Oundle School Boat Club marked an excellent performance at the recent Star Regatta in Bedford, with four wins and five boats in the finals.
Anna Van de Braak (17) was dominant in both of her singles events - the Women’s Junior 17 category and the Intermediate 3 - with wins in both. Anna beat off strong opposition from Kings Ely and Bedford Girls School.
Coach Jeffrey Roache commented, “Despite tricky conditions, Anna maintained her form and focus which is testament to her excellent attitude and skill.”
Oundle also performed well in the quadruple sculls events with a win for the Junior 15 B quadruple scull (Cosmo Davis Gimeno (15), Ben Pathak (15), Alex Gilbey (14), Pelham Cox (14) and Ben Hutchinson (15) as cox) against Hampton in the final of their event. The Oundle A quad reached the Junior 15 A quad final but lost narrowly to Hampton by half a length. Two Oundle crews were pitted against each other in the novice event and became fierce rivals for the day. An exciting event led to Zac Freij (15), Louis O’Connor (14), Ben Pathak, Cosmo Davis Gimeno and Toby Cripps (14) emerging victorious.
Ben Pathak, Cosmo Davis Gimeno and Anna Van de Braak all came away from the event with two wins each - a great achievement.
There were notable performances from the many other Oundle crews attending the race, with some racing in a number of semi-finals and finals. The Junior 18 coxless quad, comprised of only one J18 rower, two J17s and a J16 sculler, were able to give a very good Norwich crew some fine competition and the Junior 15 girls’ quad narrowly missed out on a win in the final of their event.
Jeffrey concluded, “The very fine performance from the Oundle School Boat Club all round is evidence for a great strength in depth among the rowers and is a trend we hope to continue and improve upon. All of the Oundle rowers came away from the day with a great sense of achievement.”
Anna Van de Braak commented, “The strong performance has proven that the Boat Club is going from strength to strength and we hope to win more events in the future.”
Head of Rowing, George Maitre commented, “The great success can largely be attributed to coach Jeffrey Roche, who, supported by Neville Aston, has pioneered an extremely effective approach to Oundle rowing including individual training programmes and an athlete monitoring system. We are now beginning to see the fantastic results of this new scheme. Mr Roche is a highly qualified expert in his field and has transformed rowing at Oundle. If he is able to continue his sterling work, it is likely that Oundle will continue to progress and could make an appearance at Henley in the not too distant future.”
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.
There are currently 1100 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11.