HENLEY Rowing Club confirmed itself as the top junior club in the country winning the Victor
HENLEY Rowing Club confirmed itself as the top junior club in the country winning the Victor Ludorum at the British Junior Rowing Championships with almost twice as many points as its nearest rivals.
The Henley juniors secured four gold, three silver and three bronze medals with all bar two of their boats making the A finals of the three-day event.
Elsewhere both Leander and Shiplake Vikings also came away from the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham with a gold medal each.
Friday was the skills tests for the younger athletes, Saturday time trials for all crews with the top 12 from each event going to the semi-finals and finals on Sunday.
Henley’s Clare Pearson, Ella Morgan, Georgia Edwards and Issy Jonsson, were first to medal with a silver in the junior girls’ coxless four and as the fastest club boat (the winners being a composite) were also awarded the club champions plaque.
The club’s first gold medal came from the girls’ J16 quad of Georgie Robinson Ranger, Mary Wright, Grace Johnson and Ruby Brown who dominated their event.
Robinson Ranger and Wright picked up a second gold in the J16 doubles, finishing seven seconds ahead of Warrington.
One of the most impressive races of the day was the junior girls eight event. Alicia Redman, Amy Sotnick, Emma Lister, Georgia Edwards, Grace Johnson, Issy Jonsson, Phyliss Barter, Ruby Brown and cox Freya Reid, rowing together for the first time, were at the back of the field after 500m. By half-way they were up fourth and going into the last 500m were still almost a length down on Marlow who were in third. However, a storming finish saw the Henley crew draw level with Marlow with 100m to go and a final push took them through Marlow to take bronze.
Marlow took revenge in the J16 girls’ coxed four event where they have been the dominant crew all season. The Henley crew of Rebecca Lister, Alice Jones, Eve Poulter, Tilly Lock and cox Freya Reid secured silver.
In the girls’ J15 quads both Henley crews made it to the A final. Amelia Crick, Caoimhe O’Donohue, Felicity Parfitt, Sophia Hahn and cox Ella Nolson led the field to half way but were unable to hold off a strong challenge from Maidenhead in the third 500m and had to settle for silver.
The crew of Esther Morgan, Jess Arlett, Phoebe Cooper, Ruby Borg and cox Emeline Warner had put in a good performance in the semi-final to earn themselves a place in the A final where they finished sixth.
The J14 girls’ coxed quad of Georgia Brown, Freya Jonsson, Amber Weller, Hazel Drury and cox Ella Shute, having won their semi-final, took the lead from the start of the final and powered to gold. The second crew of Jess Roberts, Phoebe Snowden, Hanna Hall, Natalie Cooper and cox Emeline Warner, who also won their semi-final, were in second place until the final 200m where they were pipped by City Of Oxford to take bronze.
Henley’s success continued with the J14 boys’ coxed quad of James Swinburn, Euan Turnell, Grant Taylor, Alex Carr and Charles Washbourn who won their event by a comfortable margin.
In the boys’ J15 double sculls, Connor Brown and Balthasar Issa came from the back of the field early on to secure bronze.
Shiplake Vikings’ women’s coxless four retained their national title for the second successive year.
With Hattie Orr on GB junior squad duties, the remaining crew of Ellie Thompson, Lauren Edwards and Maddie Orr were joined by Layla Wheeldon from Molesey Boat Club to form a composite four in the women’s J18 coxless four.
The Vikings recorded the fastest time in Saturday’s time-trials of five minutes 58 seconds to progress to the semi-finals.
In the semi-final the Shiplake/Molesey composite eased their way into the final, winning their heat by more than five seconds. In the final the Vikings triumphed ahead of local rivals Henley and third-placed Glasgow Schools.
Leander athletes took the gold medal in the junior quads with an 11-second margin ahead of Lea and RGS High Wycombe.
Piotr Golawski, Tom Placidi, Tom Mortimer and Cameron Forsythe got their noses in front of the field after 500m and had clear water at the halfway mark, from where they were able to cruise home in style.
Commenting after the win, coach Livinia Cowell-Sherriff said: “It was an outstanding performance, they sculled very well, and they deserved to win.”