West Taihu Lake Rowing Regatta

School News June 08, 2023
West Taihu Lake Rowing Regatta

From June 3rd to 4th, the picturesque West Taihu Lake unfolded an exciting new chapter as the successful 2023 Two Lakes Innovation - "Wycombe Abbey Cup" West Taihu Lake International Rowing Regatta took place. Over 300 rowing enthusiasts from 23 elite teams across the country gathered to compete for 33 awards in categories such as men's and women's masters, youth, and youth professional, showcasing the pinnacle of competition.

Ms. Xi Aihua, the winner of China's first Olympic gold medal in rowing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics women's quadruple sculls event, was present at the venue. Along with delivering a national sports initiative declaration, she also presented awards to the rowers and provided encouragement. She shared her interpretation of the charm of rowing: "Rowing is a sport that places great emphasis on teamwork. You need to forget yourself and push forward stroke by stroke with your teammates. By achieving the success of others, you also achieve your own."

Mr. Yuan Bo, WAS Board Director & Vice President of Wycombe Abbey Schools, paired up with a student, D. Zhang (G10 Newton), and provided bilingual hosting throughout the event. The lively and talented “Hu Hu Sheng Feng” Band, composed of students from WASCZ, delivered 25 wonderful musical songs, cheering on the attending families and athletes throughout the energetic day. It was a festival for rowing enthusiasts nationwide and a celebration of our WAS family.

Our students participated in the youth category competition on the first day of the event. With orderly strokes, they worked together with their teammates, striving for their dreams, and perfectly demonstrated the strength and elegance of WASCZ in their own backyard.

Youth Group B M2x - 3rd Place

P. Pan (G10 Hawking) 

J. Jin (G10 Newton) 

J.Jin shared his biggest takeaway from the competition, saying, "Throughout the entire competition, the spirit of unity resonated deeply with me. Each team member remained committed to their assigned tasks and followed the instructions of our teachers. We also constantly supported each other's performances. Even when faced with difficulties during the competition, we maintained seamless collaboration with our team leaders, Ms. Belle and Mr. Pascal, as we tackled challenges together. I am proud of achieving such results in my first-ever competition. Through this experience, I realized the importance of teamwork and how it enables us to unleash our fullest potential."

Youth Group B Girls' W2x - 3rd Place

A. Xia (G11 Cavell)

J. Bin (G11 Fonteyn) 

After the race, J. Bin expressed, " Due to the pandemic, many competitions we could have participated in have been canceled. Fortunately, our school established the "WAS Cup", which made our girls’ rowing team have the experience of rowing for the first time. This competition taught me not only that the hard work pays off but also the importance of strategy and mental toughness in a tournament. I am grateful for these experiences and look forward to the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.

Youth Group B Girls' W4x - 2nd Place

A. Wang (G9 Cavell)

E. Tan (G10 Cavell) 

V. Chen (G10 Fonteyn) 

W. Hong (G10 Cavell) 

E. Tan shared her feelings, saying, "I had the honour to meet our coach's former coach, and she was also the winner of the first gold medal of China Rowing Olympic Games. After the competition, I watched the video of this teacher winning the gold medal, which made me more aware of the need to train seriously. Thanks to our teachers for their trust and training, plus to the school for providing the venue."

V. Chen added, " This is also a good result for us, but there are still some regrets about not beating the opposition. I also feel a bit guilty because my oars got stuck in the water, which caused a drag on my other teammates. I need to practice more in this area. I hope that similar problems will not occur in the next competition, and our cooperation can also become better."

W. Hong also reflected seriously on her performance. She said, It was probably because I was nervous, I didn't set the right course during the paddle, which caused the our course to drift, and I needed help from the 2nd and 3rd position to set the course. Later on, due to too much panic, the oars were parted too often, resulting in the whole boat being unbalanced and the oars not entering the water fast enough to use the power.

Youth Group B Girls' W4x - 3rd Place

A. Chen (G11 Cavell) 

Q. Wang (G10 Austen) 

Z. Sha (G10 Austen) 

C.Cui (G10 Austen) 

A.Chen said, " It was satisfying to see how far we were able to come in just a few months with consistent training and preparation. Our hard work and dedication paid off, and it was thrilling to be rewarded for our efforts. "

K.Cui said, "It was our first official race our coach took us to and we were very excited as well as nervous. The first attempt is always a good foundation for the rest of the action. it's important to maintain a positive attitude and use the feedback as a means of growth rather than dwelling on the fact that the team didn't win first place. Every competition is an opportunity for us to learn and improve. With hard work and determination, we can strive for even greater success in future competitions definitely."

G10 rowers often find themselves in a dilemma between heavy academic pressures and training. Recently, Z. Sha has grown a lot and gained new insights: " I would never forget the moment that I receive the message from my coach, Ms Belle, that we are going to participate in a formal competition with other groups! I was jubilant, I was vibrant, I was expectant, but also, I started to be frantic as I need to balance my rowing training and my official IGCSE exam which is pivotal for my university. Ms Belle became aware of our anxiety and comforted us ‘ The most vital aspect of the competition is that you enjoy it, don’t let it generate the emotion that harms.’

Youth Group B Mixed 4x - 2nd Place

A. Xia (G11 Cavell) 

J. Bin (G11 Fonteyn) 

P. Pan (G10 Hawking) 

J. Jin (G10  Newton) 

A. Xia added, "Listening to Ms. Belle and my teammates shouting through the megaphone on the shore, 'Go, WAS, paddle harder!' We felt smoother and more powerful with each stroke. I am proud of myself and my teammates! As long as we strive together towards a common goal, we can achieve anything."

Looking back at the splendid journey of our students' medal achievements, the girls' rowing team showed their remarkable potential and gained significant accomplishments within less than two years of its establishment. The boys and girls braved the waves and showcased the budding talent of WASCZ's rowing sport in the second five-year period.

The Rowing Coach, Mrs. Belle, from WASCZ praised the children's performances and said excitedly, "It is their first competition, and they have achieved such great results. I am extremely proud of them. Watching them compete made me even more nervous than when I used to compete myself. They have successfully completed their tasks!" 

In future, the stories of WASCZ's rowers will continue. The students of WASCZ will continue to demonstrate their full potential and embrace a bright future, showcasing their holistic development.