Thorp Academy

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Success for Thorp duo

JESSIE RICKELTON did not get to row in her usual double at Durham in The Henley of the North but still helped deliver a hard-earned win.

JESSIE RICKELTON did not get to row in her usual double at Durham in The Henley of the North – but still helped deliver a hard-earned win.

Tyne Amateur Rowing Club entered the promising WJ15 eight, which won at Hexham beforehand, into the Women’s Coxed Novice 8 event.

Given the tender age of the Rickelton crew the odds were really stacked against them. However, some strong, tidy sweeping in the heats saw the Tyne youngsters beat the much-fancied Yarm for a place in the final against the St John’s crew from Durham University.

Rickelton and her doubles partner Ord, occupied the central power positions in the boat and an early half length lead was quickly established over their older rivals. Spurred on by a large home crowd, the Durham University ladies momentarily began pulling back the deficit as the boats passed the half way point.

However, this only brought about an extra surge from the Rickelton crew that Durham simply could not match. In the end the Tyne girls eased over the finish line over a length ahead and with daylight between the boats.

Fellow Thorp student Charlie Charlton was involved in the closest finish over the two day event in her WJ16 single sculls final.

Facing another of the North's finest junior girl rowers, Furness (Cambois), Charlton knew that she would have to be at her very best if she was to repeat her victory in the 2016 WJ15 event to win consecutive Durham Regatta singles trophies.

Her usual strong start saw Charlton power to a quarter length lead by the half way stage. However, a determined Furness was not finished yet and began staging a very gritty fightback in the second part of the race, slowly eating Charlton's lead away.

As they passed under Baths Bridge with 25 metres to go the boats were neck and neck with Furness perhaps the favourite to nick it on the line.

However, showing a champions spirit and never-say-die attitude, Charlton managed to muster up sufficient power in her final five strokes to edge ahead on the line, the victory not being confirmed for several hours as the race judges convened to decide upon the winner – but Charlie emerged victorious.

Rickelton and Charlton both attended the Durham Regatta Winners Awards ceremony at the Gala Theatre, Durham after that. Taking to the stage in a packed house, they were presented with their winners’ trophies by the GB Rowing Olympians, Jess Eddie and Nathaniel Reilly O'Donnell.

Thorp's three junior girl rowers Charlton, Rickelton and Erin Temple will now compete at Talkin Tarn on July 1 before heading to Nottingham for the Junior Nationals on July 14-16.