Deben rower shines at Junior European Championships

Clio Aubugeau-Williams, the Woodbridge based-sculler, has finished off her Junior rowing career in fine style, collecting two gold medals and a silver as part of the GB Women’s Quadruple Scull at the Coupe de la Jeunesse championships in Linz, Austria.

The 18-year-old and the rest of her crew took silver in their first race of the weekend on Friday, before claiming two golds on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The silver medal for Aubugeau-Williams came just after the opening ceremony in the blue-ribbon event, the straight final for eight. In sublime conditions team GB started well but trailed half-way through the race. Their speed and determination allowed them to inch back but it wasn’t enough as the Italians crossed the line first to take the gold.

Despite starting the weekend with a second-placed finish, Aubugeau-Williams was not to be headed again in the regatta as she claimed two gold medals. Returning to her three crewmates in the Quad scull, the flagship girl’s boat, they dominated their Saturday final, producing the most convincing win of the day to beat the Italians by over two lengths – an impressive feat in a top-flight international event.

Sunday racing is traditionally harder as crews adjust their tactics in light of Saturday performances, and the GB girls came under immediate attack from both the French and the Italian teams. Undaunted by not leading at the half-way point, they launched their big push through the middle stages, dropping first the French and then with 250 metres to go, easing away from the Italians to claim first place.

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A sliding scale of points for finishing positions lets all crews contribute to the total scores for the women’s and men’s teams as well as the final overall winning nation. Team GB has a fine track record at the event winning several times in the last decade, and this year was no exception with the women’s team coming home with the trophy. Despite GB being the most successful nation on the water, a debatable technical issue was cruelly punished with a deduction in men’s points, resulting in the Italians taking the overall prize for the second year running.

Travelling to Austria with the squad, Aubugeau-William’s coach, Chris Jillings, was overjoyed with the results: “Clio has continued to impress the GB selectors at every stage since first successfully completing the trials process, and this year reaped the rewards of the gruelling existence of a top-flight rower. I know that she will take the benefits of this year’s multiple National medals, a Henley title and double European successes forward into the Under-23 category as she moves to University later this summer and will become an established athlete within the future GB squad.”

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