ABINGDON School BC stepped up to take victory at the Wycliffe Big Head on Saturday, writes John Wiggins.

Coach Rory Copus was delighted to see his J16 eight improve on the previous week’s performance in the senior novice event on the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal.

Racing in cold, wet weather over a gruelling 4.5km course, the crew held their form to finish in 15mins 30secs – a faster time than the main event later in the day.

The winning crew was Charles Engwell, Ben Boneham, Luc Jersing, James Coode, Charlie Betts, Joe McConnell, Matthew Bell, Tom Symington and cox, Noah Walker.

Radley College crews were also in action at Wycliffe.

In each of the three events contested, they mixed the talent with the aim of getting the most out of each squad at this early stage of the year.

Their top crews raced twice (in J18 and open senior events) and finished a close second in each.

This bodes well for the future when they produce a genuine first and second crew.