Monday, 11 December 2017

Upper Thames crews take top honours

UPPER THAMES hosted their annual head race on Sunday, attracting one of the largest fields in the 25-year history of the event.

UPPER THAMES hosted their annual head race on Sunday, attracting one of the largest fields in the 25-year history of the event.

In strong winds gusting up to 40mph, the host club won the Victor Ludorum for the most category wins, including elite and senior coxed and coxless fours over the two-mile upstream course.

Speaking after their success club captain Justin Sutherland said: “We had nearly 320 crews competing today, including a good entry in the new eights categories.

“The event continues to go from strength to strength and now contributes nearly £5,000 to club coffers.”

Henley Rowing Club narrowly missed out on the top prize as they triumphed in 11 events.

Henley’s J14 boys’ quad of Jack Broadbent, Nick Spicer, Cameron Jones, Anthony Howe and Bruce Turnell put together a spirited performance to win their event.

The boys’ J16 quad of Harry Farley, Matthew Harris, Alexander Meyer-O’Kane and Alasdair Roy put in a strong performance to win their event in a time of 11 minutes, 48.26 seconds. This win was followed with a victory from their younger counterparts in the J14 quad event, with the J15 quad coming second in their event.

The J16 and J18 boys also rowed up into the Intermediate 3 and novice quad events where they racked up a brace of second places.

The Henley junior women’s squad won seven of their eight events entered and came second in the eighth.

In the morning division, the coxed four of Emma Lister, Hannah Gutteridge, Katy Claridge, Lauren Kay and cox Rebecca Lister, all aged 15 or 16 years, rowed in the novice category against a number of university boats to claim first place in a time of 14 minutes, 47.96 seconds.

The Henley WJ17 women rowed up in the Intermediate 3 coxed four category and in a field of nine boats from university and local boat clubs, won convincingly. Alexis Perkins, Emily Pimlott, Kryssie Steiger, Ciara Buckley and cox Karen Edwards, who have been rowing together for just over a month, won by more than eight seconds in a closely fought head race.

British junior champions Hattie Orr, Ellie Thompson, Maddie Orr and Lauren Edwards dominated the WJ16 quad event, rowing through the competition and navigating a number of wayward crews to win the event by 32 seconds.

The quad split into doubles for the afternoon division where Hattie Orr and Edwards won the event, with Thompson and Maddie Orr coming a close second.

Overall, these two boats were the fastest women’s doubles of the day with the Hattie Orr and Edwards boat leading in a time of 13 minutes, 43.46 seconds.

The two WJ15 quads delivered another round of first and second places. The quad of Anna Roe, Lily Stimpson, Florence Wiggins, Ella Morgan and cox Emma Lister marginally beat their fellow Henley team mates Georgia Edwards, Hannah Gutteridge, Maisie Turner, Lauren Kay and cox Rebecca Lister into second place by 1.9 seconds with a field of seven other boats some way behind.

The WJ15s also rowed as doubles and, in a busy event of 19 boats, netted two second and 10th places.

Two WJ14 quads secured a third first and second combination for Henley. In their division of nine crews, the winning quad comprising Ruby Brown, Charlotte Moss, Lottie Orr, Issy Jonsson and Phoebe Fletcher as cox, won in a time of 14 minutes, 22.93 seconds with the second crew of Eve Poulter, Amelia Fielding-Smith, Georgina Robinson-Ranger, Tilly Lock and Christy Stephens as cox following closely behind.

Speaking after the evening, Henley’s junior women’s coach David Lister said: “Our young female athletes have been working extremely hard since the start of the season and it’s great to see them perform beyond expectations at this stage. We’re delighted to see them and the boys’ crews show a strong desire to win in such poor weather conditions whilst other boats struggled.”

Juniors Ranulph Steiger and Jon Taylor triumphed in the senior novice double event in a time of 13 minutes, 44.12 seconds, some 10 seconds ahead of the three other boats in the category. In the masters categories, Valerie Bennett, Margaret Hall, Janet Dutton and Linda Thomas won the women’s masters E quad event in a time of 15 minutes, 52.83 seconds. The Henley men’s Masters C double took second place in their event in a time of 13 minutes, 49.85 seconds.

In the senior categories, Henley recorded a fifth place in the women’s Intermediate 3 doubles event and a 12th place in the men’s Intermediate 3 coxed four event.

Shiplake Vikings also had success in several events as well as finishing second and third in several others.

The Berkley twins, Tom and Harry, showed good speed into the headwind with Harry steering a near perfect course in the J18 double event where they finished just behind a Leander crew with the second fastest double scull time of the day.

Milly Cook and Alina Budden also battled the morning winds in the WJ15 double sculls to finish well up the field in their division.

The WJ14 coxed four scull of Suzy Penrose, Saskia Watson, Yasmin Prior and Emily Waldron responded to cox Cam Hance’s vocal encouragement to finish third.

The first Viking winners of the day were the J15 double of Seb Newman and Henry Blois-Brooke who in their first sweep rowing competition, won the J16 coxless pairs.

The J16 coxed four of Scott Parker, Will Carey, Ollie Gerrard, Cam Hance with cox James Hargreaves won their event while Harry Berkley and Harry Rushent then won the J18 coxless pairs.

The J15 coxed four of Felix Hearndon, Christian Hjortland-Marks, Ollie Potter, Cosmo Hearndon with cox Belle Narracott finished second in the J16 event.

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