RISING star Flo Pickles continued her excellent season as she made the final of the Junior European Championships in Belgium.
The 17-year-old produced an excellent row in her semi-final in the junior women’s single sculls, overtaking her Serbian counterpart in the final 250 metres of the race to claim the third and final qualifying spot.
The Hartpury-Gloucester rower finished fifth overall among a very strong field in the final which included rowers from Belarus, France and Russia who claimed the medal places.
The event coincided with the National Schools Regatta, where Hartpury also had rowers competing.
A boys’ crew featuring Will Kemp, who only took up the sport back in September, did brilliantly to make the A final finishing sixth overall.
Kemp, who was identified as a potential rowing talent through the GB Start programme, was joined by James Bird, Jack Williams and Joe Barnes in the junior men’s quadruple sculls.
On the girls’ side, the Gloucester-Hartpury squad had two crews competing.
The A crew, who were defending their title in the women’s quads, were unfortunate to finish third after strong performances in the time-trial and semi-final stages.
Having topped both, the quad were squeezed out in the final by two seconds as Marlow Rowing Club and Headington School finished above them.
Hartpury’s rowing coach, Tom Pattichis, said: “Obviously we’re disappointed not to have defended our title, but it was a very tight final and it’s definitely all still to play for with Henley coming up in four weeks’ time.
“The boys did excellently given their relative inexperience and will continue to train hard to push to qualify for the Henley Royal at the beginning of July.”