victory, adding to their gold in the National Schools Championships in May.
They weren’t the only school success though, as four of the six RGS crews reached their final and two of those taking golds.
Alongside the J16s, the J14s of Ethan O’Connor and Lewis Howlett also added a second gold to their National Schools Championships win as they dominated from trials to final to win by six full seconds.
Meanwhile, the RGS J14 coxed quad of Luke Goodier, Will Smith, Mark Ostrowski, Henry James and cox Matt Eyres came home ranked number four in the country after reaching the final but losing out on a podium place to Calpe from Gibraltar, Windsor Boys, and Walton Rowing Cub.
Meanwhile, the J15 doubles of Xuichen Xu-Page and Charlie Collins finished 15th nationally after reaching the semi-finals, Tom Commins and Ed Davis finished sixth nationally in the 18-year-old group and Open single sculler Rob Eyres came home 25th nationally.
Geoff Baker, head RGS rowing coach and former Commonwealth Games gold medalist, said: “The J14s gave an absolutely fantastic performance with an outstanding result, and we look forward to strengthening our crews for next season with strong J13 crews following them.
“Although the club is small in numbers it is very high in quality.”