Henley Women's Regatta

Henley Women's Regatta

Amidst fears that the regatta might be cancelled, with rumours making it up the M1 that the river was now flowing over the fields, and there was a hurricane on the way, the squad travelled down to Henley last weekend, where they were greated to a river well within its banks, if not in a slight hurry to make its way downstream. Clearly these rowers have never trained on the Trent before! Reassured that the event would take place, the quad set out for an evening paddle to get used to the course and the water. With 5 crews entered, the first race would be on the Saturday. The senior double of Ellie and Philly were scheduled to compete in the time trial to reduce crews down to 16 for side by side racing. However, with strong winds forecast, the organisers chose to reduce this to the first 8 in order to miss racing in the worst of the weather. Unfortunately, the girls came 12th, so would have qualified in any other year, but sadly missed out this year. The Club 4+ from the rowing club also lost out in a similar way in very changeable and gusty conditions.

Photo cheekily stolen from Iain Weir at Rowingphotography.co.uk - he takes some good photos - have a look!

The elite quad drew a Thames/Tideway Scullers in the quarter finals. Moving onto the stakeboats there was an umpire on each to assist the crews as conditions were pretty difficult, with a very strong stream and a strong headwind on top of this. The quad attached without too many problems, until the composite decided they wanted to attach to our stakeboat as well as theirs, and swung their bows round. We moved away and watched as the quad proceeded to lie sideways across the river - not the best position to start the race. Knowing that the other quad had struggled gave us confidence, and once we got started we moved away to win easily. We knew that the next round would be harder as we had drawn Leander Club, containing girls who have all raced at senior international level recently. On Sunday morning the quad found themselves on the start alongside their strongest opposition to date. A great start saw us come out of the island slightly ahead, but despite a really good race, they moved away inch by inch to take the win. This crew then went on to beat Vesper BC from the USA in the final.

Fiona was competing in elite singles and drew local sculler Kris Johnson in her first round and was sadly knocked out. With some scullers taking well over 9 minutes to complete the 1500m course due to the conditions, this was an endurance event!

The High Performance Group will be heading down to the HRR qualifiers in the hope of racing in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup for quads and the Princess Royal Challenge Cup for singles.


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