Thursday, 20 September 2018

Henley help region secure third consecutive triumph

HENLEY Rowing Club’s junior section contributed to Thames Upriver Region’s victory at British Rowing’s Junior

HENLEY Rowing Club’s junior section contributed to Thames Upriver Region’s victory at British Rowing’s Junior Inter-Regional Regatta at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham at the weekend.

Twelve Henley crews across all age groups were selected to represent the region earlier in the year at trials held at Dorney Lake

Racing over 1,500m and competing against 11 other regions from across the UK, Thames Upriver region took the boys’ and girls’ cups as well as the overall Victor Ludorum trophy for the third year running

The junior boys J15 coxed four of Jack Broadbent, Cameron Jones, Bruce Turnell and Joe Zolkwer, coxed by Lachlan Reid, took a commanding victory in their heat, winning by a margin of 25 seconds.

They went into the final knowing that their closest opposition would be the boat from the Thames London region and battled with them for the entire 1,500m, finishing well and winning silver just half a length behind the London crew.

The crew then joined forces with four J16 boys from the City of Oxford Rowing Club to represent the region in the final race of the day, the J16 men’s eights.

Despite having had only one training session together on the previous weekend the boys gelled and produced a fantastic finish to their heat, going past the Royal School Shrewsbury crew in the last 300m to qualify for the A final.

Their performance in the final produced an exciting finish of the day’s racing. The race for silver and bronze was hotly competed between four crews from 250m in, and in the last 250m the Thames Upriver crew came through from fifth to take bronze, just missing out on silver.

The junior boys J14 double of Henry Peters and Tom Crook raced well and won bronze. Crook had also won the regional trial to represent Upriver in the single, but opted to race in the double. The junior girls crews provided a significant contribution towards the regional victories.

The WJ15 squad represented the region in all four boat classes, winning gold in each. Likewise, the WJ16 squad represented the region in all five boat classes, coming away with gold in two events, a silver, and a fourth and fifth place.

Lottie Orr won the WJ15 single by a nine-second margin and was back in action 40 minutes later with Georgie Robinson-Ranger in the double. Following a good start they dominated the field and won a comfortable victory.

The WJ15 coxed quad of Tilly Lock, Mary Wright, Grace Johnson, Izzie Jonsson, coxed by Rebecca Lister qualified to the final with the fastest time of the heats. They came into the closing stages of the final with a comfortable lead of three lengths but one of the crew caught a crab 15 strokes from the finish line, bringing the boat to a stop. The crew quickly managed to regain their composure and raced to the line taking gold by a narrow margin.

Alice Jones, Charlotte Moss, Eve Poulter, Ruby Brown and Freya Reid had a comfortable victory in the WJ15 coxed fours. They qualified to the final with the fastest time from the heats, and after a good start steadily drew away from the other crews to establish a winning margin of 23 seconds in a time of six minutes, 47 seconds. The WJ16 coxless quad of Florence Wiggins, Clare Pearson, Lily Stimpson and Georgia Edwards qualified as the second fastest crew for the final with a victory of 20 seconds over the second place crew in their heat.

Racing next to Nottingham Rowing Club, the fastest qualifiers, the crew got off to a good start, eventually taking a lead of clear water at around the halfway point. By the end of the race they had extended their lead to two lengths of clear water to take the gold medal.

The WJ16 eight comprised the four girls in the WJ16 quad plus Lauren Kay, Ella Morgan, Iona McNab and Maisie Turner, with cox Emma Lister. The girls performed well in their heat taking a victory of around two lengths but due to a timekeeping error the two heats were declared void. The races were re-run later in the day with times from both heats being used to establish the medal positions. The Henley crew won the first of the two races in a time of five minutes 34 seconds, and after a nervous wait for the results from the second race, collected their gold medals.

Lauren Kay represented the region in the WJ16 singles, and after qualifying as third fastest and less than a second behind the second faster qualifier, had to jump out of the eight after its first heat and into her single scull for the singles final.

As a result of some delays to the morning race programme caused by the strong wind, Kay’s final started less than half an hour after the eights race finished. Kay crossed the line in fifth place.

Maisie Turner, Anna Roe, Alicia Redman and Katy Claridge were representing the region in the WJ16 coxless fours. They finished second in their heat and were fourth fastest qualifiers for the final with little difference between them and the second fastest qualifier.

The final was a close race, with the Henley crew narrowly in second place at the 500m mark. Coming into the final 250m the crew were battling for silver and bronze with two other crews, but missed out on the bronze medal by one second.

The WJ16 double of Iona McNab and Ella Morgan won the silver medal for the region, crossing the line in a time of seven minutes and eight seconds, just one second behind the winners from the Eastern region represented by a composite crew from St Neots and Star club.

The race between these two crews was close from the start, and they quickly left the rest of the field behind them. Coming into the closing stages the Eastern crew had established a one-length lead, but despite the Henley gaining an overlap and finishing strongly the girls from Eastern region hung on to first place.

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