Somerset College rowers had the opportunity to fly the flag for the Western Cape Rowing team at the South African National Rowing Championships this weekend, 25-26 April.
Amber Ryan, Nicholas Farrell, Timon de Freitas, Brandon Christie and Joshua Smit represented the Western Cape Rowing Association in various boat classes over this past weekend and produced an admirable set of results in what was arguably the most competitive championships in recent years.
Joshua Smit competed in the Men’s A Quad that placed 3rd behind University of Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape Rowing Association.
Nicholas Farrell and Brandon Christie competed in the Men’s A Double Sculls and finished in 7th place overall after having made it through a tough qualifying round. Nicholas Oberholzer represented University of Pretoria as an U23 combination that finished in 2nd place. It is worth noting that winning crew was comprised of two Olympic gold medallists, James Thompson and John Smith, who are the current world champions and world record holders in this event. They went on to set a new South African record in this race, beating the old record by a massive 14 seconds.
Nicholas Farrell, Joshua Smit, Brandon Christie and Timon De Freitas combined with rowers from Rondebosch Boys’ High School to compete as a Western Cape Eight in the Men’s B Eights event. Despite limited training time in this combination, the boys put in a classy effort to win this event convincingly.
Amber Ryan placed 3rd in the Women’s B Single Sculls behind scullers from the SA Schools Team and University of Cape Town. Amber then competed in the Junior Women’s U18 Single Sculls where she placed 3rd behind two scullers from Zimbabwe. Amber, has been training hard since the SA Schools Championships in the Single Scull as she was selected for the South African Schools Rowing Team who are touring to England where she will be competing at the Wallingford Regatta and Bedford Regatta. We wish Amber all the best as she waves the flag abroad for South African Schools Rowing, Western Cape Rowing and Somerset College! Somerset College coach, Bevan Stephens has been selected to travel to England as a squad coach with the team.