Sunday, 17 December 2017

Henley are crowned top club at Upper Thames' autumn head of river race

Henley are crowned top club at Upper Thames' autumn head of river race

HENLEY Rowing Club’s 18 wins at the Upper Thames Autumn Head on Sunday were enough to earn them the Victor Ludorum trophy for the best performing club.

Host club Upper Thames also picked up two wins in the event that attracted 275 entries from across the south of England.

The fastest crew of the day was the Oxford University Lightweight Eight, in preparation for their annual Easter fixture with Cambridge over the Henley reach.

Henley’s J15s started their day with a first and second in the doubles with David Rechner and Charlie Garnham taking the honours from Sam Beattie and Tom McLellan. This was followed in the afternoon by another first and second place, this time in coxed quads. The first quad consisting of James Swinburn, Euan Turnell, Grant Taylor and Alex Carr with Tom McLellan coxing powered their way to victory with an impressive performance followed closely behind by Sam Beattie, Charlie Garnham, James Wallace and Charles Wasbourn with David Rechner coxing.

For the J16/17 boys, Bruce Turnell and Grant Taylor won the J16A double sculls with Balthazar Issa and Turnell going on to win J18 double sculls.

The J16 girls of Amelia Crick, Sophia Hahn, Felicity Parfitt, Caoimbe O’Donohue and cox Freya Reid won the coxed fours. This was followed in the afternoon by the J15 crew of Jess Roberts, Georgia Brown, Carla Russell, Natalie Cooper and cox Ella Nolson winning by just over a second in a field of 10 other crews.

The day was finished for the J15 and J16 girls by a mixed crew of Phoebe Fletcher, Hanna Hills, Amber Weller, Jessica Arlett, Bobbi Miles, Ruby Borg, Ellie Coxwell, Emeline Warner and cox Freya Reid winning the women’s novice eights.

Henley’s older junior squads also had impressive performances with wins for the WJ18A quad sculls, the WJ18A coxed fours and the WIM2 eights and IM2 quad sculls, the latter posting one of the fastest times of the day.

Henley’s masters crews were also out in force with the women’s masters sculling squad having their largest ever entry for this event. Two women’s novice quads had a good battle in their event with Ann Tully, Jan Watson, Julie Norman and Aoife Scott finishing close behind Louisa Clarke, Emma Avery, Karen Wade and Lizzie Firth.

Henley’s masters D quad of Helen Turnell, Niki Orr, Linda Thomas and Valarie Bennett finished second by just two seconds to the Eton Excelsior Masters C quad.

Orr and Helen Turnell finished a close second in their masters C double against Eton Excelsior while Margaret Hall and Julia Lock sculled to second place in their masters E double event.

Henley’s men’s masters crews had success in the masters C quad sculls with Jeremy Sedgewick, Ian Mills, Tom Wedgewood and Barry Redman, and the masters D quad sculls with Philip Davies, Bill Adamson, Simon Morgan and Michal Hornsby leading the way. The master pairing of Rob Wilson and Mike Jennings won the masters D coxless pairs.

Upper Thames had wins in both the elite coxless and coxed fours.

The elite coxless four crew was made up of Luke Wootton, Jake Davidson, Sean Bathe Taylor and Hugh Reilly while the coxed four crew consisted of Hamish Miller, Aaron Jarvis, Sam Barnes and Jim Kirkbride, coxed by Zoe Thomas.

Speaking after the races, event organiser Paul Taylor said: “The conditions were perfect for this year’s event. There was very little stream or wind so everyone had a pleasant row and left with happy memories of their day in Henley.”

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